Social Work Paper on Philip Morris Cigarette Company


Philip Morris first got into the cigarette market in the year 1933, with the brand name, “Philip Morris. Surprisingly, the product took off immediately. Having appeared as an independent unit from the business remains of the old trust, the company and its forerunners introduced about fifty different brands of cigarettes. The most well recognized product of the company was a premium brand that was introduced in the year 1927 (Brandt 95). The brand, known as Marlboro, was mainly meant for women. Philip Morris Cigarettes became very popular after their introduction in the year 1933. This was made possible because of a claimed innovation and a novel casing known as diethylene glycol.

The Success of Philip Morris Cigarette Company

As a marketing strategy, the company sponsored a number of investigations and made profligate medical assertions that its products were less harmful as compared with its competitors. The corporation worked very hard to bring its research findings to the attention of the health profession. It advertised heavily in medical health periodicals and often offered free cigarettes to receptive physicians. Philip Morris’s advertisements for the public argued readers to ask their medics about light smoking. The company worked tirelessly to make Philip Morris’s cigarette most preferred by the American Health profession, during a period of simmering concern about the harmfulness of the product (Brandt 95). As explained by a fortune teller: the aim of all the propaganda was not mainly to make the medical practitioners smoke the cigarettes. It was aimed at setting an example for vulnerable patients. It was also meant for implanting the outcomes in the medical mind. The medics would advise their affected patients to switch to Philip Morris’s brands on the basis that they are less irritating.

Apart from the slighter, less irritating brands, the company’s advertisements featured “the finest bellhop in New York.” (Brandt 96). Johnny Reventini who was later renamed as Johnnie Morris, was a tall Dwarf who was heard all over the nation broadcasting the catchphrase “Call for Philip Morris.” (Brandt 96). His happy face was plastered on posters and billboard everywhere. Visiting places across the country distributing Philip Morris’s products, Johnnie was a bold success (Brandt 96). He was earning about $ 20,000 annually for his efforts, and the company insured him for about $ 10,000 against growing an inch. During this period of the company’s dramatic rise, it went beyond advertising for the purpose of promoting its brand in the Bernays way. The company reimbursed students for distributing the product to friends. By the end of the 1930s, the success of the company had reconfigured the cigarette industry. But by then it had reached its plateau.  Philip Morris and another company known as Lorilland had achieved big time status. The top five of the 1950s continued to be the major manufacturers of cigarettes in the U.S. for the rest of the century (Brandt 97).

Individuals with nose and throat irritation due to smoking were advised to shift to Philip Morris brands. Then, on a routine checkup the doctors kept the records of each case. The final outcomes printed in influential health journals, proved decisively that when smokers shifted to Philip Morris’s brands every case of irritation totally disappeared or definitely got better (Brandt 104). The display by Philip Morris at the convention described the benefits of diethylene glycol as a hygroscopic agent, asserting it was the healthiest cigarette. At one point, R.J. Reynolds proclaimed that more medical practitioners preferred Camels to any other brand. These assertions of comparative health benefits marked an implicit acknowledgement of the concerns about tobacco and its health implications. At the time that the medical practitioners lined up to get their free 20 cents packs, researchers in the U.K. and the U.S. we’re commencing a reseach. The study was aimed at outlining the link between smoking and lung cancer (Brandt 105).

The year before, Reynolds had introduced a major new promotion campaign for camels centered on the outstanding saying “More doctors smoke camels than any other cigarette’’ (Brandt 105). This expression became the pillar of camel’s publicity for the next 6 years. Presenting glowing depictions of doctors in both medical periodicals and popular publications, the advertisements exploited the esteemed and idealistic image the doctors had attained in American society. The first advertisement was preceded with the bold declaration, “Every medical practitioner in practice was asked” (Brandt 105). This brought proximity to the motto by linking the general depiction of doctors every consumer’s own doctor. As concerns about the medical effects of smoking continued to increase in the 1930s and 1940s, promotion clearly addressed these concerns. At first cigarette companies saw competitive opportunities in these concerns. The advertisements replicated appeared in health periodicals.


Claiming that the brands by Philip Morris did not cause common symptoms known to be associated with smoking, medical practitioners were urged to recommend the product to their patients. In the wars of Tobacco, it was now hand to hand battle. Each novel intrusion was met with a counterattack. Philip Morris then decided to launch a campaign which was an annual educational effort in which smokers were argued to quit.


Brandt, Allan M. The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product That Defined America. New York: Basic Books, 2007. Internet resource. Retrieved from