Employee morale at Philip Morris

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

This 1998 memo prepared for Philip Morris discusses problems with low employee morale at the company due to a high-profile personal injury tobacco trial in the news at the time

Stories in the media that expose the truth about tobacco company behavior affect the morale of employees at those tobacco companies. Apparently this is what happened during the Rose Defrancesco Cipollone trial, when the media started exposing Philip Morris's internal documents to the public. Employee morale suffered and that gave rise to this "buck up" memo idea from PM's public relations company, Burson Marstellar. (Apparently tobacco companies' PR firms to do "internal PR" as well as "external PR.").

(The following was suggested by Burson-Marstellar as text to be sent out in a memo to PM employees): "As many of you are aware, there is currently a spate of publicity about historical documents from the files of Philip Morris and other tobacco companies. These materials are being irresponsibly promoted in the media in the middle of the Cipollone trial which is underway in Newark, New Jersey involving Philip Morris, Lorillard and Liggett as defendants. Because this trial is underway -- indeed, our defense side has just started its arguments -- we are limited in our ability to respond in detail to the distorted charges being made by anti-tobacco activists. These charges are misinterpretations of fragments of hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and do not in any way reflect the responsible and ethical decision-making process of our past management. We are confident that when the jury hears the full story, they will understand that our company has acted honestly and in good faith over the many years of the tobacco health controversy. This publicity is not easy for any of us, since we see the integrity of our company being questioned. I can only assure you that we have reviewed all these files top to bottom and know that we have nothing to fear from our history. Once that history is fairly and fully revealed in the Newark trial, the jury and the public will realize that our company has always been responsible and honest."

Title Employe Morale at Philip Morris
Org. Author Burson Marsteller
Per. Author Jim Lindheim Victor Han
Date 19880411 (April 11, 1988)
Type Memorandum
Bates 2025880665
URL: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/dxf14e00

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