Towards the end of January, Inexto, the new brand name for big tobacco’s track and trace system formerly called Codentify, has taken additional steps to rebrand which I will extrapolate on and analyze below. To be honest, they are pretty meager efforts which may reflect the fact that they know that it’s nearly impossible to hide their ties and history with big tobacco. So why spend the money trying?
Originally, I found their Facebook most interesting, but I have since updated this article to first give attention to their twitter.
A twitter account opened in Inexto’s name in January 2017 which until March 13th only had one follower. I am proudly their second. Their handle was @Inexto_Lausanne.
Amazingly enough, here is the first concrete tie between Inexto and Codentify.
Twice the account tweeted a link to a wikipedia page titled “Codentify” which makes countless mentions of the birth of Codentify within big tobacco and its deep ties to the industry it is mean to regulate.
And here is a link to a tweet about Codentify in French.
Whats more interesting is after I initially published this article on March 14th 2017, the Inexto account has changed its twitter handle. Their new handle is @InextoFr.
Since revealing these facts they have blocked me from twitter.
Moving on to their Facebook page, it appears that in early January a compay page was opened.
as of early January the new Inexto Facebook page had only 4 likes.
As of March 14th they have around 400. Once you look into who has liked their page it becomes apparent that almost no Europeans have liked the page. Interestingly, most of Inexto’s likes are from Middle Eastern Facebook users.
Only about 4 or 5 of their Facebook fans appear to be legitimately European, and all the others are mostly from Egypt.
According to a 2013 article on Adweek.com the average Facebook user likes between 40-70 pages. Most of the Inexto Facebook page fans have literally liked hundreds or thousands of other pages, further indicating the manufactured nature of their fan base.
Either Inexto is investing time in lobbying in Europe as a side gig and their real target audience is Egypt or they simply purchased likes on Facebook to strengthen the legitimacy of their brand.
Lastly, they have opened a new website called InextoNews.com. I suggest you look into that one yourselves and try and tell me what point it really serves.
All of this is in the context of the wider topic of big tobacco trying to distance themselves from the Codentify/Inexto products, despite tweeting about Codentify.
I have extensively covered the sale of Codentify and the formation of a new company called Inexto with no superficial ties to big tobacco. I have made mention in the past that this is an intentional strategy to rebrand Codentify as an independent product so it can be considered as a viable track and trace solution for tobacco products in the EU. In reality it is not.
Towards the end of 2016 Inexto stopped utilizing the term Codentify all together.
It is interesting to note that as of the end of January 2017, Inexto ceased to sell Codentify as a brand and has instead broken the technology up into four components using Inexto branding. I have mentioned in a past blog post that their website makes no mention of their history as a tool for the tobacco industry.
Last time I covered the story of their rebranding, I mentioned a sales presentation on Inexto that was posted online. Shortly after my article published it was removed.
It is important to note that these accounts are not linked to by the Inexto website but based on most of their content are likely official.
I am curious what changes will be made after the publication of this article.