Czech Association for Branded Products
According to their website, the Czech Association for Branded Products (CSZV) was founded in 1993 as an "interest group of legal entities" whose aim is to protect and support the "common interests of manufacturers of branded products in areas affecting production, marketing, distribution and sale of branded products."
Representing the Tobacco Industry
British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International, Imperial Tobacco, and Philip Morris are all fee-paying members of CSZV (see Image 1). Furthermore, Andrew Reay, Vice President and General Manager of Japan Tobacco International Czech Republic, is on CSZV’s Board of Directors (see Image 2).
Against Plain Packaging in the UK
UK 2012: In their submission to the UK Government’s initial consultation on plain packaging in 2012, CSZV opposed plain packaging with the support of its "member companies" British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International, Imperial Tobacco, and Philip Morris. CSZV recommended that the Government maintain status quo and make no changes to requirements for tobacco packaging, quoting illicit trade and confusion as arguments against plain packaging:
- "The new measures under consideration would substantially increase consumer confusion without discouraging the use of the product itself…The proposals remove complexity for counterfeiters, making it easier to copy and also shift some consumer demand towards goods available on the black market. Any further rise of illicit trade would damage consumers, tax revenues and legal manufacturers and retailers."
The organisation warned against a "BRANDING CRISIS for the marketing and branding industries that goes far beyond the issue of standardized packaging" (capitals original). These arguments echo classic tobacco industry techniques in countering plain packaging legislation despite evidence against these arguments.
UK 2014: On 25 June, 2014, in response to the Irish Government’s decision to implement plain packaging legislation, CSZV released a joint statement in collaboration with APRAM, BMM, ECTA, ICC, MARQUES, Unifab, and UNION-IP. In the statement, the signatories expressed "great concern" over the Irish Government’s decision, stating that plain packaging laws "amount to an indirect legislative expropriation" of property rights and suggesting that implementing plain packaging requirements for tobacco products will only be the first of many such requirements for other "unhealthy" products.  In closing, the signatories called upon the Irish Government not to proceed with the legislation and for other EU Member States to caution the Irish Government against such actions.
Nowhere in the letter was factual evidence quoted nor the organisations’ links with the tobacco industry mentioned; BMM, CSZV, ICC, MARQUES, and Unifab all have fee-paying tobacco company members, ECTA receives indirect industry monies via members that are employees of tobacco companies, and Union-IP is a Sister Association of ECTA,APRAM, BMM, and MARQUES.
- Global Trademark and Intellectual Property Rights Groups
- Plain Packaging in the UK
- Industry Arguments Against Plain Packaging
- Countering Industry Arguments against Plain Packaging
- CSZV, List of Members, accessed June 2014
- CSZV, Submission to the UK Department of Health’s Consultation on Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products, pg36, CSZV, 9 August 2012, accessed June 2014
- CSZV, Submission to the UK Department of Health’s Consultation on Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products, pg37, CSZV, 9 August 2012, accessed June 2014
- CSZV, Submission to the UK Department of Health’s Consultation on Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products, pg38, CSZV, 9 August 2012, accessed June 2014
- APRAM, BMM, CSZV, ECTA, ICC, MARQUES, Unifab, Union-IP. IP Associations’ strong concerns with the Irish Government’s decision to proceed with plain packaging legislation, ECTA website, 25 June 2014, accessed June 2014