Kraft Boycott Wins Support of The National Coalition FOR Women AGAINST Tobacco
Tomorrow the National Coalition FOR Women AGAINST Tobacco is expected to announce new strategies in support of INFACT's Boycott of Kraft Foods, owned by Philip Morris, the world's largest and most profitable tobacco corporation.
The Coalition includes the American Medical Women's Association, the YWCA of the USA, Girl Scouts of the USA, and the National Organization for Women. The announcement will be made at the National Press Club in Washington, DC at 1:30 p.m.
``A deciding factor in our move to support INFACT's Kraft Boycott is Philip Morris's latest $40 million ad campaign targeting women and girls, specifically women of color. Philip Morris has led the way in the US and internationally in spreading the tobacco epidemic to girls and women, especially in regions where they traditionally have not smoked,'' says Coalition Chair Alvina Bey Bennett.
Philip Morris has appropriated themes of women's rights and liberation to promote its addictive and deadly products, such as Virginia Slims. The corporation's attempt to stretch the Virginia Slims brand name to other products, such as ``V-Wear'' clothing and ``Woman Thing'' music, has met with vocal opposition. One leading example, recording artist Leslie Nuchow who helped launch Virginia Slam, will speak at tomorrow's event.
Just last month, Philip Morris added Billie Jean King, a symbol of the feminist movement, to its Board of Directors. The appointment of the former tennis star, along with the corporation's new $100 million ad campaign, are part of a concerted strategy to improve Philip Morris's corporate image and build its credibility among key constituencies.
One Philip Morris internal document outlines its plans to ``[d]evelop offsetting relationships among groups that are often used by the 'antis' suggesting they are victims because they use the company's products...thus undermining the opposition's ability to organize against the company's interests....''
``Philip Morris has tried to buy silence from women and girls, but we are uniting in resistance to their targeted marketing. The National Coalition FOR Women AGAINST Tobacco is a powerful ally in the Kraft Boycott. Girls and women are a key market for Philip Morris products like Virginia Slims and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. As women in the US we have a responsibility to take a stand to protect current and future generations of girls around the world from tobacco addiction,'' says INFACT Executive Director Kathryn Mulvey.
The Coalition joins with over 150 institutions and organizations-including the American Medical Women's Association-which have endorsed INFACT's Tobacco Industry Campaign, including the Kraft Boycott. Other supporters include the Methodist Federation for Social Action, and Mount St. Mary's Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Founded in 1977, INFACT's purpose is to stop life-threatening abuses of transnational corporations and increase their accountability to people around the world. INFACT is known for its successful Nestle and GE Boycotts, and has been targeting the tobacco industry since 1993. For more information about INFACT, you may visit our web site at www.infact.org.