Argues that the black press and Philip Morris have "shared a relationship that's been mutually beneficial" for 50 years, which has enhanced the visibility and market share of PM products. Now, given regulatory pressures, these consumers may not be able to afford to smoke freely. The address reiterates that PM puts money back into communities that support their products, and lists a number of minority organizations to which it has contributed. Given this, "it is a matter of enlightened self-interest" for the black press and black communities to support Philip Morris, since the corporation strengthens communities that in turn strengthen the corporation. "For that partnership to survive in the future," PM requires "support on our issues today," both through "editorial good will" and "influential voices as publishers and individuals."
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Stanley S. Scott
NOVEMBER 15, 1985
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I mentioned at the start of this dialogue that our
purposes were to better understand each other's concerns,,
and to explore ways to address them.
I think we have accomplished that. We've had a lively
give-and-take that began last night and never let up.
Your questions challenged us and gave us valuable
insights into how you feel about our company, our issues,
and the way we do business with your newspapers and your
Everyone on the Philip Morris side of the dialogue
jioins me in thankiing you for your forthrightness and
In the few minutes we have left, let me try to sum
up... to put things in perspective.
For nearly half acentury Philip Morris and the black
press have shared~a relationship that's been mutually
beneficial and, if I may say it, affectionate. We can't
be America's number one consumer products company -- and
we can't grow -- without the increasing support of
America's growing minority communities, especially yours.
You heard~from our marketing panel just how important
minority consumers are to Philip Morris. Blacks spend 530
million (ck) dollars a year for cigarettes.
You got a good indicationlof the role your
publications have played in enlarging our share of black
smokers, and of how our advertising works hand in hand
with the efforts of our sales force to make our products
But all our advertising, merchandising and selling
could very well amount to:nothing if consumers can't
afford our products or use them freely.
Our company and its industry are under unprecedented
economic, regulatory, legislative and social pressure.
It's being brought to bear by a determined group of
zealots... whose stated goal is to put tobacco out of
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They don't care how many distortions it takes. They
don't mind enacting laws that discriminate in their
enforcement against minorities and offend our
sensibilities. They don't care how unfairly you and'.I are
taxed. And they don't care how many of our constitutional
guarantees are violated.
The tobacco industry has been under attack since
before this country was founded. We have not only
survived every institutionalized'effort to put u~s out of
business, but we have come back stronger than ever every
time. The main reason for our resiliency is the support
we receive from smokers who want to continue enjoying ou~r
Many of those smokers, as you saw, are black, and
Philip Morris enjoys a considerable mreasure of their
support. To a large degree, that is because Philip Morris
is a corporation that puts its money where its mouth is.
Philip Morris people, money and other resources have
been available to minority communities since this company
began getting off the ground.
To organizations ranging from the Congressional Black
Caucus to the National Black Police Association to the
United Negro College Fund to the NAACCP and the National
Urban League, along with many, many other educational,
cultural, professional and community organizations...
Philip Morris has been~an enthusiastic contributor.
We have also been a friend to minority communities in
their times of special need.
Literally hours after fire destroyed the Osage Avenue
rowhouses in Philadelphia, I handed a Philip Morris check
for $100,000 to a group of clergymen representing the
Ecumenical Council that was sponsored by a public-spirited
member of this group here today, the Philadelphia Tribune.
You heard how minority representation on the Philip
Morris sales force keeps growing.
The same can be said for our officials and managers,
professionals, and technici:ans -- in fact, our entire
Of our total U.S. compliment of more than 10,0100 (ck)
people, more than a quarter are minority employees.
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We want to continue to work in partnership with the
black press and black communities all over America. It is
a matter of enlightened self-interest for us,
if there is one point you heard reiterated time andagain today, it is this: your markets are our
When we strenghten the community, the community in turn
strengthens the corporation. When we help bring
prosperity to a community, we reap the benefits of that
For that partnership to survive in the future, we need
your support on our issues today.
We need your editorial good will andwe need~youir
influential voices as publishers and!individ'uals. Above
all, we need your belief in fairness, tolerance and
freedom of choice. if we have that, we'll win a:very
important battle together...and together, we'll continue
On that note, I hereby adjourn the first Philip Morris
Companies Business/Media Dialogue. Thank you again for
joining us today. It was a pleasure to see so many good
friends again, and to make new ones. For Philip Morris,
thank you... and Godspeed home.