Anna Soubry is obviously too stupid to be a minister

Anna Soubry, the public health minister, told how “gorgeous” cigarette packets made her take up smoking as a teenager because they were a “symbol of glamour”.

Mrs Soubry warned that “many” young people take up smoking because of branding.

For two reasons: She’s incredibly stupid for taking up smoking for the glamour of the packets and she’s even more stupid if she thinks any of us are going to believe her.

It’s like saying that people eat chocolate because Ferrero Rocher comes in gold foil.

Packaging differentiates between types, not instils the initial desire.

17 thoughts on “Anna Soubry is obviously too stupid to be a minister”

  1. As a consumer I can honestly say I have never purchased something based on its packaging. It may attract attention and cause me to look at it, the decision to buy is based on other factors not how its packaged.
    Many years ago we were being told ‘people take up smoking due to peer pressure’ – is that not still the case?

  2. Advertising, as in packaging, works. I believe Raymond Loewy were challenged to improve the Lucky Strike packet with a $50,000 bet at stake. He kept the decorative rings but changed the background colour and thus substantially improved the sales of Lucky strike – but probably not the sales of cigarettes in general.

  3. I quit smoking because the change in packaging of my favourite brand offended my aesthetic sensibilities.

  4. It’s just another example of the growing infantilisation of British politics and public life. It used to be that adversiting to children was frowned on because it was assumed that children were easily swayed by attractive bright colours and believed positive messages. Now the assumption seems to be that adults are equally incapable of making rational choices.

    See also the omnipresences of signs and notices telling you off for things you haven’t done and weren’t thinking of doing, or thanking you for doing things you don’t wish to do. the latest incarnation being this ‘nudge’ politics. Essentially, it seems that the entire establishment either believes you to have the mental capacity of or wishes to treat you like a fucking five year old.

  5. This is politics, the only career in which the only qualification for doing a job is that you should be inadequate for it. Too stupid, too ignorant, too biased, too corrupt, etc.

    Occasional skilled persons accidentally attain ministerial rank. They are invariably rapidly weeded out.

  6. The other interesting point here is that Soubry is actually inadvertently supporting the Tobbaco Industry’s argument that promotion (advertising, packaging etc) are meant to influence brand choice rather than start people smoking. She had already decided to smoke before being wooed by the packaging; it merely influenced which brand she decided to go for.

  7. I loved the B&H gold packaging but gave up smoking because it was a ridiculous waste of money. I still wax nostalgic about the advertising campaigns, the photography, sound, production values were pleasurable to nonsmokers.

  8. “The shiny ribbon on this mug of untreated sewage made me drink it. Made me, I tell you!”

    Oh, do fuck off, luv. She even undermines her own argument – *objects* are not glamorous.*People* are glamorous. *Idiots* buy the objects associated with glamorous people expecting to be glamorous in turn.

    “If someone jumped off a bridge, would you? What if it was the cool kid in class?”

  9. The more the government restrict tobacco branding, the more profit the tobacco companies make due to a lower advertisement/branding budget, without government restrictions the companies would be spending billions trying to out brand each other with a small net effect.

    (JPS, the black/gold packaging, the racing cars looked cool, and they had the awesome Senna).

  10. I read this story and immediately assumed she was flat-out lying. Whatever reasons people have for taking up smoking, knowing full-well it’s just about the most hazardous activity undertaken by normal people, they do not include being seduced by cigarette packets. So now the question remains, given that this story was transparently fallacious, what was her intention in peddling it? It’s not that it’s a lie – she’s a politician and is thus constitutionally dishonest – but that it’s an obvious lie and on the face it an ineffective one. Cui bono?

  11. Because the supposed evidence that packaging increases smoking is so pathetic yet the government still wants to ban packaging.

    One supposed bit of “strong evidence” was a focus group of 48 15 year olds who told the “university” that they liked the shiny packets more.

    Of course, you actually had to read the report to find out what the research actually was.

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