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:
In 2012 the Government held a 16-week public consultation on whether the UK should adopt standardised (or 'plain') packaging for tobacco products. The consultation received over 665,000 responses, with a substantial majority (427,888) opposed to standard packs. In 2014 the Government conducted a further six-week consultation on the regulations for plain packaging. Together the Prime Minister and the Department of Health received a further 150,000 responses (via the Hands Off Our Packs campaign) opposing plain packs. In September the Government informed the EU it had yet to make a decision on the issue. To inform your MP of your opposition to plain packs and request they forward your views to the relevant ministers, please visit our LAST CHANCE SALOON microsite NOW! To receive updates about our campaign please enter your details below.