Strange Bedfellows… but Do They Smoke After?

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A friend on the hill forwards this depressing Roll Call article (subscribers) on the collaboration between tobacco maker Phillip Morris and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

Like the priest in Harold and Maude, the thought of this particular commingling makes me want to vomit. From the article:

"The simple fact that other tobacco companies will likely come out on the opposite side of the issue – against FDA regulation – provides Philip Morris with a chance to distinguish itself from its competitors as a good corporate citizen," [an internal PM] memo continued.

Of course, the new federal regulations also stood to help the company's bottom line.

Because Philip Morris controls roughly half of the $40 billion annual cigarette market, a ban on cigarette advertising would help the company solidify its grip on the market.

Without the ability to advertise, smaller players such as Brown & Williamson and RJ Reynolds – now Reynolds American Inc. – would have few options to swipe market share from Philip Morris and the world's most recognized brand, the Marlboro Man.