Japan Tobacco International (JTI), whose brands include Silk Cut, Mayfair and Benson amp; Hedges, has launched the second phase of its campaign to raise awareness of the potential impact of plain packaging proposals.
This phase of the campaign is focused on how the illicit trade (which is already said to cost the exchequer £3bn a year in lost duty) could thrive at the expense of the legitimate; how small businesses could be affected by yet more ineffective regulation; and the potential impact on the economy at both a local and national level.
The timing of the campaign (running until next week) coincides with the political party conference season, when the economy and business is set to dominate the agenda.
Martin Southgate, managing director UK for JTI, said: “The Government has said that it is looking to small and medium sized businesses to lead us out of the recession, however the plain packaging proposals threaten those same businesses at a time when they are most vulnerable.
“Tobacco is a key driver of turnover and footfall for community stores. Our campaign will therefore focus on explaining the issues, how the illegal trade in tobacco products is already affecting retailers, and how it could get worse”.
“The UK is meant to be open for business and growth is meant to be the Governments top priority. Plain packaging will seriously undermine that”.
An estimated 500,000 people have already registered their opposition to the introduction of plain packaging in the UK. Those people who have responded include wholesalers, members of the public as well as retailers, packaging companies, marketing and design firms, manufacturers, politicians, business groups, trade unions, the Intellectual Property community, international Features > Business, trade associations and the law enforcement community.