Philip Morris International: Ethical Violation

1957 Words8 Pages
Report on the background of the ethics violation
Even for adults, cigarette smoking is a harmful habit that may lead to a number of fatal diseases. For this reason, most countries regulate its use. There are countries that have made laws that designate smoking zones, such as Kenya (Boseley, 2014). For such a country, it is a crime for a person to smoke cigarettes anywhere else apart from the designated smoking zones. Another way of regulating the use of tobacco products is through regulating its manufacturers’ advertising. There are countries that have put laws in place that ensure that every cigarette-manufacturer’s advertising is accompanied by a warning on the health risks involved in smoking. However, when it comes to targeting children
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First of all, the company should not have placed adverts targeting children. The advertising department should have done better and avoided courting such problems for the company. But since it had happened already, a quick way out of the problem had to be found. Therefore, the second solution was for the company to offer a public apology and pull down all the adverts that were deemed to be distasteful. This could have been the best course of action since it would have stopped any further criticism of the company and given the executive ample time to develop a different advert. The third and final course of action that Philip Morris International should have taken is to either change the words in their adverts or the images in them. The images of wildness and I-don’t-care attitude that were shown on the adverts were of particular concern to the anti-tobacco campaigners. Therefore, the company could have offered to change the images and replace them with those of mature adults. Alternatively, the company could have also offered to change the words in the adverts. The phrase that anti-tobacco campaigners took exception to was the one which stated, “Be Marlboro”. This statement was rightly interpreted by anti-tobacco to mean that the solution to teenage anxiety and identity crisis. Therefore, if the company could have offered to change this phrase so that it targets the mature people, rather than targeting the impressionable
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