brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 23, 2013 02:50 PM
Cigarette warning labels haven’t changed a bit in the last 30 years, despite lots of data being unearthed in that time on the dangers of smoking and plenty of efforts by the government and consumer groups to have those labels changed. The main reason no change has occurred is because of the undying efforts of Big Tobacco’s legal departments.
Those departments took a hit Monday when the Supreme Court rejected Big Tobacco’s efforts to challenge a 2009 federal law “that requires graphic warning labels on cigarettes and expanded marketing restrictions on tobacco products,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
This doesn’t mean that smokers will soon be carrying around cigarette packs with gruesome images such as a sewn-up cadaver, a crying woman who apparently has lung cancer, smoke coming out of a man’s trachea, and other such unpleasant sights. It will take time to get new images approved and they will likely go through their own legal challenges along the way. Plus, last August, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit “ruled that the proposed labels violated the tobacco industry's free-speech rights under the First Amendment,” the Journal reminds. The Obama Administration later said “it wouldn't mount a further legal defense of the labels, leaving the agency to consider new proposals."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 3, 2013 06:06 PM
It’s been in the hands of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and now it’s in the hands of a slew of lawyers. The Cuban Cohiba, considered for decades to be the nation’s best cigar and a symbol of high-end swank the world over, has been spending a fair amount of time in court over the last 16 years.
In that time, the issue has been between the General Cigar Co. and Cubatabaco, the Cuban state tobacco company. The pair have been battling over the cigar’s trademark in the United States. Recently, the U.S. Trademark and Appeal Board dismissed Cubatabaco’s petition that was trying to keep General from using the cohiba name in the United States, Cigar Aficionado reports.
That General won the latest round did not sit well with folks in Cuba, where the Havana Times headlined its story about the case with “Cuba’s Cohiba Trademark Theft Gets OK.”
There are, of course, two different cohibas.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 26, 2013 04:17 PM
Cigarette buyers in Uruguay, Thailand, Australia and about 35 other countries and jurisdictions all have to deal with nasty images on the packs that remind them of just how unhealthy smoking can be. But the FDA, despite years of trying, can’t seem to get the same thing done in the United States.
Last week, the agency abandoned its long battle to put such images on packs as it faced an April 5 deadline of whether to appeal a court ruling that favored Big Tobacco. Don’t think the plan is totally dead, though. The FDA will “undertake research to support a new rulemaking consistent with the Tobacco Control Act," MedicalDaily.com reports.Continue reading...
long arm of the law
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 19, 2013 12:29 PM
When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg steps down from his current job on January 1 of next year, he might want to go find employment with a vice squad. Bloomberg was dealt a recent blow when his move to stop New Yorkers from purchasing oversized sodas was struck down by the court, but never one to give up, he's now got his eyes on controlling cigarette sales in the Big Apple.
The mayor on Monday introduced proposed legislation that would require New York cigarette sellers to hide cigarette packs from consumers so the brands aren’t given any free advertising and consumers don’t break down at the point of purchase and pick up a few smokes. The mandate is similar to one recently proposed in Singapore, to the dismay of Big Tobacco.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 21, 2013 11:48 AM
Australia’s smokers had to start purchasing cigarette packs with extremely graphic images on the front last December, which did not sit well with the world’s Big Tobacco companies, whose lawyers have been set loose to try and repeal the Aussies' anti-smoking efforts. Now, New Zealand is ready to enact a similar effort that will remove branding from cigarette packages and sell them with plain wrapping.
New Zealand, however, won’t push forward with the practice until it sees how all that legal wrangling works out for its larger neighbor.
“This announcement demonstrates that the New Zealand government recognizes the significant international trade issues with standardized packaging and will not implement it until the pending international legal challenges to Australia’s law are resolved,” Philip Morris said in a statement. “There is no credible evidence that standardized packaging will lower smoking rates, but strong evidence that it will jeopardize jobs, benefit the black market for cigarettes, and is a breach of international trade rules that have already made Australia’s policy subject to WTO action.”
The WTO actions were set in motion by a few nations that happen to be—surprise!—big producers of tobacco: Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Indonesia.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 18, 2013 05:31 PM
Nike and Oakley drop paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorious following steroid allegations during girlfriend's murder investigation.
Costco CEO addresses Tiffany suit for alleged trademark infringement in all-company email (exclusive).
Starbucks expands India footprint to seven stores as company tests video chat drive-through ordering and expands Starbucks Evenings concept to Washington's Dulles airport.
Carnival cruiseship fire blamed on fuel line leak.
China vows to crack down on "malicious" trademark registrations.
Disney's Hong Kong Disneyland theme park finally turns a profit thanks to Toy Story attraction.
Amway quietly builds brands and racks up sales.
BP prepares to go to court over Gulf spill.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 14, 2012 03:01 PM
It has been more than a year and a half since pretty much any new cigarettes or tobacco products have hit store shelves in the United States. So Big Tobacco must be finally caving to the growing drumbeat against them from lawmakers and health advocates, right? Well, no.
The lack of new product is actually due to those dang lawmakers. America's tobacco watchdogs at the Food and Drug Administration are “taking extra care in reviewing new product applications for public health risks,” according to WWLP Massachusetts.
And it isn’t just new product that’s been affected, either. The slowdown has also affected such things as brand-name changes as well as shifts in packaging or filters. But don’t feel too bad for Big Tobacco. They are still making a boatload of cash annually and they also just won a big case before the federal appeals court on Wednesday. In that case, the tobacco companies won the right to not sell their products in packaging that would feature graphic warning images, such as diseased lungs, a man with a tracheotomy smoking, and the cadaver of a (former) smoker.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2012 01:27 PM
America's FDA keeps working toward forcing cigarette makers to encase their product in packaging with some incredibly nasty images in order to help consumers understand what could happen to them if they continue smoking. Australian health officials don’t have to wait anymore.
Thanks to a world-first law that went into effect on Dec. 1st, nicotine lovers (and haters) in the land Down Under are now faced with images a gangrene-mangled limb and a skeletal cancer victim when they buy their cigarettes. The images, which caused an uproar when revealed last year, take up most of the pack’s packaging with the cigarette’s brand name (no logo) printed on the bottom quarter of the packaging, in plain text on an olive-toned blah background.
“They’re so horrifingly ugly that they are magnificent,” Fiona Sharkie, executive director of anti-smoking campaigner Quit Victoria, told Bloomberg. How horrifyingly ugly? Check out the grotesque warning images below.Continue reading...