BOSTON: The activist group INFACT is using results from the
recently released Harris Interactive corporate reputation survey (see
story, p.6) to bolster claims that its PR efforts to publicize a
widespread and high-profile boycott of Philip Morris products is
The poll found that 16% of respondents familiar with Philip Morris have
boycotted its products over the past year. INFACT claims a 5% consumer
boycott level is the threshold that indicates the action is having an
impact on a company.
INFACT began its boycott of Kraft products in 1994, but has turned up
the PR heat since 1999 when Philip Morris began a corporate image
campaign talking about the charitable works of its employees. The
cigarette maker owns Kraft Foods and Miller Brewing.
INFACT's latest PR weapon has been a $149,000 film, Philip
Morris, Kraft and Global Tobacco Addiction, that it has shown more than
75 times in 33 countries.
'It's been a combination of that film along with working to get media
coverage of it,' said Patti Lynn, associate campaign director with
Regional newspapers such as the Richmond Times Dispatch and the Austin
American Statesman have written about the film and the boycott.
INFACT distributes the film through community and religious groups and
plans to step up distribution leading up to Philip Morris' annual
meeting in late April. 'Its hard to compete with Philip Morris' PR
machine, but what we have on our side is the truth,' Lynn said.