'Facepalm' and 'muppets' spring to mind
In the desperate search for any old tripe to hide the fact that there is, quite simply, no evidence in favour of plain packaging, Cancer Research UK today tweeted this.
Why do people choose particular tobacco brands? It’s not just the cigarette, so end the #packetracket! #justsayinCoupled with this 1990s quote, presumably from a tobacco company employee (I'm giving the benefit of the doubt, because Lord have mercy on their sanity if they really have chosen a quote from Stanton 'wibble' Glantz).
"In other words, the product itself is only one element that contributes to the consumer's decision to buy a particular cigarette"Ain't that a body blow for those of us opposed to plain packaging, eh? A right bombshell, and no mistake! It's check mate with bells on, so it is.
Unless, of course, you're not an easily-gulled tobacco control groupie with little grasp of nuances in the English language. Because all the unthinking drones who robotically retweeted this were kindly making the tobacco industry's case for them.
The clue is in the word "particular", see?
I know CRUK's faithful lapdogs won't understand this, but any business - and tobacco companies are just like any other - attempts to distinguish itself from its rivals so that you buy their product rather than someone else's. It's called competition.
The tobacco industry has said all along that their branding and logos are designed specifically for this purpose, that is to buy their 'particular' (see how the word works?) brands rather than those of their competitors. It's a major plank of their defence against the government's barking mad plan, for heaven's sake!
You know what I think happened? I think CRUK believe their supporters are so very stupid that they aren't able to recognise the difference between consumers choosing a 'particular' brand over another, and choosing cigarettes over not choosing cigarettes.
CRUK were correct. They fell for it hook, line and sinker.
Sadly for CRUK and the wider tobacco control industry, this still isn't any evidence to prove that people start buying tobacco products because of the branding, which is kinda the point, isn't it?
I'm beginning to wonder if we will ever see anything more than water-muddying and dancing around the tricky questions from the plain packs campaign. Well, that and incompetence, of course.