The Philip Morris company donates millions of dollars to charities like food banks, Meals on Wheels and shelters for victims of domestic violence. That's great, but it's not great if you brag more than you give.
Anyone who watches TV knows "the people of Philip Morris" are generous folks. One ad depicts a Meals on Wheels volunteer singing Italian love songs to an elderly woman while delivering food. Another ad tells how Philip Morris paid for the construction of a roof for a teen shelter.
Boy, when you're in trouble, who do you call? Philip Morris apparently.
The huge company owns Miller Brewing and Kraft Foods. But it's best known as the maker of Marlboro, the world's best-selling cigarette brand.
And everyone's grateful for the $115 million Philip Morris gave to people in need in one year. But did you know it spent even more than that — $150 million — on the ads telling you about its corporate good work like charitable giving and youth smoking prevention?
Philip Morris spokeswoman Peggy Roberts says the company spent so much on the ad campaign because it thinks "it's an important thing that people know in a fuller sense who Philip Morris is." She also says it has spent a billion dollars over the last 10 years on charitable programs.
But people know who Philip Morris is, it's a company that makes lots of money selling cigarettes — a product that kills people.
Roberts, however, sees it differently. She says a lot of people don't know that Philip Morris is "a responsible manufacturer of an adult product," a product the company works hard to keep from kids. She adds that the company is "a leader in the area of giving to charities."
Give me a break! If Philip Morris really wanted to be charitable, it'd give all the money to charity instead of spending it on these ads.