In a dramatic U-turn, Philip Morris publicly acknowledged the
damage cigarettes could cause to health as part of its pounds 60 million
corporate image revamp.
The information was posted on its web site, and caused debate over the
motive behind this new strategy of openness. Was it a ’clearing of the
air’ (President Clinton, FT 14/10/99) or merely cynical spin doctoring
to counteract the Justice Department’s announcement of legal action
against them and others last month?
Representatives of ASH argued that Philip Morris had ’spent decades
defending the indefensible’ (Express 14/10/99) while others welcomed it
as a positive gesture, even if a rather late one.
The new ’Working to Make a Difference’ campaign will focus on a broader
product range and charity work. Philip Morris is to fund an
’appropriate’ campaign (Independent 17/10/99) to combat youth smoking.
Meanwhile it is reported (Guardian 14/10/99) rival Lorillard now plans
an anti-smoking campaign for teenagers.
Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by the
Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can be found at: