According to the British Brands Group (BBG), removing branding from tobacco products will effectively requisition the intellectual property rights of legitimate companies. Consumers too will lose out because branding helps us "understand differences between products, distinguish between products almost instantly, and to buy with total confidence".
John Noble, director of the BBG, says: "Branding fulfills many significant and positive functions for both consumers and markets. Take it away and consumers lose out and markets become commoditised, with price rather than quality being the influencing factor".
According to the BBG, "When branding and intellectual property rights are used to achieve policy goals, it is crucial that policy is grounded on a full understanding supported by robust evidence and that a proportionate approach is adopted.
"Intellectual property rights, granted by the state and governed by international treates, must also be taken into account as rights will exist in packaging designs."
The removal of branding on tobacco products could have serious unintended consequences. For example, it may rend useless any harm reduction initiatives including smokeless tobacco products that may benefit future generations of tobacco consumers.
If you support intellectual property rights and believe that branding is crucial to the working of markets, say no to 'plain' packaging now.
Explore more issues around plain packaging:
Last year the Government held a public consultation on whether the UK should adopt standardised (or 'plain') packaging of tobacco products. Over 235,000 people signed the Hands Off Our Packs petition. In total, around 500,000 people signed petitions against plain packaging, compared with 210,000 who signed petitions in favour of the measure. The Department of Health is still reviewing the consultation responses so watch this space. If you would like to receive e-updates about our campaign please enter your details below and click the relevant boxes for Forest/Hands Off Our Packs. You can unsubscribe at any time.