Marlboro Giant Fumes As The Australian Government Plans to ‘Smoke’ Away Tobacco’s Hot Branding
Philip Morris International (PM), the cigarette monster which owns 7 of the top 15 brands in the world and sells products in more than 160 countries, has threatened to sue the Australian government over its harsh new draft laws banning logos and branding from tobacco packaging.
The initiative, which aims at reducing the increasing number of deaths by smoking-related illnesses, Down Under, has received strong opposition, not only from tobacco manufacturers, but also from retailers; some claiming that counterfeit products might find an easier way into the market, and others that compliance costs and transaction times would increase.
Philip Morris holds more than 35% of the market share in Australia; a good reason for the company to fight “in every way possible” for its trademarked intellectual property. According to the BBC, PM already sent a legal notice to the Australian government setting a mandatory three-month negotiation period, and if there isn't an agreement in due time, the company will seek financial compensation.
But the government's plan already has the backing from The World Health Organization and even Chinese health experts have warned of smoking risks - China is the biggest tobacco consumer in the world. If passed, the new laws will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, setting an unprecedented standard for other countries to follow; companies will then have six months to comply with the regulations. It will be (literally) plain and simple.