Government sense?

The title is probably an exaggeration, we rarely see sense from governments of course!

The reason I say this is that as a marketer I am pleased to see that the government have, for the moment, cancelled plans for cigarettes to be sold in plain packaging and the minimum price for alcohol. I understand the reasoning behind the plans, and have some sympathy with the issues, although I personally don’t agree with the methodology which was suggested to tackle the problems.

But the real reason I am pleased with today’s news is that as a marketer the two proposals worried me – they both related to areas of the core 4P marketing mix. The plain packaging for cigarettes relating to both product and promotion and the alcohol obviously relating to price. The proposals would have taken these areas away from the marketers concerned. 

I’m not involved in marketing alcohol or tobacco, and probably wouldn’t want to be for tobacco but I do object to interference in the market as this would have been. Not specifically for these products, but because once in place what if the proposals spread to other products? And if it continued what could SPA Professional Academy discuss during CIM qualification courses in relation to the marketing mix! (OK, that is an exaggeration I hope)

My belief is in freedom of choice, with full information available to the potential customer, and this proposal would have taken this away. Which is why I am pleased about it!

A BBC story about the cigarette packaging is here and the alcohol pricing here

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