Phillip Morris Defies Advertising Ban. Insults All Filipinos


UPDATE: Phillip Morris backs out of the Eraserheads Concert

It seems that some people, multinationals specially, have very little regard for other people.

In the head offices of the tobacco giant Phillip Morris, for instance, cigarette advertising has long been banned and the society has long recognized the justness of such prohibition. For sure, the private school kids of these tobacco executives know that cigarette smoking is dangerous to people's health and if asked, can properly explain why they should not be allowed to advertise.

Despite that, Phillip Morris in the Philippines is acting as if an advertising ban is a new addition to their vocabulary and is acting like a misguided minor. As clearly stated in Republic Act No. 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, Cigar companies are prohibited from sponsoring sports, cultural, and artistic events of individual or team athletes, artists and performers.

Still, the company is sponsoring the reunion concert of the group Eraserheads. To make matters worse, people looking for tickets are being asked to visit the tobacco company's website, declare themselves to be smokers and agree to receive information and marketing materials from the company. Does Phillip Morris really think that they have a just cause, or do they simply have a low regard to the intelligence of the Filipino? do they really think that they can get away with this?

It is a good thing that the government is being tough on this matter. The Department of Health (DOH) has promised criminal prosecution against the officers of Phillip Morris specifically, its president, general manager and board of directors.

I hope that the government, with the help of the private sector remains tough in this instance. In a country where 240 people die every day from tobacco related illness, where the government spends more money to help those suffering from cigarette related illness (compared to the taxes collected), it is time that those who promote the proliferation of smoking is handled the way they should be- strapped with a tight leash.

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3 thoughts on “Phillip Morris Defies Advertising Ban. Insults All Filipinos

  1. They can, in fact, get away with it.

    Like they said they are organizing the event NOT sponsoring it. They can always say it’s a private event with thousands invited. It’s all about technicality.

    Look at it as a Marlboro party where the Eraserheads was paid to play. The law does not say Marlboro can’t throw a “private party”. Even the website says “OUR events”.

    They’re not mass marketing, they are in fact only targeting smokers. Maybe they started the gossip that contributed to the whole viral marketing but you can’t pin that on them. It’s the bloggers who kept promoting Marlboro, mentioning Marlboro on their websites because of the initial speculation that Marlboro was sponsoring the event.

    I am not saying Marlboro is right in doing any of this. That their whole business is even moral requires another discussion. But I’m sure their legal department has studied this and know that they are, technically, NOT breaking any law.

  2. Technically not breaking the law, as we all know, is used when one is breaking it. The term “Technically NOT” is used as a means to escape prosecution. Isn't that tantamount to playing with us, thinking that they can get away with it? isn't that insulting the Filipinos and spitting in their faces? Isn't that saying, “we are playing dirty but you can't do anything about it”?

  3. I’m not a strict moralist, nor even a fundamental moralist on social issues. I’m not even a technical legalist on legal matters… but that does not make me underqualified to present a socially balanced commentary on issues like this.

    (But would not the simplest and most innocent mind sneaking to speak inside us, around our thoughts and between our thought, be given the chance to be heard on the net?)

    If we are really going to put things simply in its proper order according to its hierarchy on human needs… if we are really going debate on matters which would be of importance according to the needs of the human body and consequently on human needs for a socially empowering and morally uplifting culture… if we are to put away the vanities, complexities and wants which so clouds our collective consciousness that we as humans no longer be able to see in the “long term”… and we no longer discern our basic connection to each other… our connection to mother nature… our basic connection with our past and with our future… if we are to simply retain the very simplest and basic things that sustains the life of our material body and our abstract body – our emotional, psychological, social, moral and spiritual selves… that would be tantamount to flushing into the toilet bowl all the legal processes and technicalities filled with loop holes and cave-in's (the home of the economically and politically powerful in our social structure) which only the have lots can access and can manipulate. It is tantamount to letting the lords of the bourgeoiuse class serve the true needs of the ordinary masses which are found in the clays of the land, mires of the slums and soots and rusts of the industries… to the demise and utter discomfort of the spoiled prince and princesses of the upper class.

    In the eye of the cultural revolutionist, what is happening can be summed up (without loosing balance, fairness and truth) into a social concept that resembles a cancer cell in the body… a cell so disgusting and so destructive but it is so much a part of the be loved human body. This crap is a master piece of the master manipulator of all socio-economical-political systems and “isms” on the Philippine soil… IMPERIALISM – BUREUCRAT CAPITALISM – FEUDALISM. The cyclical and triad workings of these systems (conscious or unconscious, intended or not intended) is engaging, addicting, subtly destructing, manipulating through legal systems and loopholes in the technicalities and sometimes through brute force and threats. (Are you aware of that? First time to hear it?) It is enslaving and culturally brainwashing (for lack of better term) so that in the outside or in the first perception, it seems OK, or good, or whatever nice and harmless concept you may attach to it. It may even be loved and normally accepted, thus, at this point in time, the technically legalist opportunist finds the mentality of the masses ready to hear any promotions, marketing schemes whatever form it may be, or any associated schemes, connections, partnership, sponsorship it has to offer to the public with which it depends for living, and at the same time, with which it destructs its living (through addiction, not yet to mention the blood money it has earned from small tobacco farmers… first time to hear it?). Beloved costumers inhale nicotine and sweat and blood of poor farmers every time they smoke. Ironic! Uninformed masses don't know it, and due to lack of information and guidance, don't care about it. Neither do the capitalist who runs the big business care about it. Social commentarist refer to them as “walang paki-alam, nagtutulog-tulogan at nagbubulag-bulagan”. Well, it is clear, even to the uneducated poor farmer's son, that these companies will continue to run. They will technically defend their schemes and manipulate through the loopholes of the legal system. They have found their niche in the Philippine Constitution which has been patterned according the social, moral and legal concept of the western CAPITALIST, and which has been so beloved, idolized, and defended by the dogs and puppies of all the past puppet government, subtle puppet government and neo-subtle puppet government – a massive and deeply cultural side effect of the westernization of our eastern identity.
    In a way, our colonization has ended up putting our minds, putting our affection and attitude to present day realities INSIDE A BOX. And now, the freedoms, possibilities, penalties and point of views are dictated by the BOX… yet we are consciously not aware of it… and we don't want to accept that we, ourselves, each have a share in the creation of that box which we have inherited from the forefathers of IMPERIALISM – BURUECRAT CAPITALISM – FEUDALISM. (Seems so far fetched? Well, you better dig deeper). One thing more… the BOX is constantly evolving, adding to itself newer complexities, cloaks and adapting newer versions and more subtle lies each day as newer forms of schemes and areas for competitions arises. It has becamenot just a part but the whole of the acceptable economy mentality… through the original soci-economical-political lies before and through the subtle neo-socio-economical-political lies now.

    I agree to what JD Cruz have said above. I also agree to what Mao Tze Tung and Fidel Castro have said about it and the kind of it.. that it is, it has been and it will forever be a social evil. Mystcs call it as a broken mirror on the material plane, which, can only very poorly reflect all the goodness from the spiritual and cosmic plane… a material deflection which eventually evolves into the stark opposite form of all that is in the heavens. And i… i simply call it selfishness!

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