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August 19th, 2001

Philip Morris’ False Philanthropy

Philip Morris disgusts me. Not just for their typically cold-hearted corporate ways, but for their disgusting use of so-called charity or public service for their own sleazy marketing campaigns.

You’ve seen the commericals: kids telling their parents, “We listen to what you say. We know it’s our choice not to smoke.” They seem like feel good commericals until you see the “Paid for by Philip Morris” line at the bottom of the screen. Not such a feel good commercial about not smoking when it comes from one of the tobacco industry’s biggest players.

Wanna see something even more sickening? Go to Philip Morris’ home page. What’s the second link on the page, only after “About Philip Morris?” Yup: Philanthropy. Philip Morris has a series of commericals (and a web campaign, apparently) patting themselves on the back for all the good they’ve done in the world. But doesn’t philanthropy stop being philanthropy when it’s only marketing fodder? Real philanthropy would be if they took the millions of dollars (150 of them) spent stroking their own ego and put that money towards charitable causes and then shut the hell up about it. Anything positive that comes from doing something good for someone is negated when you feel the urge to tell someone about it. Note that the $150 million spent on advertising about their charitable work was a full $25 million more than they actually spent on the charities themselves.

Here are a few links to look through to help remind you why Philip Morris isn’t a philanthropic company in the least, just more greedy corporate types looking for their next advertising campaign:


Posted in Consumer Commentary

FROM: Robert
DATE: Sunday August 19, 2001 -- 11:12:02AM
Has anyone else noticed that their "teens shouldn't smoke" commercials are more concerned with addressing peer pressure than the fact that smoking robs you of life?

FROM: Terry M.
DATE: Sunday August 19, 2001 -- 1:11:09PM
The funny thing is that Philip Morris advertises that smoking is bad for kids, but not for adults which (I guess) implies that it is not bad for adults. Actually, this can still be construed as targetting towards kids because they might think "I can't wait til I'm 18 so I can smoke!".

As long as they continue to produce and market harmful and addictive drugs they cannot be considered philanthropic. The only philanthropic thing they can do is to exit the tobacco and alcoholic beverage markets, both of which send way too many people to early deaths.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Sunday August 19, 2001 -- 1:44:58PM
Amen to both comments.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Sunday August 19, 2001 -- 3:31:53PM
Their radio ads disgust me. You get a feel-good start, with a director of a truly good charity, and then: "Philip Morris contributed $x million to us. They're great. We love them." It makes you feel good, even though their products are killers.

I was also disgusted when they purchased Kraft. While I'm not a big Krafthead, it gives a majority of shoppers an ethical dilemma: do I buy my mac-and-cheese from the same company that makes cancer sticks?

FROM: liz
DATE: Monday August 20, 2001 -- 11:08:49AM
the thing is, phillip morris knows that the anti-smoking commercials they create don't make kids not want to smoke. it's just a trick to make it look like they're trying to drive away their customers. sheah, right.

FROM: Patrick
DATE: Monday August 20, 2001 -- 11:34:33AM
I don't buy Kraft. Or Miller. Or anything owned or sold by Phillip Morris. PM is quite simply a larger version of your local drug dealer, trying to get you hooked young so you can be older, stupid and constantly needing their product.

I look at people smoking and I think "what a f&*~!ing idiot." Harsh? No, its not harsh, its honest.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday August 20, 2001 -- 3:09:42PM
Liz -- Agreed. The anti-smoking ads are really just thinly disguised pro-tobacco ads designed to get around the law against advertising tobacco on television. Have you seen that painfully unhip Tobacco is Whacko... if you're a teen ad? Good Lord, if that's not a blatant ad for Lorillard, I don't know what is.

Which brings me to another question: by law, tobacco companies can't advertise on television... so why are they allowed to put the one line on their anti-smoking ads that state their name (in the case of Lorillard, tobacco is all they sell).

FROM: Jeani
DATE: Monday August 20, 2001 -- 9:10:35PM
This false philanthropy creates another problem. I work for a nonprofit, and the organization faces the dilemma of whether or not to pursue or accept funding from ethically questionable sources. Is it okay because we're using the money for a good cause? Or is it blood money, forever tainted because of where it came from?

Personally, I'd rather we didn't take money from a tobacco company, or casino, or any other related corporation. But what about cases that aren't quite so blatant? Do we take money from a major corporation with a history of discrimination? Or one that is bent solely on perpetuating a capitalist society that I, personally, feel is in conflict with what our goals should be?

It's a tough question, especially for a struggling nonprofit that may need that money just to keep doing it's work.

FROM: Jeani
DATE: Monday August 20, 2001 -- 9:13:06PM
Ahhhh! "It's" instead of "its!" I *must* be tired.

FROM: Emily
DATE: Tuesday August 21, 2001 -- 2:58:51AM
Ad busters ( Did a great anti Morris campain last month check it out

DATE: Saturday August 17, 2002 -- 3:13:35 pm

FROM: carol
DATE: Saturday August 17, 2002 -- 3:14:07 pm
I say "take their money and do something good with it!" At least the end result will be good. Like making lemonade out of lemons. If you don't use it for good it may get used for something bad. At least you'll know that you did a good thing and helped instead of more harm.

FROM: kyle
DATE: Wednesday February 26, 2003 -- 7:48:35 pm
You guys really need a life instead of bitchin about cigarettes. I mean come on im sure you all do something that other people dont like. Yes it is a mistake to smoke but if u keep shoving the fact that cigs are bad down teens throats they will just do it in spite.

FROM: Lucia
DATE: Sunday March 23, 2003 -- 4:10:07 pm
If only selling tobacco was made illegal. When you get down to it, all it does is kill you and those around you. It has no health benefits. It is not harmless, and I, for one, object to the philosophy that we should just let someone who's smoking around you continue without a polite request to temporarily refrain while you and your younger sister, daughter, or cousin finishes eating so that you aren't needlessly harmed. I want to breath. It is, if taken to the extreme, and infringement on my right to live (just as someone who was slowly cutting off your air supply would not be considered exercising their Constitutional rights, as I'm always told.)

FROM: kyle
DATE: Monday May 5, 2003 -- 11:25:20 pm
I agree on the fact that people have their rights and agree totally on the fact that I and other smokers shouldn't smoke around others (that's common courtosey, sorry if that's spelled wrong i'm pretty tired). I just think that you have your rights to object to smoking and not want to be around it but I have my rights to smoke as long as I'm not hurting anyone else.

FROM: Lena
DATE: Saturday June 14, 2003 -- 7:43:23 pm
I think that people who are sitting back bitching need to get a life because it is your right if you want to smoke or not. And another thing. If I was standing somewhere smoking and someone asked me to put it out I would tell them that I was there first and if they didn't like it to leave theirself. I also think that it is good because phillip morris donates money to charitable causes and they can take the money and use it for good causes. So if you don't like it lump it!!!!!!!!!!!!

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Sunday June 15, 2003 -- 11:05:37 am
I also think that it is good because phillip morris donates money to charitable causes and they can take the money and use it for good causes.

How can you argue with logic like that?

DATE: Sunday June 15, 2003 -- 8:18:24 pm
The money and life that would be saved if Philip Morris quit selling cigarettes outstrips any contributions they make to charity. It's like stabbing someone in the heart and offering them a Band-Aid. Maybe that's an unfair comparisson, but I'd argue it's closer to reality than any way PM spins the argument. I don't have anything against smokers, but I have a hard time with a corporation that so clearly commodifies human life and exploits that for profit.

I'll admit, though, that I'm pretty conflicted about Kraft. I hate having anything to do with supporting PM, but at the same time, there's thousands of people out there who's jobs depend on the public buying Oreo's and Stove-Top. It seems to me that not buying Kraft more quickly would punish people at the low end before those up top even cared.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday June 16, 2003 -- 8:19:51 am
Ryan: How can you argue with logic like that?

Certainly not I. And by the way, have you seen all of that good stuff Wal-Mart does? You should "lump it"! Hahaha!

FROM: Xman
DATE: Wednesday November 12, 2003 -- 12:14:44 pm

FROM: Matt
DATE: Wednesday November 12, 2003 -- 12:17:24 pm
Phillip Morris, when questioned about why they show these anti smoking ads, they say they do it to basically impress their shareholders.( Did I miss something? Is this true philanthropy?

DATE: Wednesday November 12, 2003 -- 12:19:22 pm
Right on,
Matt! I love the name Matt! I am an avid smoker, and still deplore the practices of Phillip Morris.

DATE: Wednesday November 12, 2003 -- 12:21:04 pm
You are both idiots(Matt and Bob). All smokers should love the mother company Phillip Morris. Give her your allegiance and sing hymns. Bob, I doubt you are really a smoker, a man, or even a human.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Wednesday November 12, 2003 -- 3:06:40 pm
I've gotta say, one of my favorite tactics is responding to one's self multiple times.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Wednesday November 12, 2003 -- 7:03:33 pm
Hey Paul! Me Too!

FROM: Matt
DATE: Wednesday November 12, 2003 -- 7:08:33 pm
Me too.

FROM: kim
DATE: Saturday November 15, 2003 -- 8:20:54 am
does anyone have any information on the tango 1990 adverising campaign that was branded ethically questionnable?

FROM: Paul
DATE: Sunday November 16, 2003 -- 10:34:22 am
Try the Internet.

FROM: Bonnie
DATE: Wednesday May 19, 2004 -- 3:41:10 pm
It's my understanding that PM was ordered to do public service commercials in order to satisfy the judgement against them.

FROM: colley
DATE: Tuesday August 3, 2004 -- 7:39:06 am
To Ty, initially, and then the tangent started . . .

The problem is that Kraft is as guilty as PM, because they are selling denatured food that they know has minimal nutritional value due to over processing. It is also laced with sugar, which is addictive, and it keeps the user/addict (eater) craving it, while they steadily work themselves into a poor nutritional/health state, much like cigarettes.

Let's face it folks. We make ridiculous choices on many fronts because we refuse to learn much, we are easily led, we research few concepts that are new to us and we only care about something when we finally figure out that it affects us directly. That causes us to notice a PM, because we know of someone who died, or had cancer from cigarettes, but we don't want to insist that the quality of food be better because we are too lazy to not want to open a stupid box of sawdust like Stove Top, which we will eat happily as it kills us, much like puffing on a cancer stick. And worse, we discount concepts like holistic health as quackery, when it is the only thing that makes sense, while the government works to control it and put it in the hands of idiots who have no knowledge of or understanding or respect of the original system of health provided by the Creator.

You wanna be mad? Be mad at a medical and pharmaceutical community that has known for years how to cure cancer period, (from induced origin like cigarettes or asbestos, or induced origin like bad nutrition and lack of safe food which is probably more prevalent and totally self chosen if you are an adult), but won't make the transition because cancer is a multi-billion dollar business. At least PM doesn't operate under that much disgusting deception and didn't take a hypocratic oath.

Let's face it folks. The real problem is our laziness, and the fact that we believe that he with the most bucks rules. PM, and others like it, just capitalize on our blissful ignorance. We are sheep, and we seem to like it.

Kraft probably kills more people than PM, or Miller, and that's walking or riding on any day of the week!

You think that PM, and other cigarette manufacturers could not have been stopped long ago, if we had a responsible government? We don't want that and we prove it with every election, and every time we allow a thief to steal office, no matter what your political thoughts. A thief is a thief, so don't act like all the little thieves can't operate well under such a system when we don't stop the most obvious of thieves. We want money and to remain lazy, so there you have it. A system that supports just that!

Think about this. In the 1950's, a tire was created that would never require you to buy another one. A permanent tire that never wore out. Guess who squashed it? You think it was the tire companies alone? Think again. PM exist alone? Not hardly!

Let them give back to the community in this treacherous world, or make your sorry, self involved leadership accountable and don't allow them to get paid to kill us. Otherwise, all this angst, is just too ridiculous.

There are people who smoke everyday, who never develop cancer. The difference in the cases I have worked with holistically, and an examination of their families and others (remission rate of 85%), is usually nutrition. Smoking kills off nutrients in droves, which is what causes cancer - depleated state of substances needed to make your system work. So which is really worse? I suspect Kraft, but only people taking no responsibility for their health might see it otherwise, which in turn keeps us collectively stupid and focused on nonsense and content to blame the "big boys" for the horrors they do to us.

Put that in your PM anger pipe and smoke it!

DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 3:34:35 pm

FROM: Awuah
DATE: Friday April 7, 2006 -- 4:55:03 pm

FROM: Awuah
DATE: Friday April 7, 2006 -- 4:55:11 pm

TT February 3, 2008, 11:29 am

Smoker education is a great propaganda too. “Only 5% of the people who try to quite smoking are successful.” But… 2/3 give up within 3 days. If you can last a month there is a 50% or better chance of success. But is that what PM tells you? NO. That is because PM gets to choose the content.

Let an independent provide the content. Then see if PM will pay for it. Or draft the legislation or court order otherwise.

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