David Blecken
Aug 27, 2018

Behind Philip Morris’s entreaty to agencies

The tobacco giant wants creative people on its side as it looks to step up marketing around its smoke-free products. But the decision to work with a tobacco brand is still not straightforward.

An IQOS pop-up store in Chiba, Japan. Photo: Shutterstock

Earlier this month, Campaign reported that a company under McCann Worldgroup in Japan, Thirteen, was to begin working on an assignment for Philip Morris International’s PMI smokeless tobacco brand IQOS. The move was significant for a number of reasons, not least because McCann Worldgroup parent IPG is known for its significant healthcare business and has not worked with tobacco companies for a long time.

The advent of ostensibly less dangerous products...

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