Business Planning & Analysis 850300

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Buried in this 1985 Philip Morris Business Planning and Analysis report are plans to increase cigarette marketing to ethnic groups and minorities:

[From page 27, Bates Page 2043599745]:

  • "...The use of black models will be expanded in POS [point-of-sale] displays for B&H [Benson & Hedges] and Virginia Slims to gain exposure in black markets...
  • ...To more effectively reach ethnic smokers, advertising will be modified and targeted locally while sponsorship of ethnic promotional events will increase..."

The report also discusses the maintenance of tobacco farmers as a "valuable resource and political base for PM-USA and the industry...the U.S. tobacco grower is the most sympathetic voice of the tobacco industry."

Starting on page 33 [Bates Page 2043599751] is a section entitled "SOCIOPOLITICAL STRATEGY" in which Philip Morris (PM) reveals aggressive plans to "maximize industry volume by blunting attacks from anti-cigarette advocates and improving public perceptions of smoking." PM's plans include maintaining a tobacco leaf purchase program to help the company continue to manipulate U.S. Congressional representatives into supporting their company's objectives. PM also outlines its intent to circumvent campaign finance reform laws to help meet its ends:

  • "State political action committees will be created to make contributions to key political decision-makers in states where direct corporate contributions are not permitted."

PM also planned a comprehensive program to influence the public on smoking issues:

[From Page 34, Bates No. 2043599752]:

Lobbying alone cannot stop the anti-smoking movement or influence an indifferent public and media that tolerate fanatical anti-smoking activities...Direct and aggressive action is required to combat the anti-smoking movement by enlisting public support. PM-USA is developing a comprehensive program of identification, education, recruitment, communication and mobilization to reach out to the smoking and non-smoking public.

PM's plans included manipulating the mass media in its favor. PM planned a massive program to monitor news coverage of tobacco issues nationwide and act on reporting it considered negative:

The mass media, like political decision-makers, require a special program. The goal of PM-USA's program is to achieve a more balanced presentation of positions in the media. The target audience is the print and broadcast editors, who influence the general public. For the print media, PM-USA will develop a computerized "objectivity index" to monitor articles and editorials on smoking in daily newspapers throughout the U.S. This index will allow PM-USA to detect media that is imbalanced and respond accordingly.

Responses included "rebuttal pieces, letters to the editor from allies, meetings with editorial boards, special press briefings and cultivation of editors and journalists through special events."

Today PM's web site says, "We agree with the overwhelming medical and scientific consensus that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and other serious diseases in smokers. Smokers are far more likely to develop serious diseases, like lung cancer, than non-smokers." However, during the time of this document the company referred to public health efforts as "the social engineering fanaticism of anti-smoking groups" while it worked to "combat the anti-smoking movement." [1][2]

Sourcewatch resources

External resources


  1. Philip Morris USA Health Issues Web site. Accessed March 26, 2009
  2. Philip Morris Business Planning & Analysis 850300 Report. March, 1985. 38 pp. Bates No. 2043599719/9756