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Federal Attorney General (and former Health Minister) Nicola Roxon’s anti-tobacco obsession knows no boundaries. Not content with turning all cigarette packets in Australia into a generic olive green (with large pictures of diseased lungs, gangrenous toes and other ghoulish images), she’s now having a go at British-American Tobacco (BAT) over their ‘Aussie Winnie Reds’ …. that they make and sell in France!
Huh? What’s that got to do with us, or her?
ONE of Australia’s most treasured national icons is being used to flog cigarettes in Europe.
An image of a kangaroo and the phrase “An Australian Favourite” are on packets of Winfield being sold in France.
The branding of the cigarettes, made by British American Tobacco, has angered health groups and the Federal Government
… Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, who as Health Minister led the charge to scrap branding on tobacco products, said the kangaroo packets were “outrageous”.
“Before we know it, we’ll see Sydney Ciggies or Melbourne Menthols,” she said.
“This kind of weaselly marketing tactic will soon have no place here in Australia when all cigarettes will be in plain packaging from December.”
Roxon’s father died from cancer when she was only 10 years old (believed to be smoking related) and, according to her bio, his death devastated her. And it shows. She seems far too emotionally attached to the anti-smoking issue and perhaps was not the right person to be given the health portfolio in the first place. She can’t let go, even though she’s no longer the Health Minister, as the above proves.
Look, Nicola, what BAT does in France is irrelevant to you, to me and to the rest of the country. I actually think BAT’s Aussie Winnie Reds is clever branding and good PR for Australia. What’s next on your wowser agenda? How about banning alcohol advertising – booze kills, you know? Maybe all beer should be in plain packaging too? And as for cars …. ?
In my opinion, if people want to smoke let them. Kids under 18 can’t legally buy cigarettes anyway and I doubt that the current branding on packets entices them to. And when they become adults, well, that’s their choice, The French obviously don’t give a shit about anti-smoking – not like you do – and they seem to live pretty long and healthy lives. Let it go, girl.
One of the things that I really like about Top Gear is the irreverence of it’s presenters and the fact that they love taking the piss out of the seriousness with which some people take some social issues. Now there is no doubt that smoking tobacco is both foolish and very bad for your health. But the brouhaha that has erupted in the wake of Jeremy Clarkson and James May lighting-up “Porsche branded pipes” in segment of the show suggests to me that the political correctness crowd have absolutely no sense of humour.
Lawbreaker: Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson flouted the smoking ban and heaped more embarrassment on the increasingly under-fire BBC
James May lights up the pipe which was filled with a herbal honey mixture and not tobacco – but Richard Hammond, who recently quit smoking chose not to light up
Without even seeing the segment you can tell two things, firstly that no tobacco products were ignited and secondly the gentlemen in question were taking the piss out of brand marketing, not encouraging anyone to take up smoking.
This is the sort of marketing that the likes of Harley Davidson has so cleverly exploited and other auto-makers dream about.
“Iain Se7en” tee shirts anyone?