Plain packaging means eliminating all types of branding and visual design elements on products that are sold in the market. Manufacturers have to follow colors that are mandated by the state while using homogenized packaging with no features that will differentiate it from another brand. In some countries, plain packaging is used for tobacco products; however, if health activists are to be asked, they want to extend the policy to confectionary products to address the problems of obesity.
According to the head of the Institute of Economic Affairs, plain packaging strips companies of their valuable trademark. In Australia, campaigns have called for plain packaging on children’s toys on the grounds that packaging encourages gender stereotyping. In the UK, the government has passed sin taxes on soft drinks and tobacco and they are discussing tobacco-style type of advertising on fast foods.
Aside from the UK, other countries like Australia, France, New Zealand and Norway have required plain packaging on tobacco products. Signs indicate that confectionary may follow soon enough. In fact, the World Health Organization has already targeted confectionary with stronger regulatory measures. Ontario Medical Association has started plain packaging designs for soft drinks and pizza boxes.
However, some governments like Indonesia and the Dominican Republic are fighting whatever plain packaging represents. They have filed a case against Australia with the World Trade Organization (WTO). If WTO favors Australia, it will clear governments in implementing similar laws. The decision of WTO could also redefine the intellectual property rights of consumer brands like Coca Cola, Cadbury and Mars.
Neither of the arguments denies that high levels of sugar consumption can increase the risk of obesity and steps have to be made to seek solutions for obesity and heart disease. However, it doesn’t have the right to strip a company of its well known trademark.
Packaging is very critical for a product. Aside from the protection it provides, packaging is a method to promote the brand. Paper Mart offers individuals and businesses a wide range of packaging supplies to differentiate their products from those that are offered in the market. Paper Mart ensures quality and superior service for the lowest prices.