Daily Doc: PM, Jul, 1993 : Marlboro advertising in Beirut

Daily Doc: Marlboro advertising in Beirut

Title: Projects for Future Exploitation
PM, Jul, 1993
Bates #: 2501261910/1926

June 19, 2000

And you thought we had it bad.

The type of advertising that tobacco companies foist on developing countries (as demonstrated by this Philip Morris marketing document) is a breed apart. This document describes the type of advertising planned for Beirut, Lebanon in 1993. It's the kind of "over-the-top, in-your face" advertising that would never, ever fly in this country.

While reading this document it occurred to me that Philip Morris' (PM) actually uses the poverty of these countries to allow them to plunge their advertising more deeply into these cultures. For example, these countries lack sufficient funds for public works, like refurbishing bridges and sidewalks and adding lighting to underground tunnels. This was an opportunity for PM to engage in a sort of "public-works advertising." They would provide funds to refurbish these bridges, roundabouts and pedestrian-ways and add lighting to the dark tunnels in Beirut in exchange for the ability to place large, prominent "Marlboro" signage ("branding") at the entrances to these tunnels, bridges, etc. What underfunded municipality wouldn't drool at such an offer of financial assistance to help "improve" their town in exchange for a mere sign?

Furthermore, PM planned to place its "Marlboro" logos on roadways where they would be adjacent to public signage imploring people to "Drive Safely" and "Walk Safely." Hmmmm...could it be that the placement of the "Marlboro" logo adjacent to messages of safety is an accident? Not according to this document.

Also note how PM carefully considered timing its promotions with an eye towards undermining concurrent public health messaging, as revealed in these plans listed under a section called "Diversification Program" :
"Study the introduction of the Marlboro classics clothing line to Lebanon. This comes at a time when anti-smoking campaigns and activities are increasingly implemented."

Title: Projects for Future Exploitation
Type of Document: Market research report
Author N/A
Recipient: N/A
Date: 19930700/E
Site: Philip Morris document site http://www.pmdocs.com/
Page Count 17
Bates No. 2501261910-1926
URL: http://www.pmdocs.com/getallimg.asp?DOCID=2501261910/1926
Found Using Search Criteria: "exploitation"

1 - Marlboro Hollywood Type Sign

Huge sign along the lines of the world famous Hollywood sign to be placed on a Mountain-Hill overlooking a highway.

Two potential locations have been thought about: the first one on top of the Dbaye tunnel and the second one on the Beirut-Tripoli highway.

2- Marlboro Tunnel Entrance Branding:

Placement of Marlboro branding at the entrance of two major tunnels with "Drive Safely" statements. Tunnel's illumination system to be provided by PM in return for the placement of previously mentioned signs.

3- Marlboro Pedestrian Bridge Branding:

Refurbishment of 5 pedestrian bridges within the Greater Beirut area in return for which MARLBORO branded signs would be placed with "Walk Safely" statements.

4. Marlboro Refurbishment of Two Major Roundabouts:

Refurbishment of two major roundabouts in the Greater Beirut area [with placement] of one central Marlboro branded sign featuring time and temperature similar to the signs used in Madrid, Spain.

5- Marlboro "Promenade" Benches:

Placement of Marlboro branded benches on the most famous Beirut seaside promenade.

6- Marlboro Road Signs:

Placement of street signs in the Greater Beirut area in the major highways leading to key/central locations. Signs also feature Marlboro branding.


Study the introduction of the Marlboro classics clothing line to Lebanon. This comes at a time when anti-smoking campaigns and activities are increasingly implemented.

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Anne Landman, Regional Program Coordinator
American Lung Association of Colorado, West Region Office
Grand Junction, CO
(970) 245-2120
This document's URL is: http://www.tobacco.org/Documents/dd/ddbeirut.html

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