Cigarette manufacturer in India ITC has collaborated with painter Paresh Maity to design a limited edition packaging for its Flake brand.
ITC’s initiative, which comes at a time when the world is fighting against tobacco consumption, is aimed at reinventing itself through product innovation, design and packaging.
The cigarette packs will feature images created by Maity of Kolkata’s Victoria Memorial, folk musical instruments and the banks of the river Hooghly with the Howrah Bridge.
Australia, which has recently decided to go ahead with plain packaging, directed manufacturers to sell cigarettes in plain, olive green packets with graphic pictorial warnings, and replace trademark brand logos with the name in a prescribed font with effect from 1 December 2012.
Following the Australian government’s move, anti-smoking bodies in India have also been suggesting that plain packaging be considered, though it is not on the government’s agenda right now.
Public Health Foundation of India health promotion and tobacco control head Monika Arora said Australia is adopting plain packaging as the government there feels packaging impacts young minds into initiating tobacco use.
"They also view packaging as a form of advertising, as misleading brand imagery has the potential to distract attention from health warnings printed on tobacco packs," Arora said.
"The limited edition cigarette packaging is an attempt to promote its brand by ITC. It is not a violation of Indian laws, but we are advocating to the government that plain packaging be considered. It will help increase the size of Indian pictorial warnings on the packs," Arora added.
The Paresh Maity Collector series has been launched and will be exclusively sold in the Indian state of West Bengal.
In the early 1980s, ITC collaborated with Absolut to create a new style of advertising using its vodka bottle.