Partial Transcript: 2009 Philip Morris International
Shareholder Meeting

May 5, 2009



1. Africa: PMI's Targeting of Youth (Rachel Kitonyo - Kenya)
2. Mexico: Marlboro MX Beat: PMI's Illegal Concert Sponsorship and Promotion (Jonathan Romo - Mexico)
3. Indonesia: Targeting Youth Through Concert Sponsorship (Ben Ross - USA/Dina Kania - Indonesia)
4. Philippines/Argentina/World: PMI's Internet Promotions (Joshua Trope - USA)
5. Indonesia/World: PMI's Targeting of Youth (Ashley Herrin - USA)
6. Egypt: Health Burden of PMI's Expansion in the Region (Anna White - USA/HebatALLAH Ebrahim - Egypt)

Read more: Corporate Accountability International's statements

Note: the numbers next to the names below correlate to the time in the webcast, which can be accessed until June 4, 2009

1) PMI's Targeting of Youth in Africa

Rachel Kitonyo (1:03:53):
Good morning. My name is Rachel Kitonyo, I come from Kenya I represent the African children who you are marketing to and hooking onto your deadly product and I represent African governments that are spending money dealing with the death, disability and disease PMI's products causing in Africa You have said that you do not market to children Right now the government of Nigeria has filed a suit against you and against BAT Nigeria [accusing you of] marketing to children through concerts that are attractive to people under 18 and through the use of billboards. My question to you is why are you using unethical and illegal marketing targeted at young people that you cannot use in the US to market to Africans? Africa cannot afford to take care of the tobacco epidemic. We are already suffering from HIV/AIDS, malaria and Tuberculosis. Why are you marketing to children in Africa?

Camilleri's response (1:04:54):
Well, thank you for coming. The simple fact is we don't market to children. I'm glad you come from Kenya. We don't sell cigarettes in Kenya. We haven't sold cigarettes in Kenya for quite a long time. In fact, we barely sell cigarettes in all of East Africa. If I recall the numbers, in 2008, we sold less than 50 million cigarettes in the whole of East Africa, principally only in Djibouti. With regards to Nigeria, we are also not present in Nigeria. We have not been present in Nigeria for more than a decade. So, I think it is a bit astounding to me to listen to you complaining about our marketing, in a lot of markets where we're not actually even present. Having said that, more importantly, we don't market to children. There is always a tension between our desire to market to adult consumers and adult smokers while protecting youth. And, I think it is a fine line, but it is a line that we tread very carefully and I think over the years we have made significant progress. Anyway, thank you for coming all the way from Nairobi.

Note: Camilleri's statement that PMI has not been in Nigeria for more than a decade is FALSE. Here's a photo of a Marlboro billboard in Nigeria (~March 2005). And further information about PMI in Nigeria is contained in Tosin Orogun's statement at the 2005 Altria meeting, at which Camilleri acknowledged that PMI had a presence in the country.

2) Marlboro MX Beat: PMI's Illegal Concert Sponsorship and Promotion in Mexico

Jonathan Romo (1:06:24):
My name is Jonathan Romo. I work for the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and I'm coming from Mexico - I could come here (pause) -- and well Philip Morris has been promoting Marlboro cigarettes the past 6 years through the sponsorship of a series of musical events called Marlboro MX Beat In a clear strategy to increase sales and gain more consumers, MX Beat has effectively become a festival targeted to youth. The new 2008 Mexican general tobacco control law makes it illegal to use any form of sponsorship as a means of placing the elements of any branded tobacco product. Through the purpose of this event, PM ignored this legislation, placing illegal advertising in magazines, some of them even free publications and sent a lot of information and invitations to popular music blogs for youth in order to publicize the event freely. These MX Beat concerts violated the law as the ads for the shows carried the Marlboro name and colors. [Example displayed] The new legislation in Mexico renders these series of events not only irresponsible, but illegal. So, when will you start to behave as a responsible corporate citizen you claim you are, and start obeying the Mexican law?

Camilleri's response (1:07:45):
Well, you would be shocked to know that we are obeying the Mexican law. Let's be very clear about this. The tobacco control law is under the purview of the Ministry of Health in Mexico. The agency responsible for assurance compliance on the regulation of that legislation I believe it's called the Federal Commission of Protection Against Health Risks. Those musical events, that you just referred to, were approved by that Commission. Furthermore, that Commission sent two of its representatives to the events and to ensure compliance with a commitment related to the event and they also approved and authorized us in terms of adhering to the compliance of the program. So I think that, again we continually get attacked on the basis of facts that are totally erroneous. So I would encourage you to get the facts right and I think it is important for all shareholders here, rather than the minority in this room, to know that we are doing everything we can to avoid marketing to children. We are serious about it. We get attacked unfairly. Let me give you one example; because it's part of the list that the tobacco advocates try to render the issue even more emotional. One of the attacks, we have, is that we also do music promotions in Pakistan and that supposedly we have branded mobile cinemas in Pakistan. Well, the facts are that those branded mobile events used to be run by Lakson before we purchased them back in 2007. We purchased them, we stopped the branding of those events, both of the Diplomat and Mobile gold brand, and more recently we stopped the whole promotion. So when I say that people should encourage us to go to emerging markets that's a perfect example of what we can do when we are there. Thank you for coming from Mexico and thank you for your question.

Notes: Previously in the meeting, Camilleri said, "…it is my privilege to welcome our board of directors, who are all in attendance, and seated in the front rows, with the exception of Carlos Slim Helu, who given the current situation in Mexico, understandably was unable to come to today's meeting." For more information about Marlboro MX Beat, see: .

Also, Camilleri's claim that PMI stopped the branding of Lakson's mobile cinema promotions upon acquiring the company is FALSE. The source of the example has confirmed that the promotion took place in March 2008, 1 kilometer from his house, and that similar ads were up in area shops through December 2008. The ad itself mentions March 2008, which is a year after PMI acquired Lakson Tobacco, and the promotion is clearly branded. See for yourself

Targeting Indonesian Youth through Concert Sponsorship

Ben Ross (1:15:18):
Good morning. My name is Ben Ross and I am an advocate through the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and I'm 18 years old, as well as being the Chair of REBEL, New Jersey's anti-tobacco movement. I am one of dozens of youth advocates inside and outside today's meeting who are participating in an international day of action to counter your company's global expansion.

I would like to make a statement on behalf of Dina Kania, of the National Commission for Child Protection in Indonesia, who you may recall from the 2007 Altria meeting and who, like you, was profiled in the recent Business Week article about your company. She and I are both members of the Global Youth Action on Tobacco Network. Here is Dina's message to you today:

Big applause to this company's contribution to my country achieving the third highest smoking prevalence in the world!

You claimed that your company supports strong tobacco control regulation in Indonesia. But the reality shows the opposite. In the absence of regulation, Phillip Morris International - through Sampoerna - continues its aggressive marketing targeting to youth. Let's recall the Marlboro Filter Rocks in Orchestra concert series in Indonesia that just happened on January. Even though the concert was said to be limited to people age 18 and above, the evidence proved that children attended the concert and they were heavily exposed to Marlboro advertisements and promotions there. A more recent example is A Mild Live Wanted, a nationwide band competition. At the competition in Jakarta on April 25th, I spotted many teenagers below 18 years old despite the supposed verification procedures that you claimed had been undertaken. [Copies of the following photos were displayed: A Mild Live Wanted, Marlboro Rocks in Orchestra ]

And when we are striving for tobacco advertising ban on television through Constitutional Court, your company appeared as one of the parties that STRONGLY OPPOSED this ban. Is this what you consider "SUPPORTIVE?"


Camilleri's response (1:17:28):
Again, the facts would belie the statements. Let me start with the constitutional court to start with. Contrary to what you just said, we did not fight against or for advertising freedoms in Indonesia. We actually weren't even present in the court. The Association of Indonesian Advertisers was called to the court to give their opinion. The chairman of that association happens to work for Sampoerna. She was there representing the Indonesian association, not Sampoerna.

Furthermore, and you can read the records of the meeting, she actually called for a comprehensive regulation of tobacco. But it would be a mistake to focus solely on television. Consistent with what we've always said everywhere in the world: we want fair, full, coherent, consistent, and enforceable regulation. If you do it piecemeal it doesn't work.

You'll be happy to know that since we've been there, we've been trying to force the government to come up with regulations in terms of whole of marketing products in Indonesia. And you'll probably be delighted to know that a few weeks ago the President appointed a task force to come up with tobacco control legislation, in line with what we've been pushing for ever since we've been there.

And I would go on to venture, had we not been in Indonesia, we would not be were we are today. As to the attacks on the concerts, I think that all the reports that we received, that the filters we have in place to ensure that adult smokers are the ones who attend those concerts and have to show identification that is sponsored by governments, and the Indonesian government, we do not have children attend those concerts. [pause, looks at photo] I can't see a thing there. You know, you bring photos, it's very important for shareholders to understand this as to sometimes the scrutiny that's required and Ms. Mulvey will remember this and Ms. White will too as they were both there [in 2007], a lady from South Africa came and bandied around photographs just the way you have now of supposedly retail outfits in South Africa showing all sorts of Marlboro branding. We were surprised to see those photos, because they were not in compliance with what we do in South Africa. We look for those stores, we had the whole sales force in South Africa look for those stores. We asked her to tell us exactly where those stores were and she refused to tell us. So that's something about the photographs you've given us.

Cigarette Promotions via the Internet

Joshua Trope (1:21:07):
Hi. I am Joshua Trope. I am 19 years old and part of the Lawton/Ft. Sill Students Working Against Tobacco in Oklahoma. I am here to represent not only everyone involved in an International Day of Action, but I am also here on behalf of all the voices you have silenced. Not only have you destroyed lives and ruined families, but you still continue to prey on unsuspecting youth through deceptive marketing practices. But your Reign of Terror does not end there. Another tool has become your pawn in the game of global conquest: the Internet. Recently promotions to obtain free concert tickets, such as the Eraserheads in the Philippines to receiving free prizes from "The Auction" in Argentina have made your intentions loud and clear to market to youth. Websites that youth frequently visit, such as Facebook, have "groups" promoting your product and gaining thousands of "fans" everyday. The Internet is a priceless tool that youth use everyday for school and recreational purposes, but here you are, using it as a Weapon of Mass Destruction. When will you delete the webpages of profit that bury millions of children every year?

Camilleri's response (1:22:07):
Well, a lot of the websites you refer to and in fact, that you have in your press releases have nothing to do with us. We can't control what's on Facebook and we can't control quite often others who use our brands on the web. What we do try to do is fight to protect our trademarks and get them to take those brands off their independent websites. And honestly we've had mixed success at that. With regards to our own websites, there is a pretty strict way of accessing those websites and they're very restricted to adults and it is not easy unless you are an adult and you have - specifically to the example you gave in Argentina - the equivalent of a social security number that we can check with government records to verify your age. Without that, you can't get in. So again, there is tension, but we are doing everything we can to ensure that adults and adult smokers are the only ones who can access those websites. So again, please try to get your facts right. Thank you.

Note: For more information on the examples cited: "The Auction" (Argentina);
Eraserheads concert (Philippines); Facebook: The A-volution facebook page appears to be officially connected to the website for the A Volution brand in Indonesia.

PMI's Targeting of Youth;
Moment of Silence for the 5.4 Million Killed by Tobacco Annually

Ashley Herrin (1:30:01):
Good morning. My name is Ashley Herrin. I'm here as a part of the International Day of Action. I represent the Students Working Against Tobacco and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

The World Health Organization estimates that 5.4 million people will die this year from tobacco use and you acknowledge yourself in your recent article in Business Week that you sell a quote 'very harmful product' one that you advise your children not to use, but one that you market to children globally - although we'll argue about that I'm sure. I work with youth and I hope to empower them to see through your marketing tactics. My job is to make sure that youth don't become the replacement smokers that you need to increase your profit margins when other tobacco users die. And that can be a really difficult job, but what frustrates me more is that while I am trying to save young people you argue that activists like myself are trying to quote "demonize the tobacco industry" but it's really your bad acts that create the outcry towards your industry, like trying to associate popular youth artists like Alicia Keyes with your deadly products by promoting their concerts which I believe are clearly geared toward youth.

But there are other things that I'm concerned about. Frequently you take the position that you are not after youth as new tobacco users, like you said earlier in this meeting, but rather that you're trying to encourage tobacco users to use your product over another company's product, but I don't think flashy rock concerts persuade long time tobacco users to change their brand. In fact, I really feel these events capture the attention of youth who are then persuaded to try your product for the first time and then consequently go on to suffer a life time of addiction.

You mention in your recent Business Week article that you don't want Marlboro to become known as 'dad's smoke' instead, you said you want it to be like Apple or Nike and I think that that's really interesting but as we both know youth are the demographic that's plugged into those brands, which is exactly what you want, you want to target youth, but again you're going to deny that.

But my favorite part of your Business Week article was that even if you shut down all the factories tomorrow people weren't going to stop smoking. So I was thinking about asking you about how about instead of shutting all your factories, you decide to spend just one day not marketing towards youth. But then again, you're going to say that that's not something you do. So I thought, instead of asking you a question and maybe you paying me the disrespect that I kind of feel like you gave some of the other people who asked questions, you all join me in a moment of respectful silence for the 5.4 million people who are going to die this year from tobacco use. So if you could please join me in a moment of silence to recognizing those people who have passed, I would appreciate it. 1:32:46 -1:33:45

Camilleri's response (1:33:45):
Thank you

The Added Health Burden of PMI's Success in Egypt

Anna White (1:47:36):
My name is Anna White. I'm with Essential Action and the Global Youth Action on Tobacco network. I'm here today to read a statement on behalf of HebatALLAH Ebrahim of the Egyptian Medical Students Association. She states:

While we totally understand the interest of stockholders in increasing the price of their shares, we also understand, as medical students and health activists, the cost of life. The Philip Morris annual report says the company's cigarette shipment increased in 2008 by 4.4% into our region. This denotes Philip Morris' success in promoting its product, as well as indicates an added health burden in an already struggling region. We do urge shareholders to study their target market. It is now agreed upon that human resources, in this age of knowledge, are the real source of prosperity. Young people in specific are the wealth of nations -- the wealth of humanity. Nevertheless, they can be susceptible to misleading advertising which touts adventure and self esteem, which unfortunately remains the promised endowment of Philip Morris brands. At the Egyptian Medical Students' Association, we urge shareholders at Philip Morris to study once again the real target market, and weigh the earnings per share to the loss of life and health per cigarette smoked, before voting to increase [sales]. Please don't kill our youth, to feed yours.

Camilleri's response (1:49:06):
Well thank you for your comment

Back to: International Day of Action to Counter PMI's Global Expansion