Dec. 4 2001
Washington, DC — Philip Morris, the nation's largest tobacco company, never misses an opportunity to claim that it has changed and is now a responsible corporate citizen. However, the company's actions repeatedly have failed to match its words. In the latest example, Philip Morris is taking advantage of the holiday season to sell a new cigarette, called M, with the slogan "A Special Blend for a Special Season." It is outrageous that Philip Morris would seek to use the holiday season, a joyous time for celebrating life, to sell a product that kills. A responsible company doesn't sell cancer for Christmas. Perhaps Philip Morris should change its slogan to "M is for murder." After all, they're selling the usual blend of addiction, disease and death.
This latest marketing scheme shows that while Philip Morris may be changing its name, it isn't changing its behavior. This is the same company that just a few months ago tried to sell the Czech Republic on the morbid argument that early smoking deaths have "positive effects" because they reduce how much the government spends on benefits for the elderly. Philip Morris' holiday marketing campaign underscores once again its callous disregard for life and its sole focus on its own bottom line.