‘The whole industry stinks’: Big tobacco’s squeeze on small business

Anthony Rachelle finally cracked about 10 months ago.

The owner of a tobacco franchise in Philip Island put a sign in the front window of his shop calling out big tobacco for its treatment of his business.

“Dear customers, due to the corporate bullying and financial incompetence of British American Tobacco, this store will no longer be stocking the following brands: Winfield, Rothmans, Dunhill and Benson & Hedges,” it says.

Operating outside the law

Rachelle and other tobacco franchisees claim they are bullied by the big three tobacco companies, British American Tobacco (BATA), Philip Morris and Imperial Tobacco Australia.

“The whole industry stinks,” Rachelle told Fairfax Media. “It’s just, where do you start?”.

The claims of bullying are outlined in Rachelle’s written submission to parliament’s inquiry into franchising, which held public hearings in Melbourne on Friday.

Rachelle claims BATA and the other big tobacco companies control and manipulate tobacco supply and pricing and have destroyed the reputation of his business.

BATA disputes Rachelle’s claims. Read more

Cara Waters – Brisbane Times – 25 June 2018