Online Movie Mocks Philip Morris Name Change
CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- The anti-smoking camp's latest jab at Big Tobacco is an online movie mocking Philip Morris Cos.' proposed corporate name change to Altria Group.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids today launched an animated Web movie in which the Marlboro Man -- wanted for the deaths of millions of people -- disguises himself through cosmetic surgery as a young girl named Altria to sell smokes to children.
In the film, the name of the doctor who performs the identity-changing operation is "Dr. P.R. Whitewash."
Call to action
The film, billed as the "movie Philip Morris (a.k.a. Altria) doesn't want you to see," ends with a call to action, inviting viewers to click to a companion site to send a fax to President Bush urging the administration to pursue the government's lawsuit against the tobacco industry.
The film, which can be viewed at www.PhilipMorrisCantHide.org, concludes with the endline, "Whether they're called Philip Morris or Altria, they should be held accountable for the death and disease their cigarettes cause."
In a statement, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said it believes that neither Philip Morris' proposed name change nor its extensive corporate-image campaign negates the company's harmful business practices.
A spokesman for Philip Morris told AdAge.com that the online movie "is really a misrepresentation of our motives behind our proposal to change the name of Philip Morris Cos. Inc., the parent company."
The purpose of changing the corporate moniker is to reduce confusion by clearly differentiating the tobacco units -- Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris International, which will retain those names -- from the corporate parent, the spokesman said.
The Philip Morris spokesman would not comment on any other allegations made by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
The proposed switch to Altria is pending shareholder approval at the company's annual meeting April 25.