H/T Dick Puddlecote:

Just when it seemed cigarette packs couldn’t be more revolting, expert health marketers are finding new ways to turn people off smokes, like creating a cigarette which looks like it is covered in slime.

The plain packs sporting gruesome pictures are a starting point, according to New Zealand researcher Professor Janet Hoek who was speaking at the Oceania Tobacco Conference 2015 in Perth last week.

Her research investigates how to better use cigarette’s own packaging against smokers and changing the appearance of the ‘stick’ has some dramatic results in testing.

Test participants are less likely to choose a cigarette when it looks like slime or is illustrated with a timeline of minutes of life lost through smoking, compared to the standard cigarette, Prof Hoek said.

“We did some early qualitative work and we looked at reaction that some of these more dissuasive sticks elicited,” she said.

“And if you are in business of de-marketing something, I can tell you it doesn’t get any better than getting reactions like slime, scum, vomit and poo.

“The reason of course we got these reactions because we are directly linking these unpleasant connotations, feeling of dirt and filth, to this very act of consumption so we completely reduce the distance smokers are trying to create.

I was hoping to find a quote from Hoek about ‘using packaging against smokers’, but there wasn’t one.

I suppose that the thing I don’t understand about this is how one bunch of people can get to ‘de-market’ somebody else’s product. If you can do that with tobacco, you can do it with anything. It’s not hard to make anything look ugly.

What’s to stop everything being ‘de-marketed’? What if clothes and cars and food is ‘de-marketed’ by making them look really ugly? What if all advertising is intended to make people stop buying. If you hate consumer society (and many of these people do), then you probably want to stop people buying anything.

But I somehow think that uglifying the world this way says much more about these people than it does about the products they defame. These are very ugly people.

But equally, if it comes to a fight, why not use their own methods against them? Most of these people are pretty ugly already, so why not make them look even uglier? Why not associate Tobacco Control with dirt and filth,  and with slime, scum, vomit and poo? Why not de-market the de-marketers?

About Frank Davis

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36 Responses to De-marketing

  1. The Blocked Dwarf says:

    Why not de-market the de-marketers?
    Always felt Big Tobacco missed a trick by not supporting a Tobacco Control Industry front group to bring out posters with a group picture of Arnott, Glands et al and the caption “Be Cool Like us…don’t smoke!”

    Poster of Arnott doing her ‘lemon sucking’ face with the caption ‘It’s sexier not to smoke’ ?
    Hell if I were running Big Tobacco I would have set up a special elite ‘Black Lungs Ops Group’ to bring out posters etc, for example one of the ‘healthy German youths do not smoke’ quotes in English but in German font…& attributed to A.Hitler. Maybe hand out badges with yellow cigarettes formed into a Star Of David with “Raucher” in the centre.
    Or a picture of concentration camp inmates with the caption “The ‘scientists’ who ‘proved’ these people were Untermensch also ‘discovered’ Passive Smoking.’Nuff said”

  2. cherie79 says:

    Good comment, I have never understood why the tobacco industry didn’t fight back against the demonisation of their product and customers.

    • David Davis says:

      I can tell you all about that.

      In the very early 80s I worked at an advertising agency called Allen, Brady and Marsh.I was what they called a Marketing Group Head, better understood in other London agencies at the time as an “Account Planner”. We were packaged-goods-trained experienced brand managers, turned into admen, for clients’ benefit to provide larger marketing perspectives.

      I also worked, with an extra hat on, as Peter Marsh’s political speech writer, his briefing SPaD for “any questions” appearances on the radio, and kept him up to date with a special sub-department I ran which monitored the political press on all issues. I was paid specially extra for this, and often accompanied him as a SPaD would do today. I was to buy him any books I thought he should read, and bring in any classical liberal scholars I thought he should meet. I brought him Sir Peter Bauer once, and I arranged for him to meet Friedrich Hayek while the fell was still alive!

      Peter and I were approached by a consortium of the biggest UK tobacco firms in 1981. They wanted us to make out a case for them NOT to have their advertising regulated by health freaks and big governments. I and Peter attended meetings with them over a period, together with a lawyer friend I had recruited who was a developing libertarian. The three of us wrote a very fine document, which would at the time most probably have impressed Ministers with the case not to regulate, as we saw it as the thin end of a wedge. I sadly failed to ever retrieve a copy when I left them later on.

      Our case, centred on the primacy of free speech, was against state-censorship of ordinary legal communications, and asked ministers how it should come to pass that people – and firms – be disallowed by law from speaking well of themselves or their products. We also pointed out that advertising helped to maximize quality of a brand through competition and free consumer choice between brands. We said “advertising is the fastest way to destroy a bad product”.

      The marketing supremos of all these outfits nodded respectfully, and went away to consider. Our plan was not necessarily to take big ad spaces and airtime at first, but to do a PR campaign to counter-lobby the anti-tobacco faction first. They came back in defeatist mode sadly. they argued that:-

      “Nobody will believe us! We already believe that the emotional momentum among the public and media and in terms of how public issues are discussed, is in favour of marketing controls, for people’s health in a wider context. We would do a campaign, but it must be based on the premise that tobacco advertising is NOT about encouraging more consumption (they believe that route was already lost) but to encourage people to switch brands.”

      I, Peter and our lawyer mate went away somewhat depressed, and left the matter. You see, the pass was sold before 1980, when something could have been done.

      • The Blocked Dwarf says:

        You see, the pass was sold before 1980, when something could have been done.

        Indeed, the point where ‘playing nice’ might have produced results is long past. Surely some member of cASH was also a member of, say, the PIE ? *insert poster of Arnott dressed as The Child Catcher here “Do not accept health advice from strangers!” *. If I were Big Tobacco I would set a team of the finest Forensic accountants on the various money trails between Big Pharma and the Volks Health groups. Of course Big Tobacco would have to cover their tracks but in this day and age of data highways…

      • Frank Davis says:

        the pass was sold before 1980,

        Can anyone remember when tobacco advertising in the UK was restricted, and then banned? 1990 or so, my memory tells me. And when the first train smoking bans were introduced? 1970, I seem to remember.

        • beobrigitte says:

          I do not remember a train smoking ban in England in the 1980s! There were smoker/non-smoker compartments (which worked very well as no anti-smoker had to sit in a smoker compartment considering there was ALWAYS a seat available in the non-smoking compartments).

          I also do remember my then favourite Hamlet ads AFTER moving to this country:

          I believe it was 1987 when all tobacco ads disappeared. (If I’m wrong, please correct me!)

          To David Davis:
          We said “advertising is the fastest way to destroy a bad product”.
          THAT is something bound to backfire….

          If I remember correctly there WAS a point in which the tobacco companies could have turned the tables back in the ?early 90s.
          My question is, WHY didn’t the tobacco companies seize it? I can only assume that the newly found OPEN attacks on PERFECTLY LEGAL companies threw them.

          I, Peter and our lawyer mate went away somewhat depressed, and left the matter. You see, the pass was sold before 1980, when something could have been done.
          Next question: WHY did you leave the matter? In the 1980s there was still A LOT that could have been done!

        • tony says:

          Yes, there were smoking and non-smoking carriages on all trains (in the UK) at least until the late 1980s. The non-smoking carriages always seemed emptier. A few links relating to smoking bans on trains:

          1982 attempt by ASH and BR to ban smoking in restaurant and buffet cars only – defeated by Forest

          But they succeeded in 2004 it seems:

          ”A smoking ban on all SWT services was introduced from May 2004, partly in response to a fire caused by a cigarette left near a heater under a seat [I call bulllsh*t on that BTW], and also pre-empting the public smoking ban introduced two years later.”

          2 March 1993 – Northampton Line smoking ban introduced on all trains; part of gradual extensions in NSE no smoking accommodation.

        • Frank Davis says:

          I remember a smoking ban on the London Underground (Metropolitan line) starting around 1970. I think they had one smoking carriage per train.

    • edith482 says:

      Yes a great mystery. Why didn’t more smokers start protesting against the growing limitations to their freedom. Incidentally ,what is Hoek professor of? Nowadays there are far too many pseudo-academics in universities researching non-subjects.

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Hell I still sometimes reroll my Marlboros into regular tubes just for a normal smoke..others can do it too or just buy on the NZ blackmarket which is pretty damn big after I read about all the boats hitting the island anywhere they wanted at nite and bringing ashore all sorts of contraban.

  4. Ed says:

    Excellent suggestions Blocked Dwarf!

    @ cherie79, Maybe they were just controlled opposition all along and it happened soon after all the independent tobacco manufacturers got swallowed up after the tobacco wars in the early decades of the last century? I know one Independent company called Cope Bros, issued smoke room booklets and magazine-like gazettes, etc, and much of their stuff was aimed at the “anti-tobbacoites” of the period and was very combative in nature, so much so, that they got nicknamed the “Liverpool thorn” by the anti’s of the day.

    The other half of the problem lies with us because it was never really “their product” at all. It’s just a plant and anyone can grow their own if they so chose. If we all did that, they would be severely screwed!

  5. slugbop007 says:

    These people are weird. What kind of upbringing did they have? Were they toilet trained?

  6. slugbop007 says:

    We should send them photos of people dying from malaria, war, Ebola, malnutrition and dysentery every day and see how they like it.

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

  10. slugbop007 says:

    Janet Hoek is co-director of ASPIRE2025, a multi-disciplinary collaboration of tobacco control researchers based primarily at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Her research interests have focused on tobacco marketing, particularly plain packaging, on-pack warnings, tobacco supply and retailing, and tobacco endgames. She has sat on national and international expert advisory groups and provided expert testimony in tobacco litigation. In 2011, she was honoured to receive a Fulbright Travel Award that enabled her to develop a new and productive collaboration with the Centre for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California San Francisco.
    Isn’t that Stanton Glantz territory? Birds of a feather…
    Janet Hoek:
    Janet Hoek, University of Otago, Marketing Department, Faculty Member. Studies Marketing, Consumer Behavior, and Public Health.
    A Public Health Oxymoron? – Professor Janet Hoek – YouTube
    Video for janet hoek▶ 42:31

    Jun 18, 2013 – Uploaded by University of Otago, Wellington
    Janet Hoek graduated with degrees in English Literature.
    These people have infiltrated just about every university department imaginable. They must be stopped.

  11. Smoking Lamp says:

    I agree with the call to ‘de-market’ Antismokers and tobacco control. Essentially de-marketing tobacco control is a step toward denormalizing hate and social control propaganda. Professor Hoek is a poster child for intolerance and hate. She should be shamed for her totalitarian and vile hate speech. It’s time to expose the healthist totalitarian control cult for their antisocial bullying, lies, and intolerance.

  12. Timothy Goodacre says:

    It amazes me that the Tobacco companies don’t fight back on behalf of themselves and us, their consumers, against these nasty, liberty hating bigots. Its time we all got a grip against these morons otherwise we will lose our tobacco. A lot of us enjoy tobacco and certainly don’t want e-cigs !!

    • The Blocked Dwarf says:

      I believe that as part of the whole non-liable-for-the-cancer-of-smokers agreements and legislations Big Tobacco had to accept and not contest the lies of Public Health, don’t think they are even allowed to dispute ‘Passive Smoking’ as a thing either.

      So any fight back would have to be Black Ops style. Preferably using Tobacco Control Astroturf groups and cut outs.

      • prog says:

        Not disputing is one thing, but more or less kowtowing is totally another

        ‘Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is a combination of the smoke produced from the lit end of a cigarette and the smoke exhaled by smokers.

        Public health authorities, including the WHO, have concluded that secondhand smoke causes diseases, including lung cancer and heart disease, in non-smoking adults, as well as conditions in children such as asthma, respiratory infections, cough, wheezing, otitis media (middle ear infection) and sudden infant death syndrome. In addition, public health officials have concluded that secondhand smoke can exacerbate adult asthma and cause eye, throat, and nasal irritation.

        The public should be informed about these conclusions and guided by them in deciding whether to be in places where secondhand smoke is present, or, if they are smokers, when and where to smoke around others. Smokers should not smoke around children or pregnant women.

        Some cigarettes available on the market contain smoke related features, such as reduced smoke odor or reduced visible smoke. These features do not mean that the product is less harmful to smokers or non-smokers than other cigarettes.’

        • tony says:

          I think the key reason for that bizarre document is that Philip Morris was one of the big US based tobacco companies that entered into the “Master Settlement Agreement” (MSA). The 4 also included BAT but not Imperial for example as they had little US exposure.

          My impression is that many senior tobacco executives were forced to give evidence in court prior to the mid 1990s and that they all followed the company line saying that: ‘they did not believe that smoking had been showed to cause lung cancer’.

          However many of them would have had little or no knowledge of the science and indeed may have been fairly recently head hunted from a completely different company. Hence they tended to believe the propaganda and occasionally said so in private memo.

          Then, in the 1990s, BATs archive became public. This contained some of these private memos which proved that the executives had lied about their belief in court. By entering the MSA, they were able to protect themselves from the charge of perjury. All they had to do was to agree with everything the anti’s claimed and pay vast amounts of money, running into billions per year in perpetuity, in so called damages, into State coffers. Anti-smoker organisations found themselves rich beyond their wildest dreams and so did the lawyers, who raked in billions.

          Smaller companies operating in the US were also forced to comply. That meant that rather than going bust, the companies could simply pass the cost on to their customers. There was no loss of profit or market capitalisation. I suspect the executives kept their jobs and pensions too.

          So they gained unconstitutional exemption from the law at the expense of their customers and at the expense of truth, reason and science.

        • Frank Davis says:

          billions per year in perpetuity

          Is it in perpetuity? I thought the MSA was limited in duration to something like 30 or 50 years.

        • Tony says:

          I’ve heard both and I don’t know the whole story. I’ve also heard that the agreement is horribly complex, so if anyone does know, I’d love to hear. And if I ever find out I’ll say so.

    • beobrigitte says:

      A lot of us enjoy tobacco and certainly don’t want e-cigs !!

      This seems a rather strange comment. I do wonder what tells Timothy that e-cigs are anti-smoker approved.
      Currently the vapers are being sidelined – once the anti-smokers (in their minds) have finished with the smokers, it will be the vapers’ turn.
      And, “re-normalising” smoking will kill the anti-smokers.

  13. slugbop007 says:

    50 international scientists sent this letter to Margaret Chan of the WHO last year:

    Be careful what you wish for. Umberto Veronesi, one of Europe’s leading anti-tobacco advocates for many years, signed this document sent to Margaret Chan, along with 49 other internationally known scientists. On the other hand, Umberto Veronesi has always been an activist in anti-tobacco campaigns. I do not trust any of these people and am suspicious of their ulterior motives. I wonder how many of them were/still are/are now in the vanguard of the antitobacco control movement and whether they all have stock shares in pharmaceutical companies or heavily subsidized taxpayer funded Public Health policy groups.

  14. Rose says:

    Why not associate Tobacco Control with dirt and filth, and with slime, scum, vomit and poo?

    I think I already do, after all who else could look at the colours of a tree in spring and automatically think of poo and slime?
    The colours they want to use are the calming colours of nature and attractive in most normal people’s eyes.
    These people never cease to astound me.

    “..sometimes, the anti-smoking lobby sound like sadistic children, dreaming up ever-more elaborate ways to torment people engaged in a perfectly legal activity.”

    Sums them up perfectly.

    • slugbop007 says:

      Sadists are never satisfied. They would have been fighting for first spot in the queue to operate the torture chambers during the Inquisition.

  15. beobrigitte says:

    I was hoping to find a quote from Hoek about ‘using packaging against smokers’, but there wasn’t one.
    Perhaps this is EXACTLY what the anti-smokers would like to say but can’t because they admit to ATTACKING smokers which in turn would push the anti-smoker’s self destruct button.
    It is far easier to fragment an – until then – cohesive community and then dictate the fragments which one of them are undesirable.

    Are the anti-smokers by now desperate?
    Test participants are less likely to choose a cigarette when it looks like slime or is illustrated with a timeline of minutes of life lost through smoking, compared to the standard cigarette, Prof Hoek said.
    Thank you for the (much needed!) laugh!!! I’d just LOVE to see a cigarette that looks like slime….. And, I bet I’d make a fortune with a cigarette with the (imagined) minutes of life lost through smoking!!! Hope the filter is big enough to hold the question: “Ah. ok. WHY am I still alive and well?”
    Perhaps Prof. Hoek should have stuck to her field of study – English Literature – before mouthing off in a field she lacks the background knowledge?

    But then – as already mentioned in a comment above, Stanton Glantz’s field is….
    It looks like that initially the anti-smokers’ woes were that people who HAD the background knowledge and scientific integrity weren’t listening, so they resorted to what Deborah Arnott’s field is – PR – and using people who had some sort of higher education + craved publicity to give the pretence of “credibility”….

    This does remind me – the anti-smokers’ credibility appears to be declining rather rapidly. It was the day to take the little old lady to her hospital appointment. And it took ages. When I went out for a smoke I was approached by 2 girls in a dressing gown (obvious bellies!) for a light. Naturally I lit their cigarettes. On my second cigarette break I was approached by one of them again. I lit her cigarette and asked how far she was. She said that she had delivered yesterday. So I did tell her about the maternity wards when I had my offspring. She replied that I confirmed what her mother told her… I did ask how big the baby was and the girl replied: “7lb6”, which is a perfectly normal birth weight.
    I had a spare lighter and I gave it to her. When she said that she was going home today I suggested that she passes it on to her friend. Her friend already had gone home. All I could say was to pass it on to another woman on the ward in the same boat.
    I, too found my experience(s) confirmed.

    It is time to start digging to the roots……….

  16. Rose says:

    Anti-Smoking Ads Might Lower Smokers’ Self-Esteem, Making Them Less Likely To Quit
    Nov 2, 2015

    “According to the study, although past research has suggested that smoking stigma, or labeling those who smoke as disgraceful or less worthy, has prompted many to give up the habit the new data suggest that on a larger scale these stigmatizing ads actually backfire. Instead of helping smokers quit, the ads instead led to a number of different outcomes, such as relapses, increased resistance to quitting, self-induced isolation, and higher stress levels.

    While public awareness campaigns are important in helping to further reduce smoking rates, these results show that current “stigmatizing” tactics may not be working as originally anticipated.”

    To ever give in to these deeply unpleasant and disrespectful creatures would certainly lower my self esteem.

  17. smokingscot says:

    “self-induced isolation”!!!

    Nice bit of role reversal, or PC speak! I feel Debs got it right first time.

    “Smokers will be exiled”.

    Sort of similar to this business about fag butts being the greatest single form of litter.

    Wasn’t before these smoking bans.

  18. harleyrider1978 says:

    Vaping and its main component are FDA and EPA approved as indoor hospital disenfectants since 1957. Prior to that medicinal smoke was used to disinfect areas. With the advent of indoor smoking bans this protection is lost and viral and bacterial components are now free to create public epidemics everywhere. Its even worse for children in cars with car bans now as listeria and other bacterial growths from children in a recent study have shown them to be big problems where before the buffer zone of car smoking protected the kids from these germs.

    In fact a smoked in venue even a week later was still 98% sterile and vaping indoors improves that protection rate even higher.

    So lets kick the public health mafia out the doors and get back to protecting ourselves and our own from public infectous diseases that smoking and vaping can prevent and save a non smokers life!

  19. harleyrider1978 says:

  20. Pingback: Lambs To The Slaughter | Frank Davis

  21. churchmouse says:

    The UK has also had gory anti-smoking adverts over the past few years, depicting slimy pieces of body tissue and blood:

    Graphic anti-smoking advert released in UK (2012):

    and December 2014 (video at link):

    I’m sure we had a slime one (i.e. ooze) a few years before that, but I cannot find it on YouTube.

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