Tobacco Corporations are interested only in our “intulecktualul property rights” – agree/disagree?
Some (most?) folk will have seen an advert currently running on television, featuring the above image.
It is part of a campaign by tobacco companies to oppose plain packaging here in New Zealand. In Australia, recently, a million-dollar law suit brought by tobacco companies against the Australian government was fought on this specific issue.
The tobacco companies lost.
This trans-Tasman conflict was viewed closely by National and it’s coalition-partner, the Maori Party. Especially by Associate Health Minister, Tariana Turia.
Plans for a similar law are being mooted here in New Zealand; to replace the glamourous, brightly-coloured cigarette packets with plain packages featuring mostly the usual ghastly images of cancer victims.
In response, British American Tobacco New Zealand, the biggest tobacco company in the country launched a counter-campaign on 23 August, called Agree-Disagree.
Part of that campaign is a short, animated advertisement running at prime time on several (?) television networks. The campaign pushes the proposition that if a business creates “intellectual property” then it should be free to use it.
This blogger has seen the ad.
If the aim of the campaign is to mobilise public opinion to log on to the Agree-Disagree website, then they pushing poo uphill with a garden fork. Ain’t gonna happen, sunshine.
This is the New Zealand public we’re talking about here. A million of my fellow Kiwi brothers and sisters couldn’t be stuffed voting at the next election. If apathy had been a political party, it might’ve beaten National comfortably.
At the same time, we have pressing issues such as chronic alcohol abuse (which most of the country is in denial about); child abuse (except for a small group prone to moral panic attacks); child poverty; growing unemployment; a stagnant economy; blah, blah, f*****g blah.
Unless it’s a stranded penguin or some big white letters on a cliff-face overlooking a Wellington suburb or some silly bint making unwise comments on a Facebook page about dead soldiers – the public is too ‘busy’ to care. Hey, the latest episode of “The Block”, “The Voice”, “The Latest Really Exciting Cooking Show”, etc, etc, is on – and people are positively mesmerised by 21st century junk-TV.
By the time their particular favourite Reality-show porn is over, folk will have forgotten that ad, plus fifty others that might’ve flashed across our screens during that time.
Thank you, Television, for turning our minds into short-term attention spanners.
Sorry… um, what was I writing about?
Either tobacco companies have wasted their hard-earned cash (derived from customers just dying to enjoy their products) on a disastrously mis-judged campaign – or this blogger is missing something. If the public are not going to rear up on their collective hind legs in moral outrage that innocent
drug peddlers tobacco giants are being treated unfairly – then what is the point of these adverts?
On another excellent blog – Tumeke – well-known left-wing commentator, Chris Trotter made this interesting comment,
” The ads aren’t aimed at us, Bomber, they’re aimed at the newspaper publishers and broadcasting networks.
Add up the amount of money being spent – then look at the response from editors and columnists.
See how it works? “
Well, that’s as valid as any interpretation, I guess.
Because otherwise, BAT has just wasted several hundreds of thousands (millions?) of dollars on a campaign that is futile and doomed to be forgotten.
One final question to tobacco companies…
They make the point,
“If I create it, I should own it.”
Can that same statement be applied to everything else that tobacco companies created?
Like the millions of cancer sufferers who are dying from use of their product?
= fs =