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July 31, 2014

Distinctive packaging: Private property and a protection for consumers

 
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A thoughtful piece in City A.M. by Edward Peter Stringham points out that not only have cigarette sales perhaps increased in Australia, the first nation to enforce plain packaging mandates, but close attention should be paid to the more obvious and sinister aspect -- the taking of property by government.

“Why does the government have a right to select what companies get to use logos and others do not? So long as cigarettes are a legal product …, their makers have the right to sell them as any other manufacturer would sell any other product--in distinctive packaging.”

Distinctive packaging is not only a vital part of a company’s marketing and branding, but also serves to assure consumers they are indeed purchasing the real thing, protecting them from fakes. Breitbart reports that plain packaging in Australia has boosted counterfeiting and smuggling by about 40 percent. 

Now for the slippery slope. What other legal products could be next? According to reports in the UK, some fear plain packaging mandates could spread to “undesirable” foods and beverages, such as alcohol or highly caloric snacks, such as candy bars.

 




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