Philip Morris

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Background

Philip Morris International (PMI) describes itself as "the leading international tobacco company". It sells its products in "approximately 180 countries".[1]

It owns seven of the top 15 brands in the world including Marlboro, L&M, Bond Street, Philip Morris, Chesterfield, Virginia Slims, and Benson & Hedges.[2] [3]

It is the leading company in 13 markets and number two in a further nine of the 30 largest markets. In 2011, it controlled 16 per cent share of the international market for cigarettes outside of the US. It employs 78,000 people.[1]

The company claims to be “committed to communicating about the health risks of smoking in an open and transparent way, and to support tobacco regulation wherever our products are sold”.[1]

Philip Morris used to be owned by Altria. In 2007, Altria decided to separate the firm's US and international operations. According to Associated Press, the move would "clear the international tobacco business from the legal and regulatory constraints facing its domestic counterpart, Philip Morris USA".[4] The spin-off was completed in 2008, leaving two distinct companies: Philip Morris International and Philip Morris USA.[5]

Directors

Its board of directors includes:[6]

Management

Its international global management team includes:[7]

  • Miroslaw Zielinski, President, Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa Region and PMI Duty Free

Gearing up the Corporate Communication Department

In January 2012 PMI appointed Arnold Schwarzenegger's former press secretary Julie Soderlund as director of regulatory communications, its most senior public relations role.[8]

In March 2012, Philip Morris appointed Andrew Cave for a senior role in corporate communication. Cave had worked for the Federation of Small Businesses as head of policy and public affairs for four years. Before that he was in Hill & Knowlton’s public affairs team and as a campaign manager for the Conservative Party.[9]

Public Affairs News commented:

The two appointments come as the tobacco industry gears up for a fight over the introduction of plain packaging for cigarette packs, with a dedicated campaign group set up to oppose the measure.[9]

PR Company

Gardant Communications provides lobbying services for Philip Morris in the UK.[10]

Lawyer

Clifford Chance has worked for Philip Morris. [11]

Lawsuit Against Uruguay over Health Warnings

Uruguay has some of the most progressive tobacco control policies in the world. In March 2010, Philip Morris International (PMI) launched a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against the Government of Uruguay, over a decision to make health warnings cover 80% of cigarette packs.[12][13][14]

Involvement with Australian Industry Front Group

Campaign Against the Display Ban

Concerns Over the Tobacco Products Directive

In April 2011, representatives from Philip Morris Estonia met with the European Commission to express concerns over the upcoming EU Tobacco Products Directive Revision. The company's four areas of concern included:

  • Restrictions on the use of additives.
  • Plain Packaging and a "breach of intellectual property rights".
  • Restrictions on the point of sale. Philip Morris argued "one of the proposals which were included in the public consultation was to limit the viability to tobacco products in shops. There is no evidence that this would lead to a reduction in consumption and could facilitate illegal trade in tobacco products".
  • On smokeless tobacco, the tobacco company argued that smokeless tobacco, snus, which is currently banned in the EU (apart from in Sweden) should be regulated for sale in the EU. [15]

Front Group Against Plain Packaging

Leaked internal emails exposed the fact that the Alliance of Australian Retailers (AAR), which is presented as a grassroots movement against plain packaging, is actually an industry front group funded by British American Tobacco Australia (BATA), Philip Morris Limited (PML; Australian subsidiary) and Imperial Tobacco Australia. Furthermore, the documents revealed that PML's head of Corporate Affairs in Australia, Chris Argent, was instrumental in the establishment and day-to-day running of the AAR. [16] [17] Other people mentioned in the files in connection with the campaign are John Scruggs and James Blakelock from BATA, and Jacqueline Burrows and Rob Koreneef from Imperial Tobacco.

Targeting Women and Girls

Secret Collaboration with Earl Howe

Affiliations

Philip Morris has a joint venture called SMPM International with Swedish Match, aimed at expanding Snus sales outside the US and Scandinavian markets.

Philip Morris is a member of:

It is a funder of Duke University and founder of the Duke Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research (CNSCR). For more detail see Duke University and the Tobacco Industry.

External Resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Philip Morris International, About us, undated, accessed 8 February 2012
  2. Philip Morris International, PMI Fact Sheet, undated, accessed 18 February 2012
  3. Philip Morris International, Our brands, undated, accessed 18 February 2012
  4. Associated Press, 'Altria to spin off Philip Morris International', MSNBC website, 29 August 2007, accessed 19 February 2012
  5. Altria website, Our history, undated, accessed 19 February 2012
  6. As of 19 February 2012 - see Philip Morris International, Board of directors, undated, accessed 19 February 2012
  7. As of 18 February 2012 - see Philip Morris International, Our management, undated, accessed 18 February 2012
  8. Matt Cartmell, 'Philip Morris International appoints Julie Soderlund as director of regulatory comms', PR Week, 19 January 2012
  9. 9.0 9.1 Public Affairs News, FSB lobbying chief quits for tobacco role , 2 March 2012, accessed April 2012
  10. UK Public Affairs Council website, Registry Entry for Philip Morris for period 1 December 2011 to 29 February 2012, accessed 14 June 2011 and 6 April 2012
  11. Connor, Steve. Smoked out:tobacco giant's war on science, The Independent 1 September 2011, accessed 28 November 2011
  12. FTR Holding S.A. (Switzerland), Philip Morris Products S.A. (Switzerland) and Abal Hermanos S.A. (Uruguay), Request for arbitration under the rules of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, from Physicians for a Smoke Free Canada website, 19 February 2010, accessed 6 June 2011
  13. Todd J. Weiler, Legal Opinion: Philip Morris vs. Uruguay An Analysis of Tobacco Control Measures in the Context of International Investment Law, Physicians for a Smoke Free Canada website, 28 July 2010, accessed 6 June 2011
  14. Claudio Paolillo, Part Three: Uruguay vs. Philip Morris - Tobacco Giant Wages Legal Fight over South America’s Toughest Smoking Control, Centre for Public integrity, 16 November 2010, accessed 6 June 2011
  15. Iciar Chavarri-Ureta, Report Meeting with Martin Laan, 5 April 2011
  16. The Tobacco Files -A definitive conclusion to the debate over plain-packaging,
  17. Anne Davies, 'Big Tobacco hired public relations firm to lobby government', Sydney Morning Herald, 11 September 2010, accessed 8 June 2011