web analytics
The Standard

The cancer-mongers’ new ads

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, September 23rd, 2012 - 43 comments
Categories: health, spin - Tags:

I reckon my theory that the tobacco industry’s stupid ‘agree/disagree’ ad campaign is actually just a way of chucking millions at cash-strapped media outlets to buy their silence (and even backing from Granny) has been confirmed. By one simple fact. The new TV ad, which appeals to crass nationalism to argue that we shouldn’t adopt the Aussie plain-packaging law, is voiced by an Aussie.

Just shows they’re not even giving a token effort to make their ads remotely convincing.

43 comments on “The cancer-mongers’ new ads”

  1. blue leopard 1

    The biggest concern re the tobacco companies/consortium’s behavior over this issue is the manner in which they are stating that they will take the government to court over this; which has been conveyed with great confidence and no shame.

    This statement involves private interests suing democratically elected interests
    This is a giant leap against democracy
    This is what will occur with greater frequency when the TPPA is finalized.

    • insider 1.1

      As a point of principle, Making sure a government follows its own rules and agreements is not against democracy. Our government is regularly taken to court. It’s a vital part of democracy that we can do so.

      • blue leopard 1.1.1

        Yeah fair point, yet when the legal system solely works for those with access to huge amounts of money, then the bringing in of an agreement where its open slather for foreign companies to sue our government is only going to leave our governments with less money for the people it is supposed to be working for.

        A corporation can afford to pay its lawyers more and the higher a lawyer is paid the more prepared, it seems, they are of making laughable arguments that go against the spirit of the law, yet win in court.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.2

        Making sure a government follows its own rules and agreements is not against democracy.

        But what if those rules and agreements are ones which disadvantage or even harm the citizens of the nation, in favour of foreign parties and overseas capital?

        Shall we still make sure that the Government follows those rules and agreements?

        • insider 1.1.2.1

          Vote For someone who will change it. That’s democracy.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1.1

            No you don’t get it. Once you’re signed up to something like the TPP it’s extremely costly – in every sense of the word – to withdraw. That’s how these agreements are designed.

            Voting in a bunch of new faces makes no difference. That’s why it undermines democracy.

            • insider 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Are there penalty clauses?

              • blue leopard

                @ Insider
                I suggest you ask a large international corporation for any information on TPP; as you should know by now, ordinary NZers are not privy to the details of this agreement-but the corporations are.

                If you are really interested there is a link I left on comment 3.1 which goes into some of the details. Auckland University has an informative site on the subject too.

                • insider

                  It would be surprising if there were any. There are none I know of say in nafta or cer. And referred to in any of the leaks. So I’m surprised to see it described as extremely costly to withdraw.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Naive trusting babe in the woods. What are you, a (global trade) virgin?

                    • insider

                      For someone who seems very confident in your own knowledge of international trade agreements and the extreme costs of withrawing, you seem very shy about providing details of the hows and whys.

                    • blue leopard

                      Insider,

                      I’m unclear how you expect Colonial Viper or anyone else to know the details of the TPPA agreement because the very public criticism of this deal is the unprecedented secrecy that surrounds it.

                      Any detailed information that is available about this deal has been LEAKED.

                      I have left some informative links previously and here are a couple more in the off-chance that you aren’t simply into a shallow argument for arguments sake.

                      “…Many in Congress are understandably concerned about the undemocratic nature of an agreement negotiated in secret being implemented without even the most basic protection – Congressional approval…

                      http://fairdeal.net.nz/2012/07/iitp-time-to-walk-away-from-tppa

                      “‘Trade’ agreement is a misnomer. The TPPA is not primarily about imports and exports. Its obligations will intrude into core areas of government policy and Parliamentary responsibilities. If the US lobby has its way, the rules will restrict how drug-buying agencies Pharmac (in New Zealand) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (in Australia) can operate, and the
                      kind of food standards and intellectual property laws we can have. Foreign investors will be able to sue the government for reducing their profits. The TPPA will govern how we regulate the finance industry or other services, along with our capacity to create jobs at home.”

                      http://tppdigest.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=245&Itemid=64

                    • insider

                      Thanks blue. I was talking about these kind of agreements in general as I understand the TPPA is not known. Thanks for posting the links; I have read a couple.

                      CV was quite clear that “Once you’re signed up to something like the TPP it’s extremely costly – in every sense of the word – to withdraw. That’s how these agreements are designed.” I’ve seen no costs of withdrawal as part of an international agreement of this type. If anything the costs are in membership due to the need to limit your sovereignty. Though that;s not always a bad thing for some countries.

                    • blue leopard

                      Cheers Insider :)

                      I assumed CV was employing a general understanding of contract law. I understand a contract isn’t made without certain obligations from both sides to keep to it and an there is an assumption in my mind that costs are involved in the event that one party wishes to withdraw from it. This is not to take into account the costs of the activity required to set up new arrangements. It may be that a deal such as TPPA doesn’t fall under “contract” law, yet it stands to reason that similar such requirements are involved in any agreement, particularly one cultivating as much legal activity as this one appears to be. I fully acknowledge these to be assumptions however based on a little, but not a whole lot of knowledge on the subject of law.

                      I think it advantageous for all of us to have more transparency in this process, it doesn’t appear to be fair or reasonable that multinational corporations have access to a process that will effect the inner workings of government while the people of each country are being left in the dark.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      TPPA is to be enforced by a system of scouts honour between countries.

                    • blue leopard

                      CV
                      With the implicit knowledge of all members being that there is absolutely no scouts or honour involved you mean?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well you are absolutely right of course. Therefore by deduction, the TPPA uses a system of enforcement considerably sterner than just ‘Scouts Honour’.

                      I was just trying to spell it out for the literal and unimaginative amongst us (insider).

              • Colonial Viper

                How old are you?

  2. tc 2

    I crack up at the line ‘dangers of untested packaging…’ like it’s going to explode or derail and kill people FFS. The packaging is the least harmful part of the deal.

    That would be the same packaging oz would have been using so hardly untested also and the line ‘ we know it’s harmful.. ‘ don’t expect much from our big business rollover gov’t.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Greedy corporations rising to challenge sovereign nations rights to protect their own citizens.

    • blue leopard 3.1

      Precisely CV

      Here is more info for those interested (my emphasis):

      “… The TPP would require the use of the International Centre for Settlement of Investor Disputes (ICSID) — an arbitration board that is an arm of, and controlled by, the World Bank. Cases that go before one of the Centre’s tribunals are decided by a panel of three judges that are selected from a roster. The judges are appointed by the national governments that have signed on to ICSID, which are most of the world’s countries.

      Eight of the judges have been appointed by the United States. EACH IS A LAWYER WHOSE CAREER HAS BEEN SPENT IN THE SERVICE OF LARGE CORPORATIONS. Six are currently partners in some of the world’s most formidable corporate law firms, one is an academic who formerly was a corporate lawyer and one is a lobbyist for a business group that seeks to codify pro-corporate trade rules under law. Five of the eight U.S.-named lawyers have been counsel to various Republican Party administrations and several of the eight specialize in representing corporations before international arbitration boards.”

      http://systemicdisorder.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/trans-pacific-partnership-trade-pact-more-draconian-than-nafta/

      And here is an open letter from lawyers to the negotiators of the trans-pacific partnership urging the rejection of investor-state dispute settlement

      http://tpplegal.wordpress.com/open-letter/

  4. Lanthanide 4

    They say they agree that tobacco is harmful.

    It seems that the discussion should end right there. If they know tobacco is harmful, they should be working in co-operation with health groups and governments to phase it out. The fact that they’re not, just shows they’re in it to make money and nothing else. So why should we listen to anything they have to say?

    • blue leopard 4.1

      I agree that tobacco companies should cooperate with health groups and governments, as opposed to hindering them with their vast profits

      However I would prefer that stress was acknowledged as a major cause of health issues and was taken as seriously as tobacco smoking is now.

      This way governments might see new reason to cut working hours down and have earning hours shared between all New Zealanders, and encouraging better working conditions in the acknowledgement that both overworking and unemployment is bad for stress levels.

      This move would have a remarkable “side-effect” of benefits to our economy too. :)

      http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/99-101/

      • Jokerman 4.1.1

        ironic? that that tory government-lackey Dr advising welfare reform work argued that Not Working was equivalent to smoking 200 packets of cigarettes over 6 months or so.
        What a clown.
        Convalescence from work-slavery is an excellent way to reduce stress and concomitant health implications

        • blue leopard 4.1.1.1

          Convalescence wouldn’t be required if our system ensured the sharing out of labour-not some people over-working and others having no work at all.

          • fatty 4.1.1.1.1

            Yip…in addition to other employment policies, any work over 40 hours per week should be triple time with no exceptions. This will decrease unemployment, increase equality and bring address work/life imbalance.

            • Jenny 4.1.1.1.1.1

              What about shift work. New Scientist published statistics showing that it is at least as dangerous as smoking. Taking an estimated 7 years off the average shift workers life.

              Having done more than my fair share of it. As a joke I once told my employer that I wouldn’t mind so much if they would pay me for those lost 7 years!

              Needless to say he didn’t crack a smile.

              • Colonial Viper

                No one should stay in shift work for longer than 5-10 years. Unless it really appeals to them personally, of course. There needs to be other employment options.

                Also shift work can usually be far more intelligently organised to cause less stress on health, than many places use it now.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      Reading their website, they actually make a schizophrenic argument (emphasis mine):
      “The Government’s plain packaging proposal would require tobacco manufacturers to sell their products in packs that are virtually identical. The manufacturer would no longer have the right to use the intellectual property it has created and in which it has invested.
      “We have invested in our brands over many years and have a responsibility to our shareholders to do everything we can to defend our right to use them.”
      As there is no proof that plain packaging will work to reduce smoking rates, we believe its introduction is a risky experiment at the expense of New Zealand intellectual property and brand owners, as well as those of our trading partners.”

      So it sounds like plain packaging will be advantageous to them. They won’t have to “invest” in their brand any more, and smoking rates aren’t going to change. Sounds like they’ll have fewer costs with the same revenue stream = more profit.

      They also say:
      “It could force the industry to compete on price, making cigarettes more affordable, frustrating the stated aim of plain packaging. Even the Australian Department of Health and Ageing acknowledged that this is a risk inherent in plain packaging.”

      Good thing we have this thing called “excise tax” would could be used to compensate.

      • blue leopard 4.2.1

        These are all legalistic arguments i.e they will use any and as many arguments as they can to confuse the opposition and argument and thus fudge a point…and win.

        I assume branding works out of a deduction that it is unlikely companies would persist in spending oodles on it if it didn’t. (…and also being aware that such companies do plenty of research to ensure that any activity they invest in has positive effects. I acknowledge my arguments are left unresearched; I can’t be bothered to do research of my own on the subject!).

        I believe plain packaging won’t stop people smoking, it may slow the trend down.

        I believe that the banning of displays of the product to be very useful. When I was trying to give up I found that staring at the products whenever I was making any small purchase at a dairy or groceries at a supermarket made it very assessable and wasn’t helpful at all. (I was unsuccessful at giving up, by the way :( )

        I don’t think it is cool to ban a substance completely, yet good to ban the marketing and advertising of an addictive product.

    • Richard Christie 4.3

      @Lanthanide
      They say they agree that tobacco is harmful.

      It seems that the discussion should end right there. If they know tobacco is harmful, they should be working in co-operation with health groups and governments to phase it out. The fact that they’re not, just shows they’re in it to make money and nothing else. So why should we listen to anything they have to say?

      My attitude exactly, you must be reading my mail.

  5. Jokerman 5

    btw, NICOTINE is one of the most ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCES in the pharmocopaeia

    • tc 5.1

      ‘The Insider’ Russll Crowe character said the were know as ‘nicotine delivery devices ‘ within the tobacco company he worked in.

      Note that Jack Larsen and the Laramie cigarette company disappeared from the Simpsons after the big settlements in the States and doesn’t appear on the wikipedia page describing all the other simpsons fictional products aside from it’s use in the Tomacco episode.

      They nailed the behaviour in the few swipes they got in ” federal gov’t regulations prohibit us from…..but we are are allowed to sponsor beauty pagents for 8 year old girls “

      • BernyD 5.1.1

        “sponsor beauty pagents for 8 year old girls“
        One place in society where anonymity would be a good thing.

  6. Richard Christie 6

    “We agree that tobacco is harmful…..”

    Only once they were forced to.
    Anyone who gives them the time of day is a fool in mine eyes.

  7. Jenny 7

    The new TV ad, which appeals to crass nationalism to argue that we shouldn’t adopt the Aussie plain-packaging law, is voiced by an Aussie.

    ZETETIC

    Patriotism, the last refuge of a scoundrel.

    Oscar Wilde

    • Te Reo Putake 7.1

      Zet was pointing out the irony of using an Aussie to voice the ad; nothing to do with patriotism. And the patriotism quote is from Samuel Johnson, not Oscar Wilde.

  8. mike e 8

    I thought tobacco advertising was prohibited this is a sneaky attempt by the tobacco companies to get around the legislation if this were an illegal drug cartel they would be locked up and the Key thrown away!

  9. felix 9

    I see a market opening up for branded or personalised tobacco tins and re-usable pouches…

  10. Anton 10

    I’m enjoying following BAT_NZ on twitter. Today they compared apples, not with oranges, but with cigarettes. On the agree2disagree.co.nz some (I suspect) astroturfing compared plainpacks with the holocaust.

    Its entertainingly daft. If it weren’t killing quite so many people.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

1 2 3 8

  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    7 hours ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    1 day ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    1 day ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    4 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    5 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    5 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    5 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    5 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    6 days ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour looks to put the tea back into entitlements
    Labour is moving to restore the rights of Kiwis to take tea and rest breaks, Leader Andrew Little says. “Within months of the Government’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill becoming law we are already seeing some of our largest companies, including… ...
    6 days ago
  • Desperate money grab to keep Ruataniwha afloat
    The Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company’s decision to borrow $4 million to keep the Ruataniwha project afloat is a case of throwing ratepayer’s good money after bad, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri and Napier MP Stuart Nash.   “This bridging… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago
  • Solid Energy, who will clean up the mess?
    What can you say? This state-owned coal miner is facing some very serious problems. They haven’t run a profit in years, have required two Government bailouts, laid-off more than 700 staff and look like they need a third injection of… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    3 weeks ago

Removed at the request of The Daily Blog.
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere