Big Tobacco behind collecting signatures

Over the past couple of days I have blogged about the jobs being offered by Engage NZ on Seek and Trademe. Initially I thought the Greens were involved but they categorically denied any involvement and if you look at their history they are pretty up-front about their activism.

I posed the question as to who it could possibly be and why they required so much sneakiness.

Could it have been Colin Craig and his campaign against Marriage Equality..or someother anti group associated with that? Turns out no.

Perhaps the Exclusive Brethren involving themselves again? Again no.

Or perhaps a Tobacco company lobbying against plain packaging?

Well my investigations ahve confirmed that it is Big Tobacco who do not have the courage of their convictions to publicly declare it is their campaign.

The campaign is being run by Imperial Tobacco and assisted by Philip Morris.

The happy little workers on the generous package and bonus scheme have been hired to go around the country getting people to sign a petition against plain packaging.

It isn’t that sneaky though as the postcards they hand out are branded as British Imperial Tobacco. So if you’re standing outside a pub having a fag expect some starving student petitioner to come up and ask you for a signature.

I still wonder though why they couldn’t have been up front about the campaign and instead use phrases like:

 Applicants need to be 100% committed to the campaign and absolutely sure of availability. If you’re an energetic outgoing person who enjoys speaking to people, and think you can hold an intellectual conversation, then get in touch to find out more about this exciting project.

Quite how you can hold an intellectual conversation with ciggie chugging smokers in the cold outside pubs and clubs is beyond me. It smacks of sneaking a drag on a fag in the airline toilets or stealing a smoke out of the teachers line of sight behind the bike sheds.

The only question remaining now is how Ben Cumming finds the time to run campaigns for Big Tobacco when he is supposed to be the new General Manager for Hell Pizza…who ironically have a reputation now akin to that of a tobacco company.


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  • Sanctimonious

    Didn’t that guy Chris Bishop who works for Philip Morris used to work for Gerry Brownlee?

    • Yes

    • johnbronkhorst

      SO…theres a lot of people who used to work for someone else.

  • johnbronkhorst

    The greens were telling the truth………….who’d have thought……..theres a first time for everything!

  • noprovenlink

    Brilliant….where do I sign up. Wouldn’t walk across the road to piss on a green if their dreads started smouldering but as a non-smoker I’m all for things (even if they are sponsered by evil corporates) to get the government the fuck out of peoples lives

    • Mr_Blobby

      With you 100% How do we get this nancy boy to concentrate on the real problems instead of these diversions.

  • Pro Bono Publico

    Guess we will have to wait a while for an apology to the Greens after such crap spun by you and your ilk

    • Krim Dotcom

      we should have a referendum and/or inquiry!

    • tarkwin

      It’s like the boy who cried wolf. The Greens lie so often nobody believes them, therefore no apology necessary.

    • owl

      The Owl apologised within minutes on here when the post went up yesterday. Asked the Greens Labour spokeman to investigate

      • fozzie

        Be nice to see wa’il man up and say the s word too !

        • Travis Poulson

          Be nice to see you learn how to spell whale properly too, but hey.

    • 2ndAmendment

      Never apologise – especially to the Greens.

      Don’t retreat – reload!

  • Alloytoo

    While I don’t buy into the argument that intellectual property rights should trump national health concerns, I do have concerns about plain packaging for the consumer.
    If the consumer has the legal right to consume a toxic substance, should we infringe on his rights to weigh up and choose a brand?
    I mean, by the time he’s actually gotten to the counter, in the absence of signage and advertising, to order his fags, and given the health warnings prevailant on the packet, is the absense of a logo going to deter his suicide mission?
    The above not withstanding, in any other industry ‘also’ products, products without any distinguishing branding, be they padlocks or clothing or food, typically sell without a premium. Without branding or marketing costs cigarettes are going to become cheaper and therefore more accessable to the cash strapped youth.
    Seems like an own goal in the making.

  • Where there’s smoke, and all that…

  • Jinx

    I fully support this campaign! Well done Imperial Tobacco and Philip Morris International.
    Someone is going out there, and making things happen. Too many people are unaware of what the political agenda is these days.
    As a smoker, then a non-smoker, then a smoker again, I believe that smoking is an individual choice! Much like i believe non-smoking is an individuals choice. Much like I believe that choosing to quit smoking, is yet AGAIN, an individuals choice. The government offers many subsidised cessation programmes out there, that people can choose to follow should they choose to quit the habit!
    Since when does the Government, ASH, and other organisations have the right to infringe upon FREEDOM OF CHOICE?
    Whilst the campaign may be slightly covert, at the same time, they are apparently active out on the streets? Covert? I don’t think so.
    Plain Packaging will not work. Many people say pretty packets, and what not else entice people. I’ve not met one person ever in my life as a smoker, then non smoker, and now a smoker, who adopted the habit by going into a convenience store, and going… hmmmm… thats a pretty box…. let me buy that one.
    Companies invest millions of dollars, time and effort into building and maintaining brands. And for what? So the government can come in, and take that away because a portion of the population have a bee in their bonnet. What is next? Coca-cola? Cadbury? Nestle? McDonalds? Steinlager?
    This absolutely will create a precident for future well known brands to adopt Plain Packaging enforced by the Government and absolutely erodes the fundamental position of living in a democracy – a basic human right – the right to choose!
    Thank you.

    • Bunswalla

      Jinx, nothing in the legislation or its intended effect will impinge upon your freedom to choose which particular brand of tobacoo you wish to partake of. If Alfred Dunhill thins, or Holiday 25s are your flavour of choice, you’ll be able to ask for, purchase, and smoke exactly that brand.
      What the legislation will do, if it’s brought into effect like it has been in Australia, will be to prevent the merchants of death from using their branding and marketing efforts to entice new customers to smoke their particular products.
      Since their product has a nasty habit of killing its consumers, they rely (even more than other manufacturers) on introducing new customers to their product, and then chemically addicting them until…well, you know the rest. With plain packaging, kids can still purchase fags and smoke them if they want, but they’ll be less influenced to see smoking as “cool” or to asscoiate themselves with any particular brand values.
      I personally think big tobacco is getting worked up over nothing anyway – they’ll slash billions off their marketing budgets and make even more profit than before. This whole branding thing is overrated anyway. Seeing clever billboards in prominent places makes me feel like choosing Tui over my usual Steinie Pure – yeah, right.

      • Mr_Blobby

        Speaking as a non smoker I have no problem with anybody who wants to smoke, chant, pray, do whatever. Just don’t shove it down my throat.

        • Travis Poulson

          So knocking on your door to ask you to convert to smoking is out of the question?

  • Mabel_Gruntfuttock

    A worrying trend here though. Given the tactics of the ‘Breastapo’ lately, it might become law to have breasts in plain packs lest babies look longingly at other mothers.
    Where might it end?

  • Pingback: Tobacco paying people to collect petition signautres « Homepaddock()

  • RtHonJohnKey

    It was funny to see all you torys bagging the greens over this. Humble pie anyone?

    • owl

      The Owl apologized but hey ….this is interesting…I noticed the greens have a quite a few smokers who are green voters..I am confused now…hmmm

      • Gazzaw

        They tend not to smoke BAT products though Owl.

      • parorchestia

        Perhaps they think weed is going to have to be in plain packaging?

  • Pete

    I note the tobacco lobby is using the phrase ‘ if you create it then you own it’. I wonder if they would extend the same bizarre logic to the health problems their products create, and which they fervently denied for so many years.
    I am all for maximum freedom, but these barstards shouldn’t be given an even break!

  • Polish Pride

    Maybe they should see if Peter Dunne has any free time in his diary to do some of the survey for them – after all He’s already been paid…

  • rightoverlabour

    I don’t smoke and find smoking offensive. BUT it is still legal. Smoking kills people. So do bullets, cars, and trains and aeroplanes, cows and live wires. All these are legal too. But none of them need plain packaging. Until smoking is deemed illegal, they should be allowed to package as they wish, and advertise as they wish (with similar constraints to the liquor industry). Either make it illegal (and force it under ground), or benefit from the taxes it generates and leave the industry alone. If people want to kill themselves by destroying their lungs, throats, and whatever else smoking destroys, so be it. Protect non -smokers by making it impossible to light up in public and shame them into not smoking in front of their kids (they will do it any way, but that’s part of natural selection).