6               Tobacco Companies’ Public               Relations Efforts: Corporate              Sponsorship and Advertis...
6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t s                                          ...
Monograph 19. The Role of the Mediaadvertisements, corporate Web sites, and         trustworthiness, social responsibility...
6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t sand Journal of Consumer Research) were    ...
Monograph 19. The Role of the Media Figure 6.1 Public Opinion of Tobacco Companies: Roper Poll of 2,078 Adults, September ...
6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t sBuilding a corporate brand image through  ...
Monograph 19. The Role of the MediaThe remainder of this section focuses on                    the Brown & Williamson Club...
6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t sPerceptions that the public has about a   ...
Monograph 19. The Role of the Mediaof intent, providing book covers to youth        if people support a social cause, spor...
6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t sJust as corporate social responsibility ca...
Monograph 19. The Role of the Mediafindings reported earlier that the public        have a lot of credibility. Our short-t...
6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t scancer, promised consumers that cigarettes...
Monograph 19. The Role of the Mediacampaign, according toPhilip Morris, was youthaged 10–14.78 In 1999,Philip Morris launc...
6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t s                  Youth Smoking Prevention...
Monograph 19. The Role of the Mediato these companies for determining the            advertisements increase credibility o...
6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t s Figure 6.2 Philip Morris’s Annual Adverti...
Monograph 19. The Role of the Media                        Health-Risk Promotion: A New Tobacco Industry Strategy   In a m...
6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t sa period of three and one-half months.    ...
Monograph 19. The Role of the Mediaindustry documents, tobacco companies             Corporate Advertising onconceived of ...
6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t sprovides the tobacco company with a means ...
Monograph 19. The Role of the Media Figure 6.3 Overview of PM21 Advertising Campaign                                  PM C...
6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t scampaign, predicting that the corporate   ...
Monograph 19. The Role of the Media                                        PM21: Preparing for a BacklashPhilip Morris bel...
Corporate advocacy,sponsorshipand advertising
Corporate advocacy,sponsorshipand advertising
Corporate advocacy,sponsorshipand advertising
Corporate advocacy,sponsorshipand advertising
Corporate advocacy,sponsorshipand advertising
Corporate advocacy,sponsorshipand advertising
Corporate advocacy,sponsorshipand advertising
Corporate advocacy,sponsorshipand advertising
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Corporate advocacy,sponsorshipand advertising

  1. 1. 6 Tobacco Companies’ Public Relations Efforts: Corporate Sponsorship and AdvertisingTobacco industry advertising and promotional efforts often are aimed directly towardthe sale of industry products. However, corporate public relations activities also can havean important impact on the public images of and attitudes toward individual tobaccocompanies. This chapter examines the nature and potential impact of such efforts,including n Corporate sponsorship of events and organizations, the latter of which often target key segments of the public in areas such as the arts, minority interests, or community relief n Corporate advocacy advertising in areas such as youth smoking, which has been shown to favorably influence public attitudes toward individual tobacco companies n Corporate image advertising, ranging from spotlighting charitable assistance to rebranding the image of a tobacco company and/or its parent corporation, which has also been shown to favorably influence public attitudes toward individual tobacco companiesFurther research is needed on the impact of these types of public relations efforts onantismoking efforts and public attitudes, as well as on how such activities affect globalmarkets for tobacco products. 179
  2. 2. 6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t s Szczypka and colleagues,11 Philip Morris’sIntroduction first campaign began in October 1999 with the slogan, “Working to make aThis chapter describes the tobacco industry’s difference: The people of Philip Morris.”use of sponsorship, corporate advertising, It portrayed the company as providingand public relations advertising in the charitable contributions to community-United States, particularly when it is intended based organizations and preventing theto cultivate a favorable image of corporate sale of cigarettes to minors. Anothersocial responsibility. It complements the campaign, with the slogan, “Things arediscussion of the industry’s relationship with changing,” began in July 2000, one daythe news media provided in chapter 9. after the punitive damages verdict in the Engle class-action trial in Miami, Florida.12Since the 1988 Master Settlement In June 2003, a series of advertisementsAgreement (MSA), corporate sponsorship focused on www.philipmorrisusa.com,and corporate advertising have become directing viewers to Philip Morris’sincreasingly important for tobacco corporate Web site for information aboutcompanies. Tobacco companies, as with youth smoking prevention, quittingmany companies, are interested in furthering smoking, and the health effects of smoking.their public images and interests, as well Corporate image advertising of Philip Morrisas in building their corporate and product was considerably greater in 1998 and 1999brand identities. Corporate image campaigns as compared with advertising of its leadinghave been on the rise among U.S. companies. brand, Marlboro.13 Examples of corporateCorporate social responsibility initiatives, image campaigns used by Philip Morris aresuch as corporate philanthropy, community discussed throughout this chapter.involvement, cause-related marketing, andsupport for minority programs,1–4 have The relative newness of the topic posedincreased in particular. This trend is also certain limitations in preparing this chapter.described in Fortune magazine’s cover story First, corporate expenditure data are difficultin 2004 on “Corporate America’s Social to determine. A footnote to the FederalConscience”5 and the billions spent annually Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) annual reportby companies on social causes.6 The Web on cigarette advertising and promotionsites of more than 80% of Fortune 500 summarizes the tobacco industry’scompanies were found, in 1998, to address expenditures on public entertainmentcorporate social responsibility issues,7 events that display corporate brand namesand efforts have increased since then. but not cigarette brands or logos ($806,000The perception among business leaders is in 2005).14 The FTC report also includesthat corporate social responsibility is an sponsorship of sports teams and athleteseconomic necessity in today’s national and ($30.6 million in 2005)14 but does notinternational marketplace.8,9 Compared with distinguish dollars spent on events bearingproduct-based advertising (discussed in the name of a company (e.g., Philip Morrischapters 3, 4, and 5), these types of public Mixed Doubles bowling championship) fromrelations efforts generally focus on raising those bearing the name of a cigarette brandthe visibility of and defining how the public (e.g., Virginia Slims Women’s Legend Tennisviews the organization itself.10 Tour). As Cruz15 reports, sponsorship data for individual tobacco companies can beAlthough corporate advertising by tobacco obtained through commercial marketingcompanies has been around for many firms, but such data are expensive todecades, corporate image campaigns have customize and are frequently incomplete.become more integrated. As reviewed by Other sponsorship sources (e.g., newspaper180
  3. 3. Monograph 19. The Role of the Mediaadvertisements, corporate Web sites, and trustworthiness, social responsibility, and/orstate tobacco control programs) do not attitudes concerning tobacco companies;reflect systematic monitoring of events.15 (2) whether enhancing these perceptionsAnother difficulty is separating corporate of tobacco companies increases sales ofadvertising from brand expenditure data. tobacco products or reduces the likelihoodAlthough tobacco company names typically or urgency of quitting among smokers;differ from their cigarette brands, in and (3) whether corporate sponsorship andsome cases the corporate entity and its corporate advertising have effects on juryproducts share the same name (e.g., Fortune perceptions and public or legislative supportcigarettes, sold outside the United States, for tobacco control policies. This chapterare manufactured and sold by the Fortune also describes how some of the industry’sTobacco Company). public relations messages are tailored and targeted to opinion leaders, ethnicIn addition to accurately accessing minorities, and women. The perceptionsexpenditure data, the newness of the topic of these groups could improve tobaccoof corporate image campaigns poses the companies’ success with the financialproblem of limited academic research. Unlike community, in state legislatures, duringmany of the tobacco topics addressed in trials, and in the court of public opinion.other chapters of this monograph, answers This chapter examines these key questionsto questions about the effectiveness of these in the context of two elements of corporatecampaigns are often inconclusive. In fact, brand image and public relations that areonly recently have companies (whether in becoming increasingly common amongtobacco or other industries) shown increased U.S. companies and that represent two ofinterest in promoting their company images, the more visible approaches used by tobaccoand most of the available academic research companies: corporate sponsorship andoccurs outside the domain of tobacco corporate advertising.marketing. To provide additional insightinto corporate public relations strategies for For this review, the literature in electronicwhich tobacco industry data are lacking, this databases such as PsycINFO and MEDLINEchapter includes a description of research was examined by using the search terms,findings on corporate social responsibility “tobacco industry attitudes,” variations ofabout companies other than those in the “tobacco corporate industry with image,”tobacco industry. A call for more research “public opinion sponsorship,” “socialon the tobacco companies’ public image responsibility,” and “corporate advocacy.”campaigns is emphasized throughout this The same search terms were used inchapter as well as in chapter 15. tobacco industry documents until the term PM21 (“Philip Morris in the 21st Century,”Despite the limitations of reviewing research a public relations campaign) was obtained,on corporate public relations campaigns, and then that name was searched as well.this topic and its potential impact on Other source materials were forwardedtobacco product sales and on resistance to by knowledgeable reviewers. Advertisingtobacco policy legislation warrant careful expenditure data came from Advertising Ageattention. In addition to an analysis of and the annual FTC reports on cigaretteexpenditures by tobacco companies on marketing. To locate research outside of thepublic relations campaigns, key questions tobacco industry on corporate sponsorship,to be addressed in this chapter include corporate advertising, and corporate social(1) whether tobacco corporate image responsibility, the three primary journalscampaigns are successful in improving in the marketing discipline (Journal ofthe public’s perceptions of the credibility, Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, 181
  4. 4. 6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t sand Journal of Consumer Research) were tobacco industry are Philip Morris USAsearched for the 1995–2005 time period. (owned by Altria Group); R.J. Reynolds,The search was supplemented with a small which bought Brown & Williamson tonumber of additional papers referenced in form Reynolds American; the Lorillardselected marketing and advertising articles. Tobacco unit of Loews Corporation; and Liggett Group, owned by Vector Group.Public-Image Few Americans connect these companies with the tobacco products they produce andProblems of the market. Henriksen and Fortmann conducted a study about young adults’ opinions ofTobacco Companies Philip Morris and its television advertising.22 They found that between 36% and 43%Negative images of the tobacco industry in of the 218 participants failed to identifythe United States and other countries are the corporation with tobacco products,well documented. An annual Harris public depending upon how this knowledge wasopinion poll (2004) comparing U.S. adults’ measured.22 Some respondents mistakenlyperceptions of 15 industries found that the associated Philip Morris with light bulbstobacco industry was ranked the lowest in and electronics (Philips), tools (Phillipsthe public’s esteem.16 In another survey in head screwdriver), the talent agencyCalifornia (2002), 83% of 7,000 adults agreed (William Morris), or stomach medicationthat tobacco companies generally provide (Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia). In an opinionsome dishonest information about their poll commissioned by Philip Morris inproducts to the public.17 In the same study, September 1999, between one-third and88% of the 15,000 students in grades 8 and one-half of 2,078 adults said they had never10 who were surveyed agreed that tobacco heard of the company or its competitorscompanies try to get young people to start (figure 6.1).23 Although relatively few adultssmoking by using advertisements that are expressed favorable opinions of any tobaccoattractive to youth. The American Legacy company, R.J. Reynolds fared better thanFoundation’s (Legacy’s) survey (2004) of the others. Its relative popularity in this andapproximately 10,000 U.S. adolescents other polls has been attributed to aligning(aged 12–17 years) conveyed a similar its corporate identity with Nabisco, itsimpression.18 Of those surveyed, 78% agreed nontobacco subsidiary until 1999.24that tobacco companies lie and 67% said theytry to get people to start smoking. In data In addition to negative public opinion,from Australia published in 1999, 80% of tobacco companies have faced increasing800 adults expressed their belief that tobacco litigation and have come under greatercompanies either mostly do not or never scrutiny with the release of corporate tobaccotell the truth about smoking and tobacco’s documents under the Master Settlementaddictiveness.19 In Ontario, Canada, 75% of Agreement. As Szczypka and colleagues state,1,600 adults (2003) reported that the tobacco two lawsuits filed in 1999 placed significantindustry never or rarely tells the truth about pressure on the industry, particularly onthe health effects of smoking.20 In addition, Philip Morris11—(1) a multibillion dollar suitadolescents in Ontario surveyed in 2003 were was filed by the U.S. Department of Justicemore distrustful of the tobacco industry than against the tobacco companies and industrythose surveyed two years earlier.21 groups for costs due to diseases caused by smoking and (2) the Engle class action suitPublic opinion about individual tobacco in Florida asked jurors to award $200 billioncompanies is not as uniformly negative. in punitive damages to people sufferingThe four largest companies in the U.S. from diseases caused by tobacco. In 2006,182
  5. 5. Monograph 19. The Role of the Media Figure 6.1 Public Opinion of Tobacco Companies: Roper Poll of 2,078 Adults, September 1999 100% Favorable 90% Unfavorable 80% Never heard of 70% 60% 52% Percent 50% 41% 40% 38% 34% 33% 35% 30% 26% 27% 20% 14% 10% 0% Brown & Williamson Philip Morris R.J. Reynolds Companies Note. A random-digit-dial survey asked respondents whether or not they had heard of the companies and, if so, whether their opinion was favorable or unfavorable. From Roper Starch Worldwide. PM21 progress to date: A summary of survey findings from September 1999 to August 2001. Oct 2001. Philip Morris. Bates No. 2085220338/0414. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/fav12c00.a U.S. District Court25 ruled in the first of individual tobacco companies havecase that the tobacco industry defendants been less negative, partly due to thehad violated federal racketeering laws and lack of awareness by the general publicengaged in deceptive practices to market about tobacco company names and theira highly addictive product causing human connection to individual cigarette brands.suffering and loss, but that judgment is Finally, increased litigation against tobaccounder appeal. In the Engle case, although the companies and potential punitive damageFlorida Supreme Court26 in 2006 upheld a awards made by jurors also has threatenedruling against “excessive” punitive damages the industry’s reputation.and against filing class-action suits againstthe industry, the court approved findings that Against this backdrop of negative publicsmoking causes cancer and other diseases perceptions of the tobacco industry inand that tobacco companies marketed general, low awareness of individual“defective and unreasonably dangerous” tobacco companies, and increased litigation,products. These trials were well publicized corporate public relations activities onand placed additional pressure on the tobacco the part of individual tobacco companiesindustry to improve its public image. represent a means to enhance the public image of the companies and influence publicIn summary, the public has held the tobacco perception. In tobacco trial testimony,industry in low esteem and perceived it to Roy Marden, then-director of externalbe dishonest in communicating information affairs of Philip Morris Companies, statedabout its products. Adolescents, too, that increasing communications effortsreport being distrustful of the industry. was “particularly imperative in light of theThey believe the industry is dishonest facts that the antis’ vilification ads are back,about tobacco’s addictiveness and that our negative numbers are up, & the nexttobacco companies try to entice young round of PM 21 [Philip Morris campaign]people to start smoking. Public perceptions ads will not be tobacco-related.”27 183
  6. 6. 6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t sBuilding a corporate brand image through marketing, such as giving money or gifts topublic relations is an effort to strengthen charity organizations each time consumersand change public perceptions of the purchase a company’s product or servicecompany, variously referred to as corporate (e.g., a charitable donation contingent onimage, reputation, and brand equity.10,28–30 a consumer’s cigarette pack purchase).33,34The primary tools of public relations include According to an Independent Evaluationpublications, events, news, speeches, Group (IEG) Sponsorship Report, a leadinglobbying, public service activities, and national resource for sponsorship research,identity media.29,30 In much the same way spending on sponsorship by North Americanthat tobacco companies use marketing companies increased from $850 million inmedia to portray positive product imagery 1985 to $10.3 billion in 2003.35 As noted(described in chapter 3), they use public earlier, separating corporate and brandrelations media to portray positive corporate sponsorship expenditures is difficult.imagery. A tobacco company, for example, Data that combine them indicate thatmight use public relations media to improve Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds ranked 20thits corporate image by neutralizing negative and 41st among the top 80 companies foropinions, by persuading those without annual sponsorship expenditures in 2003,opinions of the company to think favorably each spending between $25 million andof it, and/or to improve its company’s image $50 million.35relative to competitors or to the industryoverall. A tobacco company might also aim Much research addresses the costs andto enhance its credibility and legitimacy consequences of cigarette product advertisingby redefining or obscuring its association and promotions (see chapters 4 and 7).with tobacco products. Industry documents However, comparatively little is known aboutfor Philip Morris describe corporate tobacco industry sponsorship. In one of theobjectives to improve company image, more comprehensive studies, a 2001 reviewincrease company credibility, and establish by Rosenberg and Siegel,36 data purchased“a foundation of acceptability” for company from the International Events Group wereactions.31 One strategy was to “enhance the combined with Internet research to describeposition of Philip Morris as the reasonable/ tobacco sponsorships from 1995 to 1999.responsible industry leader and work to The five largest tobacco companies at thegive the company a legitimate ‘seat at time spent a minimum of $365.4 millionthe table.’”31(Bates no. 2073434686) to sponsor at least 2,733 events or causes, with four times as many sponsorships for Philip Morris as for the other tobaccoCorporate Sponsorship companies combined. Rodeo, motor, and other sports attracted the largest investmentThe sponsorship of sports, arts, ($226.8 million), antihunger organizationsentertainment, and social causes (also received the second largest investmentcalled event marketing) is an established ($104.2 million), and the remaindercommunications tool used by both tobacco supported a variety of special audiencesand nontobacco companies for building (e.g., youth, women, and minorities) orbrand equity. Sponsorship refers to issues (e.g., acquired immune deficiencyinvestments in causes or events to support syndrome, domestic violence, education,corporate objectives, such as increasing the environment, and government).brand awareness or enhancing corporateimage.32 Creyer and Ross33 note that Chapter 4 reviews sponsorship activitiessponsorship is viewed more favorably by that promote cigarette brand namesconsumers than other forms of cause-related (e.g., Marlboro, Camel, Newport, and Kool).184
  7. 7. Monograph 19. The Role of the MediaThe remainder of this section focuses on the Brown & Williamson Club. Othersponsorship that promotes corporate brand sponsorships with title associationsnames (e.g., Brown & Williamson, Lorillard, include the R.J. Reynolds Forest Aviary atPhilip Morris, and R.J. Reynolds). the North Carolina Zoological Park, the Philip Morris Mixed Doubles ChampionshipFor decades, tobacco companies have bowling tournament, the Brown &sponsored philanthropic events and causes, Williamson Derby Fest at the Kentucky Derbysuch as the arts and minority organizations.37 Festival, and the Philip Morris Center forFor example, Philip Morris reported grants Organizational Renewal at Catawba College.36totaling $9.3 million to 295 arts andcultural organizations in 2003, including The rationale behind corporate sponsorshiprecipients with obvious appeal to ethnic/ activities is to (1) promote awareness ofracial minorities (e.g., Grupo de Artistas tobacco company names and/or logosLatinoamericanos, Alvin Ailey American among people in attendance at sponsoredDance Theater, and Asia Society) and to events, (2) increase perceptions thatchildren (e.g., Big Apple Circus).38 In 1998, the company is socially responsible andPhilip Morris contributed $2.1 million to decrease perceptions that the company is57 organizations in the United States to socially irresponsible, (3) increase overallfund meals for the elderly. The program liking for the company, (4) create orpartnered with the National Meals on strengthen the identity of the company asWheels Foundation.36 Some sponsorships being associated with a particular targethave led to naming rights. For example, market or lifestyle, (5) show support forBrown & Williamson made a $3 million a social issue or community, (6) increasecontribution to Kentucky’s University favorable associations with the company’sof Louisville’s athletic department in products, and/or (7) increase merchandising1996 for completion of the club level or promotional opportunities.29 It mayand a training facility, which led to the also generate media exposure to reach anaming of the stadium’s club facility as considerably larger audience. Big Tobacco and Vatican Art A 1983 grant in excess of $3 million for the Vatican art treasures exhibition at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art garnered much publicity for Philip Morris. A company document describes the significance of Philip Morris’s sponsorship: Explaining the exhibition to the general public proved to be an unparalleled opportunity to promote Philip Morris as well as the Vatican Collections. We did it through radio and television interviews, feature stories in newspapers and magazines, public service announcements, films run by the Public Broadcasting Service and placed in over 70 movie houses, and in a brochure given to museum visitors.a The year-long exhibit was seen by 2 million people.b When the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, Terence Cardinal Cooke, led a prayer at a banquet celebrating the Vatican exhibit, a Philip Morris vice president remarked, “We are probably the only cigarette company on this Earth to be blessed by a cardinal.”c Philip Morris Corporate Relations and Communications. 1983. Washington relations summer jobs ’83. a http://tobaccodocuments.org/usc_tim/2048090822-0833.html. b Blum, A., and K. Fitzgerald. 1985. How tobacco companies have found religion. NY State Journal of Medicine 85: 445–50. Rosenblatt, R. 1994. How do tobacco executives live with themselves? New York Times, March 20. c 185
  8. 8. 6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t sPerceptions that the public has about a perceptions and negative publicity about thecompany, called corporate brand image industry,40 particularly among consumersassociations, can be formed or strengthened who may be otherwise difficult to reach.when a brand becomes linked to a sportingevent, social issue, or other sponsorship One type of tobacco sponsorship haselement. In the process, the tobacco involved community and educationalcompany becomes linked with causes or programs for youth, including partnershipsevents that are important to a particular with the 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs oftarget group. The pre-existing associations America, baseball camps, and otherpeople have about the sporting event or community organizations. In one case,social issue may become connected in Philip Morris provided schools throughoutmemory to the company or brands that the country with covers for school bookssponsor that event. This is similar to the with the message, “Think. Don’t Smoke.”way an image of a brand benefits from and the name of Philip Morris.41 The bookthe positive attributes of a celebrity who covers were criticized by some schools asendorses it (see chapter 10) or an appealing delivering an underlying message aboutlifestyle associated with the branded a cigarette, which generated considerableproduct (see chapter 3). The corporate news coverage. In a systematic review ofbrand associations that transfer from tobacco industry transcripts from tobaccothe sporting event or social cause to the litigation cases from 1992 to 2002, Wakefieldcompany sponsor could include general and colleagues42 present industry responsesaffective associations (such as fun, exciting, to this issue. Ellen Merlo, Vice President ofand liking) or more specific associations Corporate Affairs at Philip Morris, reported(such as credible, rugged, health-conscious, that even though the company had changed,and compassionate). they would “think long and hard because maybe people are not yet ready for us toIn the special case in which the company supply something like a book cover.”43 Thename is the same as its product name implication was that the problem rested with(e.g., the Philip Morris brand of cigarettes the community, who had not yet acceptedis sold in the Philippines), advertising and the new, responsible tobacco companysponsorship using the corporate name may policies.42 The book covers were notbenefit the cigarette sales of the brand that portrayed as a merchandising tool associatedshares the corporate name. (See chapter 3 with corporate sponsorship, yet regardlessfor a discussion of “shell” companies withcigarette brand names and how corporatesponsorship can be used to promote a brandif the brand and company names are thesame.) By associating tobacco companieswith positive social values and institutions,corporate sponsorship also is expected tocultivate goodwill for perceived generosity.For instance, Yerger and Malone reportthat radio programming to honor BlackHistory Month associated Philip Morris withAfrican-American accomplishments, andbillboards for the National Urban Leagueadvertised the R.J. Reynolds logo with that “Think. Don’t Smoke.” book coverof a prominent civil rights organization.39 from Youth Smoking Prevention bySuch associations serve to counter negative Philip Morris186
  9. 9. Monograph 19. The Role of the Mediaof intent, providing book covers to youth if people support a social cause, sportingwould have similar effects as other forms of event, or cultural activity sponsored by amerchandising: favorable associations with particular company, they are more likelythe book covers (such as education-focused to view the company’s social responsibilityor health-conscious) could extend to the favorably. People attending events (whethertobacco company sponsor. sponsored by tobacco or other companies) are likely to be strong supporters of thoseTobacco Corporate Sponsorship causes and may transfer those positive feelings to the sponsoring company.Effects on Consumer Perceptions Consumers attending the event may alsoand Sales identify with the cause as having traits that overlap with the consumer’s self-conceptA question raised at the start of this chapter (e.g., civic-minded, or compassionate).9,49is whether and how tobacco corporate To the extent that the corporate imagesponsorships benefit the tobacco companies. campaign signals that the company hasUnfortunately, research has not adequately the desired traits of the cause and theaddressed this issue. In particular, more consumer’s self-image, the consumer is moreresearch is needed on whether tobacco likely to favorably evaluate the company.corporate sponsorships have been successful Overall, when a company behaves in a wayin enhancing the public’s perception of that is viewed as socially responsible, peoplethe credibility, trustworthiness, and social often infer that the company has desirableresponsibility of the tobacco sponsors. traits that resemble their own sense of self.1Studies of industries other than tobaccosuggest that a company’s association A second question posed earlier is whetherwith positively perceived events or enhancing corporate social responsibility,causes enhances consumers’ perceptions trustworthiness, credibility, or attitudesof corporate social responsibility.44–47 toward the tobacco company increases salesFor example, research on event sponsorships of tobacco products. Further research is stillin domains other than tobacco has found needed in this area, and data pertaining tothat sponsorships increase people’s favorable effects of corporate sponsorships on salesassociations to the company sponsor.46,47 of individual branded tobacco productsSocially responsible corporate activity may were not identified in the literature search.also represent a competitive advantage However, research in other industries showsbecause of its positive effects on company that a positive relationship exists between areputation,48 setting apart one company company’s socially responsible actions andfrom others. As Bhattacharya and Sen9 consumers’ attitudes toward the companyargue, efforts by companies to engage in and its products.33,50,51 Further, the linksocially responsible actions are more likely between corporate social responsibility andto have a positive effect, and set the company financial performance, while mixed, is mostlyapart from competitors, when people view favorable.52 Brown and Dacin50 found thatthe company as a pioneer in its socially a company’s record of social responsibilityresponsible policies and when the company’s positively increased people’s attitudes towardintegrated marketing communications the company, which, in turn, increasedcreate a consistent message. people’s preferences for a new product by the company. Creyer and Ross33 found aBhattacharya and Sen9 also note that a key positive relationship between consumers’determinant of the success of corporate preferences for a company’s products andsocial responsibility activity is whether the extent to which the company’s ethicsconsumers support the cause. For example, exceeded their expectations. 187
  10. 10. 6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t sJust as corporate social responsibility can of a company on the basis of its reputation.enhance a company’s image and product Another study, by Creyer and Ross,33 foundsales, the reverse effects may occur when a that when a hypothetical cereal companycompany is viewed as socially irresponsible. was described as having deliberately deceivedIn fact, when people are exposed to events or consumers, subsequent publicity about thecauses sponsored by a company, sometimes company’s sponsorship of a children’s charitythey engage in causal attributions about the increased the amount of money consumersmotives of the company or message source. were willing to pay for the company’sIn such cases, the positive effects of corporate products.33 Clearly, more research is neededsocial responsibility may be reduced or on tobacco sponsorship to determine whenreversed when consumers are suspicious such campaigns improve a company’sabout corporate motives.32,48,53 For example, reputation and credibility and when they doSzykman and colleagues54 found that when harm. Using media to increase the public’speople viewed a message discouraging awareness of corporate sponsorship maydrinking and driving that was sponsored by serve to minimize the public’s perceptionsthe nonprofit organization Mothers Against of a tobacco company’s lack of socialDrunk Driving (MADD), they rated the responsibility in the marketplace.motives of the sponsor as generally positiveand serving the society. However, those who Some organizations have refused tobaccoviewed the same advertisement sponsored industry sponsorship. According to Stoneby Anheuser-Busch for Budweiser beer and Siegel,58 organizations cited two reasonsrated the sponsor’s motives as negative and for their opposition: (1) concern that tobaccoself-serving. Consumers’ overall attitudes funds undermine a mission to improvetoward the sponsors, that is, overall attitudes overall health, and (2) concern that publictoward MADD or toward Budweiser, were association with a tobacco company wouldleft unchanged by the drinking-and-driving damage the organization’s credibility.58advertisement.54 Other research is more Future research should examine whethercautionary and finds that consumers feel pairing a tobacco company sponsor withless favorably toward spokespersons they a well-liked cause or event harms theregard as having self-serving or suspicious recipient’s reputation as much as it ismotives.55,56 It is, therefore, in the interest believed to help that of the sponsor. If so,of companies—tobacco companies, in such evidence may further discouragethis case—to neutralize negative public organizations from accepting tobacco money.opinion and make people less skeptical oftheir motives. In summary, while research on the effects of tobacco corporate sponsorships is limited,Negative corporate social responsibility research on other industries suggests thatassociations have also been found to have a sponsorships not only enhance perceptionsnegative effect on the company’s products.50 of the company but also that companiesGoldberg and Hartwick,57 in an experiment perceived as socially responsible benefitanalyzing the combined effects of a through more positive perceptions of thecompany’s reputation and advertisements company’s products. Research on companieson product evaluations, found that when with negative reputations is only suggestive.participants had a negative evaluation of While one study suggested that a negativea company because of a bad reputation, reputation hurts the consumers’ perceptionsadvertisements by the company were of the company’s products, another studyviewed as less credible and the products suggested that these negative perceptionsadvertised were rated less favorably than can be offset by perceptions of a sociallywhen participants had a positive evaluation responsible sponsorship. On the basis of188
  11. 11. Monograph 19. The Role of the Mediafindings reported earlier that the public have a lot of credibility. Our short-term goalviews tobacco companies as dishonest and is to make people aware of our position onis distrustful of their motives, tobacco youth smoking. Our long-term goal is tocompanies may have much to gain in raise the credibility of this company.”62 Evenchanging these perceptions and presenting when consumers do not explicitly connecttheir companies as socially responsible. a company’s products to the company name, corporate image advertising may beTobacco Corporate Sponsorship beneficial to a company. In addition to the findings reported about the benefits to theEffects on Tobacco Control Policy company regarding corporate sponsorship, including building awareness and favorableA third question posed at the beginning image associations, corporate advertisingof this chapter is whether corporate may also be used to influence public opinionsponsorships have effects on jury perceptions on issues and make a favorable impressionand other forms of public support for on the financial community.29 Corporatetobacco control policies. While research is advertising by cigarette companies canlimited in this area as well, some evidence also have a broad reach. According toexists that tobacco companies have used U.S. Nielsen data for 1999–2003, thecorporate sponsorship to influence opinion mean number of monthly exposures toleaders. In opposition to a New York City antismoking advertisements was greaterproposal to ban smoking in most restaurants for those sponsored by tobacco companiesand public places, Philip Morris threatened than for those sponsored by public healthto relocate its corporate headquarters and agencies by a factor of 1.57:1 amongpersuaded art institutions to lobby the households and 1.11:1 among youth.63city council.59 Although many arts groupsfelt obliged to voice support for their Typologies of corporate advertisingcorporate patron, the smoking ban passed. distinguish between corporate image/In other efforts to defeat tobacco control institutional advertisements, which aimlegislation and promote its policy agenda, to establish or enhance the sponsor’sthe industry has compelled the organizations reputation as a good corporate citizen, andit supported to write letters on its behalf.39 corporate advocacy advertisements, whichCorporate philanthropy has been described aim to influence public opinion and policyas improving a company’s strategic focus on issues that concern the corporation.64–66and competitive context.60 These examples However, the two categories are notof sponsorship by the tobacco industry were mutually exclusive as advertisers expectmore strategic than philanthropic. audiences to think well of organizations that take appropriate stands on key issues.67 Indeed, the broad aim of all corporateCorporate Advertising advertising is to create an environment that is more favorable to the sponsor.68,69Corporate advertising is often designedto promote an organization’s image or Direct advocacy takes the form of aviewpoint, rather than to sell particular persuasive argument, presenting facts orproducts or services.61 Statements from the arguments that portray the sponsor positivelysenior vice president for communications and its opponent negatively.64 An exampleat Philip Morris serve to illustrate the value is the 1954 newspaper advertisement, titledof advertising a youth access program: “A Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers,”“It wouldn’t be a bolt out of the blue that a in which the tobacco industry questionedtobacco company like Philip Morris doesn’t research implicating smoking as a cause of 189
  12. 12. 6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t scancer, promised consumers that cigarettes both with regard to the youth smokingwere safe, and pledged its cooperation to prevention advertisements and with regardsafeguard the public’s health.70,71 To defuse to other corporate image advertising.negative publicity surrounding accusations Also addressed in this section is whetherthat tobacco companies manipulated nicotine corporate advertising influences salesin cigarettes, Philip Morris sponsored a of tobacco products, intentions to startnewspaper advertisement that dismissed smoking, or intentions to quit smoking.the allegations as innuendo and offered itsdenials as “facts smokers and nonsmokers Youth Smoking Preventionshould know.”72,73 AdvertisementsIndirect advocacy typically characterizes The tobacco industry’s forays into youtha corporation as serving a public interest smoking prevention, and the criticisms ofand its activities as the preferred solutions these efforts, are not new.75–78 Mass mediato issues of public concern.64 For example, campaigns focusing on youth smokingnewspaper advertisements that unveiled prevention have been sponsored by botha youth access program to enhance the Philip Morris and Lorillard. In 1998,public’s perception of the credibility of Philip Morris launched a $100 millionPhilip Morris would be considered indirect campaign consisting of several televisionadvocacy ads. These advertisements helped and magazine advertisements aimedPhilip Morris avoid strong legislation on at youth with the slogan “Think. Don’tsales to minors and attempted to persuade Smoke.” and advertisements targetinglawmakers and opinion leaders that the parents with the slogan “Talk. They’llcompany did not want minors to have Listen.” These campaigns portray the firstaccess to cigarettes.74 positive images of tobacco companies on television in the more than 30 years sinceThe next sections review the few published televised cigarette advertisements werestudies on this topic to address whether banned on January 2, 1971.22 The targetthe tobacco industry’s youth smoking audience for the “Think. Don’t Smoke.”prevention advertisements have succeededor failed as public relations tools as wellas consider the impact of corporate imageadvertising on charitable assistance.Tobacco Corporate AdvertisingEffects on Company Perceptionsand SalesThe first issue addressed in this sectionis whether corporate image advertisinghas been successful in enhancing thepublic’s perceptions of the credibility,trustworthiness, social responsibility, and/orattitudes concerning tobacco companies.Although this question was difficult toanswer for corporate sponsorship (due to “Think. Don’t Smoke.” from Youththe paucity of research), a few studies have Smoking Prevention campaign bybeen conducted on corporate advertising, Philip Morris190
  13. 13. Monograph 19. The Role of the Mediacampaign, according toPhilip Morris, was youthaged 10–14.78 In 1999,Philip Morris launched acampaign with the slogan,“Talk. They’ll Listen.” focusedon parental responsibilityfor talking to childrenabout smoking. In courttestimony on the tobaccocompany youth smokingcampaign, Philip Morriswitnesses stressed theseriousness of their effortsin trying to reduce smokingamong youth, rather than “Talk. They’ll Listen.” from Youth From “Tobacco Is Whacko if You’re atheir use of the campaign Smoking Prevention campaign by Teen” campaign by Lorillardfor public relations Philip Morrispurposes.42 As evidence forthe seriousness of their efforts, witnesses campaign featured the slogan, “Parents.pointed to the amount of funding given to The best thing between kids and cigarettes.”youth smoking prevention. Increases in According to Nielsen data, the tobaccofunding, however, have tended to coincide companies’ prevention advertisementswith increases in tobacco litigation cases.42 aimed at youth appeared as often in all television households as in householdsIn 1999 and 2000, Philip Morris was the with the “target” adolescent audience63single largest antismoking advertiser (see chapter 5). The fact that the youthin the United States, even in states with smoking prevention advertising targetedaggressive antitobacco media campaigns.79 all television households rather than solelyAlthough the “Think. Don’t Smoke.” youth, along with the emphasis placedadvertisements ceased in 2002, similar on the amount of money spent on youthprevention advertisements appeared on smoking prevention, seem to indicateMusic Television (MTV) in Europe and the advertising campaign, was, at least inAustralia. part, a public relations strategy intended to reduce the general public’s negativeBetween 1999 and 2004, Lorillard’s perceptions of the tobacco companies.prevention advertisements with the“Tobacco Is Whacko if You’re a Teen” slogan Consistent with the goals of corporate imageappeared widely in teen magazines and advertising, the youth smoking preventionon cable television, including the most advertisements promoted more positivepopular shows for adolescents on ESPN attitudes toward tobacco companies. In a(Entertainment and Sports Programming telephone survey of a representative sampleNetwork), MTV, and Warner Brothers of U.S. adolescents (aged 12–17 years),stations.77 The budget for this campaign sponsored by the Legacy Media Trackingwas about $13 million.80 Eventually, the Studies and analyzed and reported by Farrellycompany replaced its advertisements aimed and colleagues,81 those who reported seeingat youth with advertisements targeting any one Philip Morris advertisement wereparents. Formerly known as “Take 10,” significantly less likely than unexposed peersthe subsequent Lorillard prevention to agree with statements, such as “cigarette 191
  14. 14. 6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t s Youth Smoking Prevention: Researching the Tobacco Industry Agenda Analysis of tobacco industry documents identifies several motivations for tobacco industry youth smoking prevention programs. For example, Landman and colleaguesa reveal that the industry promoted its youth smoking prevention programs to discourage restrictions on marketing and other legislation that it found threatening. In one case, in 1991, Philip Morris stated that “youth initiatives,” if successful, would lead to a “reduction in legislation or banning our sales and marketing activities.”b Landman and colleagues also found that industry program themes and messages consistently downplayed the health effects of smoking to frame it as an “adult choice.” As one example, Tobacco Institute Vice President Anne Duffin, in 1985, sought advice from a tobacco industry law firm about how to avoid mentioning the health consequences of smoking in a brochure, called “Helping Youth Decide.” “Because of criticism from the antis [antismokers] on HYD [Helping Youth Decide], I’d like to get our own scenario in on cigarettes—not touching on any health implications, but positing that youngsters don’t need to smoke to look ‘grown up,’ needn’t blindly follow the examples of others, etc.” [italics added by Landman and colleagues].a(p.919) Documents revealed that motivations for youth smoking campaigns also included (1) building alliances with third parties, such as youth and tobacco control groups, which had the “youth credibility” that the industry itself lacked, and (2) giving Philip Morris a legitimate reason to continue its research on teenage smoking patterns.c Carter’s analysis showed that international efforts with identical strategies were being deployed in Australia, with an ultimate aim of creating a “global brand” for industry youth smoking prevention efforts, with tangible benefits for tobacco industry stakeholders.d Landman, A., P. M. Ling, and S. A. Glantz. 2002. Tobacco industry youth smoking prevention programs: a Protecting the industry and hurting tobacco control. American Journal of Public Health 92 (6): 917–30. b Slavitt, J. J. TI youth initiative. Philip Morris. 12 Feb 1991. Bates No. 2500082629/2634. http://legacy.library .ucsf.edu/tid/sj119e00. Philip Morris. 2004. Welcome to Philip Morris USA Youth Smoking Prevention’s Teenage Attitudes and c Behavior Study. http://www.philipmorris.com/policies_practices/ysp/research.asp. d Carter, S. M. 2003. From legitimate consumers to public relations pawns: The tobacco industry and young Australians. Tobacco Control 12 Suppl. 3: iii71–iii78.companies deny that cigarettes cause tobacco use prevention advertisementsdisease,” and “I would like to see cigarette expressed significantly greater sympathycompanies go out of business.”81(p.904) toward the tobacco industry than didMoreover, exposure to additional comparison group members who viewedPhilip Morris advertisements reinforced either antismoking advertisements fromthese attitudes. Because the data are cross- Legacy or advertisements about drunksectional, it also is plausible that adolescents driving.82 Industry sympathy was measuredwho held more favorable opinions about by agreement with statements such ascigarette companies were more attentive “cigarette companies get too much blameto Philip Morris advertisements (an effect for young people smoking” and “cigaretteof selective exposure). However, the companies should have the same right to sellsurvey results are consistent with those cigarettes as other companies have to sellof a randomized controlled trial, reported their products.”82(p.15)by Henriksen and colleagues,82 in whichCalifornia adolescents (aged 14–17 years) Wakefield and colleagues42 argue that,who viewed Philip Morris or Lorillard given the sophisticated methods available192
  15. 15. Monograph 19. The Role of the Mediato these companies for determining the advertisements increase credibility of theeffectiveness of advertising campaigns, the advertising message, which could increaseconsiderable funding of the youth smoking positive attitudes toward the tobaccoprevention programs, and the companies’ industry and, in turn, reduce criticism frominsistence on the seriousness of their efforts, youth groups in the community.one source of data for the effectiveness ofthese programs should be the cigarette Other Corporate Image Advertisingcompanies themselves. However, accordingto court testimony from 1992 to 2003, the Most of the available data on other corporatecompanies did not make any assessments image advertising involves analysis ofabout the effects of their campaign on various Philip Morris campaigns. In 1999,youth smoking. Instead, company witnesses Philip Morris launched a $250 millionfocused on advertising reach as a measure media campaign to advertise its charitableof effectiveness (for example, 90% of 10- to assistance for the elderly and for homeless14-year-olds had seen the advertisements) adolescents, as well as for victims ofand on qualitative data.42 Industry documents domestic violence, midwestern floods, andin the 1990s, reported by Landman and war-torn Bosnia.88 Featuring the slogan,colleagues,77 also show evidence that tobacco “Working to make a difference. The peoplecompanies measured media “hits,” program of Philip Morris,” television and magazineawareness, and corporate image perceptions, advertisements promoted the corporaterather than the effectiveness of their name and logo, flanked by the moreprograms in reducing teen smoking.77 recognizable symbols of its Kraft Foods and Miller Brewing subsidiaries. CombiningAcademic research exists, however, on these advertisements with those aboutthe effectiveness of these youth smoking youth smoking prevention accounted for acampaigns in curbing smoking intentions dramatic increase in Philip Morris corporateand behavior. Evidence reviewed in advertising, peaking at $317.5 million inchapter 12 suggests that the tobacco 2000 (figure 6.2).13,89,90 Between 1999 andcompanies’ prevention advertisements 2001, following the MSA, Philip Morrishave failed as antismoking messages.82–85 spent three to five times more money toEven worse, in the case of advertisements advertise its corporate brand name than ittargeting parents, the messages succeeded spent to advertise its top-selling brand ofas prosmoking messages.81,86 Following cigarettes. The quantity and content of itsexposure to these advertisements, youth in advertising suggested an unprecedentedgrades 10 and 12 showed stronger approval effort to increase the company’s visibilityof smoking, stronger intentions to smoke and cultivate a new corporate image.in the future, and increased likelihoodof smoking.86 In an experimental study, reported by Henriksen and Fortmann,91 testingIn other research, by Donovan and the effectiveness of the Philip Morriscolleagues,87 of Western Australian youth, corporate advertisements, young adultstobacco industry youth smoking prevention (aged 18–27 years) in California evaluatedadvertisements showed mixed support in corporate advocacy advertisements fromeffectiveness on reducing desire to smoke Pfizer and Chevron followed by either fourin the future, with results varying by Philip Morris advertisements about youthmessage theme and smoker status. However, smoking prevention, four Philip Morrisacross both smoker and nonsmoker advertisements about community service,groups, message believability was high. or four Anheuser-Busch advertisementsThe authors conclude that these corporate about preventing underage drinking.91 193
  16. 16. 6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t s Figure 6.2 Philip Morris’s Annual Advertising Expenditures for its Corporate and Marlboro Brands $350 Marlboro Cigarettes $317.5 $300 Philip Morris Corporate $250 $200 $178.6 Millions $153.6 $150 $134.6 $114.5 $100 $94.7 $94.5 $50 $33.0 $17.1 $5.9 0 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Think. Don’t Smoke. Work to Make a Difference. Note. Expenditure data for measured and unmeasured media were estimated (by Advertising Age ) but did not include cigarette marketing expenditures such as price discounts or promotional allowances (which comprise more than one-half of the annual marketing budget). Also note that these data are considerably lower than FTC expenditure data for the same years because the figure estimates expenditures for a single brand from only one of the five tobacco companies summarized in the annual FTC report. Advertising Age ceased reporting annual expenditures for Marlboro in 2002. The numbers in the figure do not include marketing expenditures at the point of sale. Adapted from Advertising Age. 1999. The 100 leaders. Advertising Age, September 27; Advertising Age. 2000. The 100 leaders. Advertising Age, September 24; Advertising Age. 2002. Advertising Age’s 100 leaders national advertisers report: Advertiser profile edition. Advertising Age, June 24.Although Philip Morris smoking prevention increased beliefs that “Philip Morris isadvertisements were perceived to be less working to change for the better,” andcredible than the company’s community “Philip Morris is open and honest aboutservice advertisements, the two types of their products and business practices.”advertisements improved corporate image After launching its Web campaign inperceptions almost equally well. Groups June 2003, Philip Morris’s public relationsexposed to any Philip Morris advertisements firm collected opinion survey datarated the company’s image more favorably among U.S. adults, oversampling certainthan did the comparison group. The target groups (e.g., African Americans,advertisements were most effective among Hispanics, and opinion leaders). The firstthose who were unaware that Philip Morris reported that 81% of people who saw theis a tobacco company. advertisements had a positive impression of them, and 55% gave Philip Morris aTobacco industry documents, too, show favorable rating for addressing tobaccoimproved corporate image perceptions issues. The advertisements also weredue to Philip Morris’s corporate reported as more credible than anti-industryadvertisements.11 Before launching their advertising and as creating an impression“Things are changing” advertisements, of responsible marketing practices. On thefocus group data reported in company other hand, the public relations firm stateddocuments in May 2000 showed that “acknowledging health risks” is a key194
  17. 17. Monograph 19. The Role of the Media Health-Risk Promotion: A New Tobacco Industry Strategy In a more radical step for the tobacco industry, particularly relative to older internal documents,a,b self-imposed health warnings have begun to appear. A Philip Morris cigarette pack insert explicitly stated that “Smoking causes many serious and fatal diseases including lung cancer, heart disease, and emphysema. Your risk of getting a disease from smoking is very high. Do not think that smoking won’t affect your health.”c An accompanying advertisement argues that “it also requires education about the serious health effects of smoking, including addiction.”d Another advertisement explicitly states that low tar is not a safer option and quotes the World Health Organization in support. Marc Fritsch, Philip Morris head of corporate communications, spelled out the strategy behind this latest campaign: “We are providing information to respond to consumer concerns which is good for long-term business. We’re not telling them something they don’t already know. They simply want us to be more transparent. Yes, it’s frank, but why should we say anything different?”e a Nicoli, D. P. Memorandum. 14 Feb 2000. Philip Morris. Bates No. 2073073375. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/ tid/ssf60c00. b Philip Morris. “Steve” PM21 research overall objective. Dec 1999. Philip Morris. Bates No. 2073074117. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/yiv27d00. c Philip Morris. 2000. Pack “Onsert.” http://www.philipmorrisinternational.com/global/downloads/SH/Feature _30_Swiss_onsert.pdf. d Philip Morris. 2003. Press ads. http://www.philipmorrisinternational.com/global/downloads/SF/Feature_30 _press_comms.pdf. Jones, M. C. 2003. What doesn’t kill you might even make you stronger. Brand Strategy 177:10–11. edriver of corporate reputation and still must by distinguishing the company frombe addressed before other messages can competitors and forging alliances withimprove reputation.92(Bates no. 3000176517) certain tobacco control organizations.McDaniel and colleagues93 analyzed Finally, in April 1998, four of the five largestindustry documents and reported that tobacco companies began a $40 millionoverall favorability ratings of Philip Morris advertising campaign (including print,increased from 23% in 1997 to 39% radio, and television advertisements) “toin 2000, mostly due to changes in the inform the American people about both the18–34-year age group (an increase from proposed national tobacco resolution and19% to 45%). In January 2004, 58% agreed proposed legislation before Congress.”94(p.135)that the tobacco industry was acting more A survey conducted in August 1998 byresponsibly than in the past. Philip Morris Princeton Survey Research Associates,fared better than others; 41% said that working under the direction of thePhilip Morris was more responsible than University of Pennsylvania’s Annenbergother companies. It is difficult to discern Public Policy Center led by Communicationwhich particular campaign may have led Professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson,94to the increases. The authors chose to analyzed public opinion in response to thediscuss the changes in connection with a industry’s campaign as a function of whetherlong-term Philip Morris program, called media markets received light exposure“Project Sunrise.” This project aimed (an average of 9 exposures), moderateat countering threats to the company’s exposure (an average of 25), heavy exposurepublic credibility and financial success (57 exposures), or no exposures, during 195
  18. 18. 6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t sa period of three and one-half months. as discussed in chapter 12, has shownThe survey found that individuals exposed effects on smoking behavior. In a coupleto heavy advertising judged three of the five of studies, youth showed increased rates ofmessage claims as more accurate than did smoking, increased intentions to smoke,those with less or no advertising exposure, and increased approval of smoking followingeven after controlling for behavioral, exposure to the tobacco industry’s youthattitudinal, and demographic factors. For smoking prevention advertisementsexample, 43% of those exposed to heavy targeting parents.advertising, as compared with 31% exposedto no advertising, agreed that “the tobacco Future research should investigate theplan Congress considered would create possibility that corporate advertisingthe largest consumer tax in history.”94(p.138) reduces the effectiveness of ongoingIt appears that exposure to protobacco antismoking campaigns by makingadvertisements changed the public’s audiences more resistant to criticism ofperceptions about claims concerning the the tobacco industry. Evidence for thistobacco debate in 1998.94 Those changes inoculation effect has been demonstratedmay have enhanced the industry’s image in other contexts.95,96 For example,and bargaining power as it negotiated the attitudinal and corporate image effectsMSA (signed in November 1998) with state were measured after varying young adults’attorneys general. exposure to advocacy advertisements from a Mobil Oil campaign and antiadvocacyIn summary, the research on the tobacco advertisements on behalf of an opposingindustries’ youth smoking prevention and position. Consistent with the inoculationother corporate image campaigns finds theory,97,98 prior exposure to advocacythat while public opinion of the industry advertising yielded more favorable attitudeshas been very poor (as described earlier toward Mobil’s position and more favorablein this chapter), corporate advertisements impressions of the company.95 In the contextgarnered support for the industry, including of antismoking campaigns, understandingrating the companies as less dishonest, inoculation effects may improve the designless culpable for adolescent smoking, and placement of specialized counter-more responsible, and more favorable advertising.99 Finally, more research isoverall. Company data from Philip Morris needed on the tobacco industry’s outreachalso indicate that this advertising to tobacco control organizations—such asincreased company credibility and gave appearances at public health conferences,the impression of responsible marketing. support for potential reduced exposureCorporate image advertising benefits from products (PREPs) as part of industryassociation with prosocial issues in much strategy, and links to tobacco controlthe same way that corporate sponsorship organizations on tobacco industry Webbenefits from association with prosocial sites—and the effects these efforts have onissues.45 Adolescents and young adults the favorability of tobacco corporate images.transfer favorable image associationsfrom the prosocial issue to the tobacco Tobacco Corporate Advertisingcompanies. As discussed for corporate Effects on Tobacco Control Policysponsorship, more research is needed todetermine whether the increased support The evidence for the effects of corporatefor the tobacco companies translates advertising on tobacco control policy isinto increased sales of tobacco company limited, but analysis of industry documentsproducts. However, research on youth shows that influencing legislation is a goalsmoking prevention programs, in particular, of corporate advertisements. According to196
  19. 19. Monograph 19. The Role of the Mediaindustry documents, tobacco companies Corporate Advertising onconceived of youth smoking preventionprograms as public relations campaigns Tobacco Company Web Sitesaimed at generating positive news coverage,encouraging support from business and from The corporate Web sites of the majorparent and teacher groups, and discouraging tobacco companies, such as Philip Morris,legislation that would restrict or ban tobacco provide a wealth of information about thesales or marketing activities.77 In lawsuits companies’ social-responsibility policies andfiled by people who believed they were actions. Information includes positions onaffected by problems caused by smoking, the health consequences of smoking, youthtobacco company executives testified about smoking prevention initiatives, rationales fortheir youth smoking prevention programs support or nonsupport for advertising bans,to convince jurors that the companies and other social-responsibility positions.should be viewed sympathetically and toreduce or eliminate punitive damages.100 One of the message elements appearing inDespite the myriad ways in which tobacco corporate advertisements by Philip Morriscompanies benefit from their prevention in their “www.philipmorrisusa.com”advertisements, participants of focus groups campaign has been an invitation to visitconvened to gauge public opinion of the its corporate Web site. Also advertised onadvertisements perceived them to contradict prime-time television, in magazines, inthe industry’s interests.77 As such, the public newspapers, and on inserts tucked in itsresponse to these advertisements, in some cigarette packs, the corporate Web site hascases, may be suspicion. Alternatively, since attracted approximately 250,000 visits peraudiences perceive statements against month.38 To the extent that consumers areself-interest to be particularly persuasive,101 persuaded by corporate advertising to visit athe advertisements could potentially tobacco company Web site address, they willenhance the company’s ability to garner be exposed to further corporate advertisingpublic sympathy. information. As reported by Szczypka and colleagues,11 a company memo in 2001,Future research is needed to measure the written by a public relations companyrelationship between corporate advertising hired to review the Philip Morris Web site,exposure and public support for tobacco- suggested that Internet information iscontrol policies and to more directly more credible than paid media. In 2003,assess the role of corporate advertising in Philip Morris created a search engine plangaining opposition to more restrictive laws to increase traffic flow to their Web site,and regulations. Studies of the tobacco and include a range of information on healthcompanies’ prevention advertisements have issues, addiction, and Philip Morris products,focused primarily on adolescents’ reactions but to do so in “a more user friendly,to television advertisements aimed at youth. transparent, credible voice.”102(Bates no. 3001113881)However, since the tobacco industry has This redesigned Web site targeted opinionshifted its resources for youth smoking leaders and adults 18 years of age and older.11prevention messages from targeting Philip Morris characterizes, on the Webadolescents to targeting parents, the site, the company’s positions on the risks ofeffects of the messages on adults becomes smoking, without compromising its legalimportant. Research with adult respondents defenses.71 It seems reasonable to speculateshould address whether this shift represents that, in addition to targeted opinion leaders,a more effective strategy to forestall consumers likely to visit the corporatelegislation that would restrict industry sales Web site would be smokers seeking helpand marketing activities. in quitting smoking. As such, the Web site 197
  20. 20. 6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t sprovides the tobacco company with a means In the next section, the PM21 integrativefor targeting specific audiences. marketing campaign is described as a case study of corporate public relationsMedia Literacy and Corporate campaigns.AdvertisingOne means of countering the effects of PM21: An Integratedcorporate advertising is media literacy, an“ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and Public Relationscreate messages in a variety of forms.”103(p.7) CampaignUnfortunately, little research has beenidentified that examines media literacy Although typically regarded as distinctin the context of corporate advertising. campaigns, Philip Morris advertisementsHowever, research sponsored by Legacy104 about youth smoking prevention andsuggests that youth who were exposed to community service were part of amore Legacy advertisements (critical of the coordinated public relations campaign calledtobacco industry) had more skeptical views PM21 or “Philip Morris in the 21st Century.”about tobacco companies. Furthermore, This multifaceted campaign included paidpath analytic data among adolescents media, a corporate Web site, a charitableaged 12–17 showed that mistrust of giving program, a speakers’ bureau, andindividual tobacco companies was linked an internal toolkit to enhance employeeto mistrust of the tobacco industry overall, morale.40 A 1999 company documentthat mistrust of the tobacco industry was summarizes the corporate image advertisinglinked to more negative attitudes toward and illustrates the central role of its youththe tobacco industry, and that negative smoking prevention advertisements in theindustry attitudes were linked to a lower company’s image “makeover”105 (figure 6.3).likelihood of smoking.104 Research is neededto determine whether these effects alsoare found for adults. Teaching audiences Objectives of the PM21about the advertiser’s identity and motives Advertising Campaignmay encourage more skeptical responsesto the tobacco companies’ advocacy A primary objective of PM21 was to moveadvertisements.22 However, advertisements the public’s opinion of Philip Morristhat have been designed to discredit the (its corporate image) closer to thetobacco industry do not typically name company’s view of itself (its corporatea specific company or specific brand. identity), a process the company referredFor example, advertisements from the to as “societal alignment.”105(Bates no. 2081609499)California Department of Health Services The public relations campaign had fourrefer to “Big Tobacco.” These advertisements target audiences: African Americans (agedmock what a tobacco company might say: 25–54 years), Hispanics (aged 25–54 years),“We don’t say anything about cigarettes opinion leaders, and active mothers. Opinionon the tube. We talk about beer, we talk leaders were defined as adults who voted inabout cheese, and we talk about community the past year; belonged to a club; and eitherservice.” Research is needed to determine led a company or worked for the federal,whether these types of oblique references state, or local government. Active mothersto a particular cigarette company, such had at least one child under age 18 in theiras Philip Morris, are understood and are households and either voted in the past year,sufficient to engender skepticism about a entertained guests two to three times percompany’s television advertising. month, held a position on a school/college198
  21. 21. Monograph 19. The Role of the Media Figure 6.3 Overview of PM21 Advertising Campaign PM Corporate Image Advertising Communications Architecture Societal Alignment Corporate Image Advertising Image Building Communication Objective: Audience: Opinion Leaders African Americans Active Mothers Hispanics Responsible Normalization Strategy: Shared Values Marketer/Manufacturer of Tobacco (Just Another Fortune 500 (…And acts on them) Company) (Open and Honest) Primary Strengthening Making a Informed More Than a Campaign Efforts to Difference Choices Tobacco Company Messages: Protect Kids Note. From Philip Morris. 1999. PM corporate image advertising audience groups. Bates No. 2081609502. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/clr65c00.board, took part in a civic issue, influenced smoking prevention advertisements; andothers’ purchase decisions, or engaged in (4) “More than a tobacco company” refersfundraising. to advertisements that linked Philip Morris with its nontobacco subsidiaries and products. PM21 advertisements usedTargeted Advertisements different execution styles, slogans, andCreated for PM21 source attributions. Nonetheless, all portrayed reasons for audiences to “connectAs shown in Figure 6.3, PM21 was with Philip Morris on a positive emotionaldesigned to persuade target audiences level.”106(Bates no. 2081613330) For example, athat Philip Morris shares their social company document described its “desiredvalues; is an open, honest, responsible mindset” for active mothers as follows:marketer/manufacturer of tobacco products;and is just like any other Fortune 500 I understand they make risky products, butcompany. Four types of advertisements I see in the past few years PM has gottenrepresented these key messages: (1) “Making its act together. They aren’t so duplicitousa difference” refers to advertisements and they’re being more responsible.about Philip Morris’s community service; They’re actually doing something to help(2) “Strengthening efforts to protect kids and their futures. Working togetherkids” refers to advertisements about we’re going to get there. There’s somethe company’s support of the MSA common ground … we want some of the(“At Philip Morris, we’re changing the way same things.107(Bates no. 2081235877)we do business”) and restricting youthaccess at the point of sale (“We card”); Company documents also quote several(3) “Informed choices” refers to the youth major Wall Street analysts as praising the 199
  22. 22. 6 . To b a c c o C o m p a n i e s ’ P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s E f f o r t scampaign, predicting that the corporate peaked at 45%, and advertisement awarenessadvertisements for “a kinder, gentler was associated with more favorablePhilip Morris”108(Bates no. 2071041508) would move impressions of the sponsor. For example,the company toward the mainstream of compared with other adults, more adultscorporate America, improve its government who recalled PM21 advertisements agreedlobbying efforts, and reduce the risk the company “is changing for the better,”of large-scale punitive damage awards “becoming a more responsible corporateduring trials.108 citizen,” and “offering solutions to issues related to its products.” 23(Bates no. 2085220389)Evaluation of the PM21 However, advertisement awareness also wasAdvertising Campaign associated with an increase in unfavorable opinions of Philip Morris (from 37% toAs reported in tobacco industry documents, 44%), signaling a possible backlash againsta market research firm evaluated the campaign.the PM21 campaign by conductingrandom-digit-dial telephone surveys of a The campaign’s most dramatic impactnationally representative sample of adults was on African Americans, among whom18 years and older almost quarterly from favorable opinions of Philip Morris increasedSeptember 1999 to September 2001.23 from 18% to 40%.23 Smaller increases inThe survey asked whether respondents had favorable impressions among active mothersheard of “Philip Morris companies” and, (32% to 37%) and Hispanics (31% to 33%)if so, whether their opinion was favorable and a decrease among opinion leaders (41%or unfavorable. It also measured agreement to 38%) did not exceed the poll’s margin ofwith specific positive statements about error (±6 points). In advertisements aboutthe company’s image and its defense in food banks for the elderly and scholarshiplawsuits. Data collection was suspended programs for youth, PM21 depicted tangibleon September 11, 2001, before oversample benefits to African Americans and usedinterviews of the four target audiences psychographic research about the lifestyles,had begun. Thus, the margin of error activities, and passions of this audience towas ±2 percentage points for all adults strengthen the emotional impact of these(N = 2,078), but ±6 points for subsamples messages.106of active mothers, African Americans,Hispanics, and opinion leaders. PM21 culminated with the company’s decision to rename itself the Altria Group,PM21 persuaded adults without pre-existing which went into effect in January 2003.24opinions of Philip Morris to think favorably The name change represented the logicalabout the company. However, the campaign conclusion of the long-term efforts byfailed to convince those with negative Philip Morris to reposition its company inopinions to think otherwise. Between a more favorable light.September 1999 and August 2001, thenumber of adults with favorable opinions of Hostility toward Philip Morris and thePhilip Morris increased from 26% to 38%, industry it represents appears to bebut unfavorable opinions were unchanged softening. In an annual survey of corporate(41% to 42%).23 Throughout the campaign, reputations that evaluates productsapproximately 50% of respondents said the and services, financial performance,positions the company takes when defending workplace environment, leadership, socialitself in lawsuits were somewhat or very responsibility, and emotional appeal of thebelievable. Unaided recall of television 60 most visible U.S. corporations, ratingsadvertisements for Philip Morris companies for Philip Morris have improved. From200
  23. 23. Monograph 19. The Role of the Media PM21: Preparing for a BacklashPhilip Morris believed criticism of its PM21 public relations campaign was inevitable, and itsstrategic response plan offered vivid descriptions of what might happen.a So-called firestormscenarios anticipated media events, such as the following: n State attorney general convenes a press conference to “denounce PM21 advertisements as a PR scam, a back-door effort to advertise tobacco products, and a violation of the MSA [Master Settlement Agreement].”a He demands that television networks refuse to run the advertisements or provide equal, free time for antitobacco advertising, and prohibits sports facilities that receive public funding from selling any Philip Morris products (e.g., Miller, Kraft, and Oscar Mayer). n Prominent political and public health figures convene a press conference to announce a lawsuit to ban the advertisements, subpoena all records related to the effort, and propose legislative efforts to increase tobacco excise taxes to pay for new antismoking advertisements. n Popular daytime talk show host devotes an entire week of shows to ask the question, “who are the people of Philip Morris?” and sponsors a “give back dirty money” fundraiser to collect money for organizations that receive Philip Morris contributions. n Popular nighttime talk show host attacks the advertising campaign by producing mock advertisements with the tagline, “The people of Philip Morris—Sick, fat, drunk & dead.”aIn fact, a Tonight Show spoof of Philip Morris advertising portrayed the demise of an Americanfamily brought about by corporate donations of Marlboro cigarettes, Miller beer, and Kraft cheese,but it preserved the original tagline (“Working to make a difference”).b In addition, the AmericanLegacy Foundation produced a parody of the advertisement about Philip Morris’s support for theMSA, refuting the company’s claim to have significantly changed its business practices.cOther media also criticized the hypocrisy of the corporate image advertising. A single televisioncommercial, estimated to cost $1 million, dramatized the company’s food donation for Kosovarrefugees—a five-ton food drop of Kraft macaroni and cheese that was valued at approximately$125,000.d Moreover, the company spent substantially less money on annual charitablecontributions than it spent to advertise its largesse: $60 million versus $108 million, respectively,in 1999;e and $125 million versus $142 million, respectively, in 2000.f,g Ultimately, this type ofnegative publicity did not engender the boycotts, lawsuits, or tax increases that Philip Morrisfeared most.a Philip Morris. PM21 overview. 4 Sep 1999. Philip Morris. Bates No. 207823617/6287. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/gds75c00.b Tonight Show NBC. 2001. Request line/tobacco companies. Videocassette. San Francisco: Video MonitoringServices of America.c Healton, C. 2001. Big tobacco’s broken vows. Advertising Age, February 5.d Branch, S. 2001. Philip Morris’ ad on macaroni and peace: Kosovo tale narrows gap between philanthropy,publicity. Wall Street Journal, July 24.Dorfman, L. 2001. Polishing its image or preventing domestic violence: What’s Philip Morris really doing?eOff Our Backs, November.f Bruno, K. 2001. Philip Morris: Killing to make a difference. http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=217.g Chronicle of Philanthropy. 2001. Gifts and grants: Charitable giving at 96 major corporations. http://philanthropy.com/premium/corpgiving/2001corp_page.php?Corp_ID-1009. 201