Essential Action
Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control
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What the World is Saying re:
Philip Morris' Name Change

April 2002

Below are statements collected from participants in Essential Action's Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control program from around the world, on the occasion of Philip Morris changing its name to "Altria." To read what people around the world have to say to new CEO Louis Camilleri go to

"Philip Morris' change of name will never be able to hide its misdeeds committed throughout the world, especially in the developing countries. The consumers will keep monitoring their anti-consumer activities for spreading misleading information and spreading health hazards on poor and helpless consumers. The shareholders should be warned that the consumer organizations will not spare any effort to claim compensation for all such damages caused due to sale of tobacco products."
-- Bejon Misra
Consumer VOICE

"Philip Morris, a company that is to blame for the global destruction, disease and death through tobacco products, is now trying to hide behind the abstract name of 'Altria.' Whatever it means, it will still be synonymous of destruction disease and death for the sake of profit."
-- Véronique Le Clézio

"Nepal Anuvrat Samiti believes in the principle of "people before profit." We are of the firm belief that the world's tobacco companies must take full responsibility for the "slow killing" of milions of people every year. They are committing a serious crime against humanity.
       For many years, we have been hearing of the "immoral" and "irresponsible" acts of multinatinal tobacco companies like Philip Morris, youth to take up this deadly habit. If Philip Morris wants to change its name to hide its misdeeds, it is a shame and must be condemned from one and all on the whole earth. Ours is the only earth in the universe and we must protect its [inhabitants] from such killers."
-- Hulas Chand Golchha
Nepal Anuvrat Samiti

"Does a change of name obviate criminal/civil liability?! Does a change of name bring back to life hundreds of thousands of people maimed or killed in one hundred years of corporate social irresponsibility?!! Philip Morris, Altria, Death Angle or Whatsoever, you still remain a loathed agent of disease and death!!!"
-- Eze Eluchie, Esq.
People Against Drug Dependence and Ignorance

"With regards to Philip Morris changing its name: It is a quite primitive way to enhance the company's image, as a way of promoting its products to the population. The majority of people around the world connect the old name with health hazards and lies. But of course nothing will change except letters in name."
-- Vladimir Levshin, MD
Russian Cancer Research Center, Moscow

"A name change from Philip Morris to Altria is quite an understandable move in Ukraine, where PM made headlines after releasing a billboard featuring a pregnant woman. PM is probably hoping that by hiding behind a new name it can gloss over such crass advertising tactics and abate the number of questions arising from them, such as - what exactly WAS the intention behind displaying a pregnant woman on a cigarette ad??? To convince future mothers that smoking even more stylish when pregnant? To get a new generation of smokers while they're still in the womb? To further decrease an already shrinking Ukrainian population by causing miscarriages among pregnant women? This advertisement was not a mistake, and serves to underline the glaringly irresponsible behavior of Philip Morris. A new name is not going to lessen the number of frail babies born to smoking mothers, and will not lessen the number of babies that contract colds, ear infections, and lung diseases due to cigarette-addicted parents. And that is just a small percentage of the population that is being killed off by Philip "Altria" Morris."
-- Lisa N.Houston
Peace Corps Volunteer, Nikolayev

"Phillip Morris (Altria):
As you know, your name is linked in this world with cigarette smoking cowboys and the American cool. The name Altria doesn't change this image. In the Ukraine, as more and more people die from cancer, the "coolness" of the American smoking cowboy doesn't change. Do you really want to be associated with all of these deaths of people trying to be just like the Marlboro Man?"
-- Kelly French
Peace Corps Volunteer, Kobelyaky

"We denounce Philip Morris attempt to clean its name - a name stained with the blood and tears of its victims and their relatives - with a name change. A new name does nothing to diminish the load of immorality, corruption, perversion and lies upon which the company has constructed its global economic empire."
--Eduardo Bianco ,MD
  Adriana Menéndez ,MD
Comisión de Tabaquismo , Sindicato Médico del Uruguay

"For the last 100 years, Philip Morris has killed how many people in America and in the world. This exploit does not satisfy the company of Death. The new name Altria is merely the new name of Death. Philip Morris or Altria, whatever the name, whoever the Chief Executive Officer, they are the same."
-- Do Gia Phan

(in order by state)

"The name of Philip"Altria" Morris will live on in infamy with those of other agents of mass murder -- none of which comes close to Altria's body count."
-- Stephen Hansen
California Medical Association

"The name change from Philip Morris to Altria may try to introduce a new image, but they cannot erase the harm they have caused over the past years - especially in our urban communities. It's like covering up a foul smell with perfume. It smells good for the moment, but the foul smell always resurface, just like the foul practices that Philip Morris has practiced over the years."
-- Robert-Thomas Duclersaint
Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center

"Phillips Morris changing its name to a softer sounding name as "ALTRIA" doesn't change the fact that it carries prime responsible for Big Tobacco's global massacre. Just as "A Leopard cannot change its spots," Phillip Morris cannot change its murderous trends and "shots." What deception!!! Truth will eventually win!!"
-- Wilhelmina Holder, MD. MS
Breaking Free, Inc.

"What's in a name? Philip Morris is banking on the name Altria to clean up their image. Somehow the truth always has a way of coming through, even in the biggest lies. Look carefully at ALTRIA and you will see LIAR, TAR, RAT (as in rat poisoning), AIL(ment), and TRIAL."
-- Diane Moore
Reality Check, Putnam County
New York

"My opinion on Philip Morris changing its name to Altria is that it won't do them as much good as they are hoping. People will still know that they are and who they started out as, and we will do our best as Target Market to stop them from getting away with cleaning the slate."
-- Claire Berhow
Target Market

"Philip Morris is trying to make its image BETTER by changing their name. The company wants to pretend that they are good people, when they go around killing people each day. The word altria means to "reach higher" [in Latin]. Does that mean reach higher in killing more people around the world?
...I have learned in all my business classes once you have your name out and your name decided on you should not change it. The name change will confuse many people, and that just what Phillip Morris wants us to do. The company wants the world to forget about what it has done to young people and how many people it has killed."
-- Nerissa Wilker
Target Market

"Philip Morris has created a company giant over the years saying that they have done wonderful things for the world including: feeding the hungry and providing youth smoking prevention programs. They have designed these programs to give themselves a better image and to cover up for all of the lies and horrible things that they are responsible for. By changing the name they are just making another attempt to hide their horrible history and to increase profit."
-- Hannah Severtson
Target Market

"I think that Philip Morris changed their name because we are doing too good of a job. They know that we exist and that Truth exists. They aren't stupid, they know that if we get enough people aware, people will turn against them. They think that if they change their name people won't get their minds changed. Philip Morris doesn't realize how wrong they are."
-- Erica Hoffmann
Target Market

"So April 25th is the big day. Personally, I view Philip Morris's name-change to Altria as a cry for help. By word-of-mouth, Philip Morris has become synonymous with the words brainwasher, liar, cheater, and a lot of other words I probably shouldn't mention. So why would a name-change solve the problem? By now it should be obvious that no matter what the name is, people talk. Pretty soon people all over the world will be talking about Altria, a.k.a. Philip Morris. Not only does Philip Morris go along with all those other words, but it won't be long until Philip Morris and Altria are seen as the same thing. We just need to get the word out - people listen. Just because the new name comes with a clean slate doesn't mean it will stay that way. Until the motives change, a new name or a new CEO aren't going to change a thing!"
-- Allyson Rempel
Target Market

"I think the name change is a pathetic attempt to disassociate the cigarette name with the food companies."
-- Sean Carstensen
Target Market

"Philip Morris: Hi, it's us, Target Market teens, you know enemy #1, just wanted to get
reacquainted with you, because our relationship won't change with your name. This
fresh name "Altria" won't distract us from the truth. We'll still be in your face about your tricks, and we, your treasured customers, won't forget how you target us and why we target you."
-- Saydi Chalha
Target Market

"I think that Philip Morris' changing its name to Altria makes the tobacco executives feel like maybe they'll be able to start over... with a death count of 0. Well... they're wrong!"
-- Emily Haine
Target Market

"Philip Morris has stated that the name comes from a Latin word meaning "high." But shockingly the word "alt" in German means "old." And in German, the word "trias" means triad.
It appears that in every way, Philip Morris will be following its "old" ways, knowingly manufacturing products, which addict and kill when used as directed. Arguing with Canadian courts, and in a recent report to the Czech government, that Philip Morris is a help to governments, by eliminating many of the "old" people. Still using "old" policy to lobby with legislators, and community good will, with money, money, money. This is a company that has as its motto: "I came, I saw, I conquered," labeled on their Marlboro Red cigarette packs. This is a company that appears unwilling to let anything keep it from that "mission." Another chilling thought."
-- Nate Glynn
Target Market

“Mr. Bible from Philip Morris stated that the name change is to show "the corporation's desire for its family of companies to always 'reach higher' in striving to achieve greater financial strength and growth through operational existence, consumer brand expertise and a growing understanding of corporate responsibility." I think that this quote really shows what Philip Morris has in mind first because the first thing that they say is the desire for financial strength. Philip Morris can do whatever it wants to try and appear like a good, respectable company, but until they change their ways and start taking responsibility for their misdeeds, they will always be a "wolf in lamb's clothing." I think the public will see them as such, because we aren't as stupid as they think we are.”
Full text:
-- Amber Pettey
Target Market

"A name can be deceiving, but WE their Target will always be able to pick the people trying to kill us. We will expose Philip Morris' new name. It is a great marketing technique by Philip Morris to escape its crappy name, but it makes the company look even more in-human."
-- Pat Oldakowski
Target Market

"Philip Morris: you can't hide behind another moniker and expect people to view your company as something it's not. Your company has spent more money advertising the money it spends on charity than actually spending money on the charities themselves, and that still hasn't helped your image."
-- Nicolas Buron
Target Market

"To change your old "Philip Morris" name to "Altria" is a good thought, I mean, a new name means a whole new start right? WRONG! Changing your name to Altria will not wash your hands clean. Target market knows your plans, and we will make sure that the word gets out that you're the same guys with the same intentions."
-- Kristina Rapatt
Target Market

"Philip Morris is trying to start a new life, to overcome a bad reputation. They can't hide what they did though, and people will remember. Altria, a.k.a. Phillip Morris, is just as likely to be sued, whatever its name. "A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet,"- William Shakespeare. A tobacco company by any other name still stinks.
-- Courtney Walters
Target Market

“Philip Morris is now a name synonymous with death, disease and deception. Previously confidential information about the actions of the corporation has come back to haunt the company. The lies and secrecy have come crashing down on the heads of executives at Philip Morris, because we are demanding the truth. The citizens of the United States and world are no longer tolerating the immorality and pure dishonesty of corporations, especially corporations who set their aim at making toxic products."
Full text:
-- Rachael Moeding
Target Market

“Cigarette Companies want to be free of retaliation. They want to be free from blame. Absolve from all their sin! We all know that Phillip Morris' intent has always been to make big profit at the expense of teens lives. Big tobacco has deliberately murdered millions of people in the United State and worldwide. They are seeking asylum. What better than a name change to start all over and continue killing people? What better than a name change to keep the billions of dollars in profit that they have amassed over the last one hundred years? Philip Morris’ name change does not free my community of death and disease caused by cigarettes smoking. In the last 100 years, you and the Tobacco companies have addicted children for profit and changing your name is not going to change THAT!"
Full text:
-- Rafael Nery
Bronx Reality Check Chapter
New York

"The name change is just a cover up. The name Phillip Morris will always bring thoughts of tobacco. Even when advertising Kraft foods, or anything else that they own, whenever a division of Phillip Morris is mentioned, cigarettes comes to mind."
-- Lavelle Howard
State President, Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Oklahoma.
Northwest Oklahoma Tobacco-free, PreventionWorkz Area Prevention Resource Center.

"Philip Morris or Altria? Philip Morris, the company that owns Miller, Kraft Foods, Nabisco and Marlboro Cigarettes, is changing its name to Altria. This new name comes from the word altus, which is a Latin word meaning "to reach high or to strive". It seems that Philip Morris is trying to confuse the people boycotting its products in protest of tobacco. Don't be duped. Call them what you will: Philip Morris equals Altria. It's still a cigarette company."
-- Kate Strattner
Strive Media Institute

Essential Action is a Washington, DC-based corporate accountability group. Its Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control program pairs tobacco control groups in the U.S. and Canada with groups in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Central/Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union and facilitates their working on joint projects and campaigns. Currently more than 360 groups from 100 countries and 40 U.S. states are involved in the program. For more information see

Essential Action
Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control

P.O. Box 19405 ~ Washington, DC 20036
Tel: +1 202-387-8030 ~ Fax: +1 202-234-5176
Email: [email protected]