INDEPENDENT NEWS

Tobacco company defiles Maori name and imagery

Published: Tue 13 Dec 2005 09:21 AM
Tobacco company defiles Maori name and imagery
International tobacco company Philip Morris has outraged the Maori Smokefree Coalition by calling one of its cigarette brands “Maori mix”. The packet (see jpeg attached) features the word Maori, and a quasi Maori design. The back of the packet features a map of New Zealand.
“I’m gob-smacked,” Shane Bradbrook from Te Reo Marama said today. “How dare they use our precious name to sell a product that kills millions of indigenous people all over the world.”
The Maori brand is marketed by Philip Morris in Israel. A New Zealander living in Israel notified Te Reo Marama about the new line of cigarettes, and brought a packet home with her.
“This young woman is pakeha New Zealander and smoker, so I’m really impressed that she took the initiative to let us know what was going on.”
Te Reo Marama believes the brand should be taken off the market.
“It’s appalling and we are talking to legal experts about what actions we can take.”
Te Reo Marama is taking a more aggressive response with its communications with hard hitting advertising, which commenced in Mana magazine this month.
“We want all New Zealander to know about the devastating impact that tobacco has on iwi Maori.”
Ends

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