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Tob Control 8:362 doi:10.1136/tc.8.4.362c
  • News analysis

France: packaging is kids stuff

Tobacco control advocates awaiting implementation of the EU tobacco control directive are wondering which ways the tobacco industry will most frequently try to cheat on the advertising ban. One method may be to use the cigarette pack more creatively. Advertisers have said that the pack can be a highly potent advertisement, so it would hardly be surprising if the creative geniuses of Europe's advertising and design agencies were hard at work in their studios experimenting with pack designs. If the pack is all that is left, then why not give it everything they have got? As they themselves might say, the pack alone will be left to “communicate the essential brand characteristics” to potential customers, especially “young adult smokers”—including the all important “starters”, as children were called in those halcyon days when the advertisers thought only their colleagues would see their internal memos.

French health advocates recently got a taste of what may become more commonplace with the appearance of a special pack of Légères, a brand made by Gauloises, employing images not only young, but very far from adult. As can be seen on the next page, the pack featured a computer game control and the sort of innocent seductive young female figure who tends to appear in dungeons and castles during computer games, together with gothic looking joker chess pieces. The legend “Cyber Cosmic” was present on front and back, too, presumably to reassure young smokers that no wrinkly old adults (20s and above) are likely to be seen with them.

Special pack design for Légères, a brand made by Gauloises, employing images not only young, but very far from adult. There is no mistaking the target audience for this brand.

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