Philip Morris markets Maori smokes... to Israel

New Zealand's Maori already have high rates of smoking (it's the number-one killer), so it's understandable that health advocates are incensed by a brand of cigarettes marketed with their name. Philip Morris has launched the brand Maori Mix in Israel; it bears a map of New Zealand and quasi-Maori designs. Shane Bradbrook of the Maori Smokefree Coalition (Te Reo Marama) makes a good point: "Would we have them here and call them Jewish Mix? It would be as offensive to the people in Israel as it is offensive for Maori."

Aside from health issues, it appears to be a violation of the Maori "brand": the Maori have a trademark of sorts.
Called Toi Iho, it's a process for the development of products based on Maori imagry and culture. The mark (at right) has been created to "distinguish Maori arts and crafts from other arts and crafts; promote Maori art and artists nationally and internationally; assist Maori to retain ownership and control of their taonga – Maori knowledge, imagery and designs; [and] maintain the integrity of the Maori art culture."

Earlier: The Face of Maori Resistance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really interesting. The jewish company will poison jewish people using a maori label.