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No, why would I?

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, October 26th, 2012 - 139 comments
Categories: alcohol, spin - Tags: ,

I’ve just seen the cancer-mongers’ latest ad against plain packaging In the ad, an eyeless person trying to buy booze looks horrified when there’s no logos and colourful labels on the beer bottles. Some of the bottles read ‘I don’t mind if alcohol is next’…. It’s meant to be a chilling vision of things to come, I guess. But here’s the thing. No, I don’t mind. I wouldn’t care if alcohol was plain packaged too. Why would anyone?

Why would it matter to anyone if alcohol companies couldn’t put colourful labels on their product? If I want a particular brand, the name will still be there (. If, like most people, I’m just looking for the cheapest non-shit brand then I’m looking at the prices, not the logos. Do the cancer-mongers think we’ll all be like ‘oh no, people won’t know what awesome brand of booze I’m drinking?’

Truth is, it’s all a con. They’re not trying to convince us, they’re buying positive coverage (how much negative coverage of the cancer-mongers have you seen in the news recently) and, incidentally, trying to get the liquor industry on their side.


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139 comments on “No, why would I?”

  1. Kevin Welsh 1

    how much negative coverage of the cancer-mongers have you seen in the news recently?

    Bet they were smirking to themselves over the downfall of Lance Armstrong.

  2. BunzForFunz 2

    I think we should push for plain labels on alcohol now.

  3. Would plain labeling New Zealand wines in New Zealand shops also apply to wine we export?

    • fatty 3.1

      Why on earth would we do that? Plain package to be sold here, if its going overseas then they can put what they want on it

      • Just a question.

        Personally I wouldn’t support plain packaging on liquor for a couple of reasons.

        Firstly NZ has a very well respected, world-wide recognized and lucrative win and beer industry – these NZ companies spend money on their branding and make money from being an identifiable brand. Wellington in particular has a huge ’boutique beer’ industry which unlike DB et al are small companies that rely somewhat on being differentiated from their mass produced crap. It would cost them more than anyone and do we want to treat our winemakers with the same attitude we treat big tobacco?

        Secondly, and i think the big one is, you can be a moderate and responsible drinker and never receive any health problems or social problems so a blanket policy isn’t needed. Unlike smoking which generally addicts everyone.

        Though restrictions could work – I don’t like that pre-mixers are dolled up to look like fizzy drink to attract young drinkers…and young drinkers aren’t reaching for $50 bottles of wine in any case.

        My thoughts.

        • fatty 3.1.1.1

          “Secondly, and i think the big one is, you can be a moderate and responsible drinker and never receive any health problems or social problems so a blanket policy isn’t needed. Unlike smoking which generally addicts everyone.”

          The problem I have with that is that is looking just at the individual, rather than society. Tobacco will give health problems to the user, but as long as they do it outside – then what do I care? If people want to eat/smoke themselves to an early grave, then go for it.
          In contrast many people are victims of alcohol when they are the ones not taking the drug. Victims of violence and abuse…alcohol is destructive to vulnerable people who have no control over who takes that drug….whereas smoking tobacco, and even weed, will be more likely to just damage the user. So I see smoking as being not nearly as bad as alcohol.

          • TheContrarian 3.1.1.1.1

            plain packing of alcohol wouldn’t address the social problems. particularly as the cheapest wines are generally in a clean-skin bottle anyway!

            • fatty 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Its a help…that’s all we can do with violence, try to prevent in a number of ways.
              I don’t subscribe to the argument that “it won’t fix the real problem”. That argument gets used all the time. It was used by the pro-smackers.
              Reason for plain packaging on smoking is the result will be less people smoking.
              A way to stop alcohol fuelled violence is to get less people drinking
              A way to get less people drinking is to force plain packaging.

              The other p[oint I have is that you talked about how micro-breweries will suffer. My answer to that is who cares. If they want to make beer, they can do it without a colourful label. If they want a successful business, they should not get into the drug industry where they are contributing to domestic violence, and then expect to earn heaps of money.

              • Oh well, Agree Disagree and all that

                • fatty

                  Fair enough, we usually do!
                  Most of my arguments on these sorts of things comes from my positioning as an individualist libertarian, and a social socialist. I try to balance individual autonomy with societal well-being. I can see the paradox, but I try to balance that, and there are contradictions based on my values. So I can see why you wouldn’t agree. We all try to balance these issues depending on a number of factors.

                  • I don’t give a shit about tobacco being plain packaged but alcohol is different because unlike tobacco there is massive variation in price, alcohol content, taste, style etc. so plain packaging doesn’t address alcohol content or price whereas tobacco is a relatively consistent price. Plain package or not if you can get smashed for under $20.00 no one will give a shit what the bottle looks like

                    Plus we have a thriving industry and using the boutique beer example, people generally aren’t out getting completely tanked on $10.00 a bottle whisky beer and are smashing themselves on cheap plonk.

                    Which is why I think you want to hit price before hitting plain packing – if you want to follow the tobacco example.

                    But yeah, it is academic at this point because plain packaged booze hasn’t been floated.

                    • fatty

                      Hitting the price would work, but I think the real reason for the reduction in smokers is not the price. Its the way smoking has been stigmatised. Today a smoker is seen as stupid, and that is where we need to take excessive alcohol use.
                      I’d like to see plain packaging, increased taxes on booze and the stigmatisation of drunkenness. Obviously there should be no advertising of booze, and there should be an end to blaming youth. I roll my eyes whenever I see or hear the term alco-pop. It usually means someone is about to perpetuate the myth that teen drinking is the main alcohol issue in NZ.

                    • felix

                      I don’t really care how they package alcohol or baccy, I mean seriously, is this the most important thing we have to deal with at the moment? Meh whatever.

                      But plain labels would make choosing wine trickier for me as I’m quite ignorant and usually just look for something with a picture of an animal on it.

                    • Animal?

                      Try the ones with an old farm cottage or a water wheel.

                    • felix

                      mmm that sounds nice, thanks for the tip.

                    • But stay away from the ones the have Flax or bi-planes on the labels.

                      unusual names in bold writing are pretty good too

                    • McFlock

                      um – there’s almost as much variation in tobacco as there is in alcohol. 
                         
                      It’s just that the bulk of it was in generic tailormades, just like much of the alcohol sold today is in generic beers and wines. 
                           

                    • felix

                      I’ll buy pretty much anything with a monkey on it.

              • prism

                fatty no number
                “A way to stop alcohol fuelled violence is to get less people drinking”
                No its to get more people drinking less and being less reliant on alcohol to be happy or a person with apparent friends. I was talking to a European about this the other day. I think his observation is that without pubs men in NZ wouldn’t gather and talk to each other.

                • fatty

                  True…I think get less people drinking, and those that do drink should drink less, as I said before – ‘Today a smoker is seen as stupid, and that is where we need to take excessive alcohol use.’

        • lprent 3.1.1.2

          Ummm. You’re talking about two different things in your first point. How stuff gets sold inside NZ has nothing to do with how it is sold offshore. You only have to go to any store worldwide and look for NZ products to see how differently they are presented offshore. So why does a domestic policy make any difference? Besides which I suspect that most if not all of the wines exported already have different labels – it isn’t like that is a large part of the product cost..

          • Populuxe1 3.1.1.2.2

            1) we also have a thriving domestic market.
            2) Generally speaking, at least in Australia, the UK and the EU as far as I’ve seen the bottles don’t have different labels for the serious brands.
            3) To rob me of my ability to choose is to take away my fundamental human rights, so either make it illegal (and we all know how well that worked out last time) or stuff off.
            4) Wines, spirits and some beers vary enormously in terms of terroir, flavour, boquet, type and so forth, even down to cultivated variations from year to year and therefore they need to be identifiable. The real problem is that pre-mixed anti-freeze called alcopops.

            • The Baron 3.1.1.2.2.1

              Oh my god, alcopops finally surface. Where is your evidence as to that being a problem?

              Because all of the “evidence” I have seen is actually ageist misogyny – how DARE those young women drink a pre-mixed vodka! I have no evidence that they haven’t substituted that for something else, or evidence that any increase in young women’s drinking habits is related to the moronic label of “alcopops”, but I srill want them banned anyway!

              of course, as soon as I ban them, these young women will sober up and start crocheting at home, won’t they – like all us men want them to.

              My point – the wowser side of the debate here in NZ has gone to ridiculous levels. Yeah, we have a problem in NZ with too many people getting too boozed and beating the shit out of each other. Taking a pretty label off things isn’t gonna change that – Double Brown has always been in an ugly brown can after all. And neither will stopping Cindy and her friends from drinking vodka cruisers at the afterball.

              • Populuxe1

                I don’t want them banned, but they are essentially hooch and fizz

                • The Baron

                  So they’re a problem simply because you don’t like them then?

                  Thanks for that.

                  • Populuxe1

                    They are a problem because they are relentlessly pushed at vulnerable young people. Personally I’d rather focus on education – I don’t ban things

                    • Daveosaurus

                      They’re nothing new. Fizzy alcoholic lolly-water was around 25 years ago, only then it was called “wine cooler”.

                      As to the main subject of the article… This entire campaign is outright cigarette advertising dressed up as something it isn’t. They’re even advertising them during kids’ shows! The sooner those crooked fuckers in the fag-pushing business get treated the same was as P dealers, the better.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Please keep up with industry trends.

                      “Wine cooler” did not have 15g/sugar per 100mL, it was not made out of industrial byproduct alcohol, did not contain caffeine, and was not targeted en masse at 16 year olds.

                    • QoT

                      They are a problem because they are relentlessly pushed at vulnerable young people.

                      [citation needed]

                      I speak as someone who recently had to argue with two very well-educated, well-informed people over the age of 40 who didn’t realise that “alcopops” (warning, use of this term proves you don’t really know what you’re talking about) are only sold in liquor stores, where underage drinkers should not be able to buy them anyway.

                    • Lanthanide

                      QoT – your blog would be more convincing if, in the midst of educating people about “alcopops”, you didn’t parrot the rubbish about “sugar highs” which don’t actually exist but were invented by parents who see normally active children after they’ve had a sugary drink and imagine they’re hyperactive.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_common_misconceptions#Human_body_and_health

                      Under “Nutrition, food and drink”

                    • QoT

                      Lanth, all that says is that “it’s a myth that sugar causes hyperactivity in children”, and specifically seems to be talking about long-term or chronic hyperactivity due to a high-sugar diet.

                      Which isn’t the same as the buzz a person may get after consuming a horribly sugary Vodka Cruiser. So … gosh, I guess I’ll just have to remain “unconvincing” to you. So sad.

              • millsy

                Today’s wowserism is more social snobbery than anything else.

                If youre young, female, poor or brown, then you cannot be trusted to hold your liqour.

                Whenever I see a news item about booze in the paper, it always footage of young women in short skirts stumbling around and vomiting everywhere, no middle aged farmers at the rugby club in Ekatahuna or MP’s and their hangers on in the beehive bar.

                And at my work place it is the older, more respectable types that go on about boozing more than the younger ones.

                And the left is stupidly signing up to this bullshit.

                Disclaimer: I dont drink much, but that is because I simply do not like the taste of alcohol, though I am partial to dropping some bourbon in my coke to make it flow down easier.

                • QoT

                  it always footage of young women in short skirts stumbling around and vomiting everywhere

                  And you may have noted that it’s always young women who are labelled as “youth drinkers” or “teen drinkers” even though no evidence of their age is actually produced.

                  • QoT

                    Should clarify my phrasing – it’s “always young women” is quoting you, millsy, not implying that the media never shows groups of men acting drunkenly and being labelled “youth” or “teen” drinkers without proof.

          • infused 3.1.1.2.3

            Because it’s hypocritical that’s why. We plain package here like internet warriors, then you will bitch and moan when it happens overseas.

        • North 3.1.1.3

          In rational terms the issue is not about alcohol anyway.

          That’s just an awfulised construct put about by bastards of the corporate who seek a continuing flow of massive profits out of knowingly destroying the health of virtually every person who uses the addictive product they peddle.

          Then they have the stinking, cynical, heartless cheek to ask people to respect their “property”, viz. their brands, to ask people to militate on their behalf. Meanwhile while they don’t give a fuck about the health of the very people they’re appealling to.

          I’d actually like to see those bullshit ads banned and fuck their “rights”. And those in New Zealand who’re doing this bullshit, particularly the amoral silky voice over, named and shamed. It’s the essence of vile capitalism.

          Profits (theirs) matter so, so much…….people don’t matter a shit.

        • henrietta 3.1.1.4

          ” I don’t like that pre-mixers are dolled up to look like fizzy drink to attract young drinkers…and young drinkers aren’t reaching for $50 bottles of wine in any case.” &
          ” mass produced crap.”

          Say you. So, in your perfect world all decisions would be based on your holier than thou snobbish attitudes. I spend more, therefore I’m right.

          You can pour yourself a gin and tonic but it doesn’t look anything like the RTD your child might consume ? And no one ever got pissed drinking “craft brewed” beer, cause, you know, they’re a better class of drinker ?

          dick

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      You mean like cleanskins?

  4. ianmac 4

    Cigarette Companies have very very deep pockets. Hence the constant showing of those weird ads on TV.
    Hey why stop at plain packaging/labelling of cigarettes and alcohol? How about just “Sanitarium Marmite, Ingredients. Plain label” and for all those misleading products. :”Birds Eye. Chicken Chips. Ingredients.”

  5. Adrian 5

    Lets not have a brand on anything then. Not on chocolate, coffee , tea, porridge, butter, margarine, bikes, toys, cars, absolutely anything. What a cool world, just like North Korea. Fuck off!.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      How dare companies be forced to compete on quality, consistency and price, instead of advertising and image/emotion-driven branding?

      • infused 5.1.1

        How would you know what company it is?

        • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1

          There are things called companies, which have names, and things called brands, which companies own and market their products under.

          For example:
          http://i.huffpost.com/gen/585370/original.jpg

          Instead of having all those brands on products and their associated marketing and imaging, lets just have plain packaging with the name of the product and the name of the company.

    • fatty 5.2

      Why do pretty packages and branding make your life better Adrian?

    • Colonial Viper 5.3

      Oh let’s take this one step at a time.

      Black and white labelling is fine. Let them use their logos and whatever for now.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1

        Yep. Just been thinking about it and I really can’t remember any wine or beer that came with a super fancy label. Limit the labeling to white with black writing (no images) and a crest no larger than a 20c piece. Could probably do the same to tobacco.

        • TheContrarian 5.3.1.1

          Which is supposed to do what? Change the price of alcohol? Send a message that binge drinking is not good? Get people to think about the health problems? Change societal views on alcohol?

          Before plain packaging was floated for tobacco there were restrictions placed on tobacco spanning 20 years which changed pricing, forced people to confront the health issues and changed the public perception of smoking.

          Merely changing the branding on alcohol without confronting any of the above isn’t going to change shit

        • The Baron 5.3.1.2

          Yep, I’ve been thinking about it and I really think less people would become incredibly irritated if you wore a black sack on your head all the time and taped your mouth shut.

          Since this is the standard of evidence for legislating that we are committing to now, I’m sure this will have your full support, Draco.

      • The Baron 5.3.2

        Never met a problem you can’t solve without controls eh…

        Any evidence there that any of this will change behaviours? Oh no, typical lefty brainfarts of “good ideas” without evidence yet again. Now maybe you lot are so fucking stupid that you go out and get drunk cos someone puts pretty pictures on things – but I doubt anyone else is. Truth be told, you have no idea – legislating off the hoof again, are we.

        Yet again, the moronic NZ left wants to play nanny and thinks it would be a brilliant idea to win elections by fucking around with alcohol – both pricing and labelling. How well did that go down the first time, wowser patrol?

        • fatty 5.3.2.1

          “Any evidence there that any of this will change behaviours?”

          Ask anyone involved in advertising how image works…it won’t matter if they are left wing or right wing.

          “Yet again, the moronic NZ left wants to play nanny and thinks it would be a brilliant idea to win elections by fucking around with alcohol – both pricing and labelling.”

          I don’t think this tread is about how to get votes…its about NZ’s abuse of a drug called alcohol.

          • TheContrarian 5.3.2.1.1

            “Ask anyone involved in advertising how image works…it won’t matter if they are left wing or right wing.”

            If you really think just changing a bottle to a plain package is going to change social attitudes to alcohol then you seriously kidding your self . People who drink to get plastered don’t give a fuck about branding. They want to get drunk.

            • McFlock 5.3.2.1.1.1

              So impulse-control-limited drinkers don’t have purchase habits affected by pretty packaging, but responsible drinkers will spend money based in part on the pretty label?
                 
              Otherwise, why would plain packaging be an issue?

              • plain packaging doesn’t address any of the societal issues associated with binge drinker and it’s culture, the price of alcohol, youth drinking and crime associated with alcohol.

                Also, if you go out drinking in bars plain packaging isn’t going to make any difference whatsoever to people getting plastered..

                NZ has a very well respected, world-wide recognized and lucrative win and beer industry – these NZ companies spend money on their branding and make money from being an identifiable brand. Wellington in particular has a huge ’boutique beer’ industry which unlike DB et al are small companies that rely somewhat on being differentiated from their mass produced crap

                • fatty

                  “NZ companies spend money on their branding and make money from being an identifiable brand.”

                  Yes, branding is a very big part of alcohol consumption.

                  • You miss the point. The branding isn’t making people to drink more.
                    Those boutique brands are frequently in the top price end so no one is drinking them to get plastered – it is the cheap liquors that people are getting plastered on, not $10.00 a bottle whisky porters – with or without a plain label

                    • fatty

                      “You miss the point. The branding isn’t making people to drink more.”

                      No, I get your point…my point is that branding contributes to the image of alcohol which creates a society where alcohol is embedded in our culture. Removing branding is part of the way we can reduce the normalisation of alcohol.
                      I get your point, branding isn’t making people drink more directly…but it is part of the problem.

                  • Populuxe1

                    It’s a very big part of all consumption; the only reason I buy generic brands is because they’re cheaper. Fiddling with branding only affects the brand you choose, not the product all together.

                  • The Baron

                    No, branding is a very big part of alcohol MARKETING AND COMPETITION.

                    Show me a link, ANY LINK AT ALL, that backs up your claim.

                    • McFlock

                      lol
                         
                      So branding in now way affects the size of the pie, it just affects how big each player’s piece is? 

                    • The Baron

                      Arguing an assertion via a question still doesn’t work when it includes confusing spelling mistakes.

                      Onus on you to back up your policy prescription, pal – I’m not the one making things up on the hoof.

                    • fatty

                      The typo from McFlock probably shouldn’t be too confusing…’now’ should be ‘no’.
                      Do you care to answer McFlock’s question, or are you gonna stick with your ‘I can’t understand’ position?…does marketing increase the size of the pie, or does it not?..sound’s like you made that one up on the hoof.

                      Here’s a link for you about how marketing, including labels, increasing consuption

                    • fatty

                      shit! typo alert!!!

                      That last word should be consumption, not consuption.
                      Let me know if you can’t get your head around that…I can redo the post if its too confusing

                    • McFlock

                      typows. Deal with it.

                      Anyway, quick google brought up an old Alcohol Healthwatch paper talking about (among other things) liquor industry marketing strategies, brand attachment development and so on, and it’s reasonably well referenced. 
                             
                      But really, I agree with your point: branding is about marketing and competition. A key strategy in marketing is to find new markets and increase consumption in current markets. And beat your competition to them. 
                           
                      Essentially, you’re arguing that liquor industry marketing (including brand labelling) revolves around competing for relative portions of a static market. Frankly, if that were true, their marketing managers are idiots. 

                    • The Baron

                      Thanks for providing a link. I have skimmed it – there is indeed plenty in here about the harm caused by alcohol advertising. In fact, all of the recommendations in this report relate to constraints on alcohol advertising.

                      We already restrict reasonably heavily how alcohol can be advertised here NZ. I am I’m not arguing that these restrictions aren’t warranted.

                      I see however nothing in here about alcohol branding itself as a factor separate from advertising – or nothing that relates to the original topic of this conversation, plain packaging.

                      My point remains – removing packaging is a dumbass idea with no evidence that it would change anything. I don’t like legislation on ANYTHING being made on dumb ideas, gut feels and best guesses – and neither should you. That’s a recipe for a pretty shitty democracy.

                    • While that is true – the market is not static, not all brands are competing for the same market.

                      Tui for example is aimed at a much different market the Renaissance for example.

                      Tui has promotions like getting a free pizza if you buy 24, basically targeting people to drink more of their product whereas Renaissance aims at those who want to drink a single, albeit larger, beer for taste an experience therefore they do not sell in large quantities such as 24 packs.

                      So not all branding is created equal, unlike tobacco because a cigarette is a cigarette and there is very little difference in how they wish you to consume their product.

                      So the arguement for plain packing on alcohol is not equivalent to the same argument for tobacco packaging.

                    • McFlock

                      TB – there was a small section on the establishment of brand allegiance, with references.
                         
                      TC – tobacco is a diverse product. Snuff, snus, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, and cigars, all with different flavours and infused with different substances. The mechanism which made the bulk of sales to be tailies with minor variation in the last hundred years is the same mechanism that encourages companies to cover up harm their products cause, makes fast food a major food source, and makes the difference between a north island beer and an otago beer the amount of caramelised sugar in the vat. 
                           
                       

                • McFlock

                  But surely their differentiation is in their quality, not the label?
                       
                  And bear in mind that heavy drinkers would constitute a large proportion of the consumption, so basically all the money spent on branding must be spent in mind that it’s ignoring that core group.
                         
                  Indeed, on that basis Tui marketing in particular seems to concentrate on moderate drinking by high-end consumers who make consumption choices based on quality [yeah, right]. And I take it you know the link between packaging and advertising as brand strategy, i.e. that the packaging should cue the emotions experienced from the other advertising? 

                  • Colonial Viper

                    For a certain type, it’s the badge on the sportscar which counts, you know.

                    • Populuxe1

                      There’s usually a reason behind that, however

                    • RedBaron

                      Surely your female friends have told you that sportscars are the ultimate in dodgy packaging and false advertising. The contents are usually many, many times older than the pack. In some cases the inner is almost preserved.

                      BTW if one goes for the wagon wheel packaging does that mean driving down the old coach road.

                      Why don’t cigarette companies have to put free nicotine patches with each pack?

            • fatty 5.3.2.1.1.2

              “If you really think just changing a bottle to a plain package is going to change social attitudes to alcohol then you seriously kidding your self”

              No, I don’t think that and I never said that…I actually said the opposite

          • The Baron 5.3.2.1.2

            No, its about wowsers who want to stop people from having a drink at a reasonable price. And all those wowsers are in the Labour party.

            You think the electorate wont notice what colour rosette was responsible for 8pm closing of the bottle stores? Or the minimum price of a bottle of wine being $16? Or any number of other brain farts in this thread?

            Come back when you’ve got some research and evidence to back up your policy. I’m not going to ask anyone in advertising – these aren’t my bright ideas, and I don’t think the public is that stupid. YOU do. So onus on you.

            • Colonial Viper 5.3.2.1.2.1

              Key listened to you when he went soft on drink driving.

              • The Baron

                Again, when he went soft on the lack of evidence to support the need for change?

                Blinkers off CV. I’m no Key fan – I am a fan though of decisions and legislation based on evidence and need, not slogans and moronic assertions.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Key made this decision on the basis of “evidence”?

                  Yes, evidence from the alcohol barons.

        • millsy 5.3.2.2

          The right also has its wowswers — they just dont like poor people drinking. Or young people. Or females.

    • North 5.4

      Well Adrain your coffee, your tea, your porridge, your etc etc etc doesn’t actually bloody kill you.

      What a dickhead. Talk about thick, dissembling thinking.

      • Bob 5.4.1

        North, you state “Well Adrain your coffee, your tea, your porridge, your etc etc etc doesn’t actually bloody kill you”, wrong, caffeine is toxic at high doses and has been linked to certain types of cancers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine so lets wrap that in plain packaging, that’ll fix the problem. Eating large amounts of chocolate can result in theobromine poisoning, why isn’t this in plain packaging too? Potatoes, tomatoes, rhubarb, apples, cherries and almonds can all be toxic, plain packaging for them as well then.

        Plain packaging could be used as a last resort (like they are doing with tobacco even though I still don’t agree with that), but should not be even thought of as a first port of call. Why don’t we just ban packaging more than 4 beers together at the shelf (no more boxes of 12/24 encouraging over consumption), and only allow 1 or 2 bottle/s of wine per person at point of sale? It won’t stop people buying more, but makes it harder which discourages excess drinking. Much more than plain packaging anyway!

  6. Rich 6

    They *do* sell wine in bottles with plain labels. They’re called cleanskins, and are a kind of lottery as to whether you get a decent bottle of plonk.

    • Lightly 6.1

      cleanskins aren’t what’s being talked about. Plain packaged cigarettes will still say what brand and type they are.

  7. Steve Wrathall 7

    How about plain packaging on all socialist propaganda, except for the warning label: “Harmful to your health, liberty, etc”

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Because that would be a lie which is against the rules. Although, it could be applied to RWNJ propaganda.

      [lprent: Lying is not against the rules here. Who in the hell can absolutely say what is a lie and what is not?

      However not arguing about it and effectively treating such a statement as being absolute irrefutable fact by an act of faith would be against the rules. That also includes most arguments that wind up as “because I said so” rather than “because that is my opinion” (often with it’s subtext of “because I only looked at things that reinforced that opinion”) which is invariably what people mean.

      Of course the derision caused by knowingly putting forward a self-evident falsehood is usually pretty intense… Why do you think that The Contrarian gets so much action.]

    • Uturn 7.2

      Could have done with that years ago. I was addicted. Back then everyone was into it, slogan this, slogan that, groups of people at parties swapping free slogans. Of course it was just a gateway into the hard stuff, open discussion, free thought and examining ideas. Pretty soon everything made sense, people were smiling and co-operating, communities shared resources. Sometimes I’d wake up full of optimism. Ruined my life, it did.

      But it doesn’t have to be that way. Thanks to the neo-liberal revolution, I see I was just repressing my desire to hate the poor and vulnerable. No attack is too cowardly, no interest is too selfish. Now I set myself free by imprisoning others, find confidence in the oppression of the less able. Don’t let socialist propaganda trick you into thinking life can be good. It’s not worth it.

  8. Perhaps all politicians should be plain packaged?

    Grey jumpsuits for all.

  9. Urban Rascal 9

    I actually like abit of colour and design in my life. Nothing is as drull and orwellian in my mind as a bottle store with the same bland labels.
    I look with disdain on people overreaching their rights to dictate to smokers and drinkers what their product can look like. A gold embossed cardboard might not mean much to you but it’s a beautiful design element to me and who are you to tell me that graphic design/advertising doesn’t inherently beautify the bland and boring?

  10. Populuxe1 10

    This is such a bunch of sanctimonious bullshit wowserism. It’s bad enough the pearl-clutchers in Parliament have reduced me to feeling like I’m getting methadone whenever I want to pick up some cigarettes if I feel like a night out, but I fail to see how being able to identify a decent Pinot Grigio from a mediocre Sav Blanc can possibly offend your your sense of social justice – nor should cigarette packaging either. Haven’t you got something important to do, like criticising this government’s treatment of workers and the unemployed for example? And in any case, the ads are not terribly subtle, their origin is clearly lampshaded, and as far as I’m concerned they’re no different to MAF putting out ads attacking the govt’s proposed changes to the WOF.

    • Lightly 10.1

      I don’t think anyone’s seriously talking about plain packaging booze. Zet’s just pointing out that the cancermongers’ ‘slippery slope’ isn’t as terrible as they make out.

    • vto 10.2

      “This is such a bunch of sanctimonious bullshit wowserism. ”

      Exactly.

      Though I suppose plain labelling could be done so that it becomes a colouring-in label. That would make more sense as these over-bearing wanker wowsers treat everyone else like children. The truth is that it is they who are the children.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      but I fail to see how being able to identify a decent Pinot Grigio from a mediocre Sav Blanc

      I suggest learning to read.

      • Colonial Viper 10.3.1

        P1 buys his alcohol by how flashy the pacaging is

        • Populuxe1 10.3.1.1

          Actually no, I like good design and I rely on distinctive packaging in order to identify my preferred tipple without wasting time. I suppose if you drink good old proletarian Meths it probably doesn’t matter so much.

      • Populuxe1 10.3.2

        It’s called hyperbole. It’s a rhetorical technique. I’m sorry if that’s too much for you.

  11. vto 11

    I propose alcohol-free days like Muldoon did with cars.

    This would bring down alcohol consumption and mean less violence.

  12. vto 12

    I propose minimum pricing for alcohol because most alcohol is drunk by the poor.

    The rich don’t get violent or abusive or drink too much so they die early.

  13. vto 13

    I propose alcohol stamps, limiting the quantity each person can have each week.

    About a six-pack is what I think people need per week.

    • David H 13.1

      I dunno, personally the older I have got the less I drink, and its even less since I gave away the gaspers a few years ago.

      • The Baron 13.1.1

        Thanks for using your poor lifestyle choices as a grounds for imposing a policy on everyone else then?

    • “I propose alcohol stamps, limiting the quantity each person can have each week.
      About a six-pack is what I think people need per week.”

      People don’t ‘need’ any. What are you are suggesting borders on fascism.

      Though thank you for deciding how much alcohol I am allowed to drink. Me, who has never been arrested, hurt anyone, stolen anything, or done anything other than have a good time when drinking.

      • vto 13.2.1

        whooosh ……. was trying to use ridicule to expose the exact thing you describe mr contrarian, namely other people making decisions about one’s own life in matters entirely personal.

        now, off to the bottlie. though I’m now a bit worried all the pretty labels will make me drink more

  14. vto 14

    Ban alcohol.

    That would mean less violence.

  15. vto 15

    I know, got it at long last.

    Ban violence!

  16. Rich 16

    How about quality rules, like the Reinheitsgebot? All alcoholic drinks would have to meet certain minimal standards of production quality and pass a taste test.

    This is of course, a more aesthetic way of ensuring that the rich can drink what they want and the prolescum can’t. Much more aesthetic than e.g. having a drinking license only granted to higher rate taxpayers and their dependents.

  17. Iris 17

    Hang in there!

    Am with you 100%!

    Crazy Love you!

  18. Iris 18

    I see you. Love you too.

  19. Iris 19

    Hey honeybun, I just thought I would just let you know, again, that I love you.

    You are my child, my ‘only’ child and I will not lose you- ever.

    Final.

  20. infused 20

    More of an idiot that I thought. If you’re a cheap ass, maybe you don’t care. Cool, stfu.

  21. Bill 21

    So everyone reading or commenting here is literate. Obviously.

    But for a very large minority of people who can’t read or write, packaging is the only way they have of identifying products or a particular quality of product – via recognition of a brand’s distinctive packaging. Jist sayin.

    Then again. Packaging, rather than the labels they carry, consumes a fuck of a lot of the cost of production with regards some products and is nothing more than manufactured pollution. Tic-tac anyone?

  22. Make alcohol prohibitively expensive and it will end up like in the days of US alcohol prohibition (with home brewing and gangs selling alcohol) or the ‘war on drugs’. Banning all advertising is an interesting idea though, maybe they can start with those annoying TV ads. xD

    • xtasy 22.1

      ONLY under the condition we have full right blown REVOLUTION and change this crap society! Otherwise your suggestion is perversion, often perpetrated by religious zealots, not allowing AnY escapy or consolation, making the collaborators to NAZI like systems, same as the present capitalist system. I wish all you screwed up pc obsessed lefties would get real and roll into the suburbs where the shit happens, but you are largley white, middle class liberal lefties, wanting to tell others how they should bloody live. That make you no better than the nazi pc right wing arse holes, to be honest. Take a damned hike and offer some real jobs, training and opportunities rather than rubbish the proletarian last escape. You are just more social NAZIS!

  23. I want to see every Bottle / Can display a clear picture of a smashed up car & warnings outlining the dangers associated with the consumption of alcohol

  24. xtasy 24

    WHY not drink yourselves to death, as the future is not looking great and thrilling, or even prosperous. What is all this fuss about? Have another one, drink, drink and be merry, as there will be NO tomorrow worth living in, given the crap we get day in and out! Id rather be dead tomorrow than put up with more crap week by week, as my life is a shit life, not worth living for at all anymore, thank you Hone Key, Wanker and SS merchant!

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