Last night I lost several hours of good sleep stewing about the latest news from makers of Marlboro cigarettes, Philip Morris International (or as I like to call it – The Death Stalker Scorpion – based on its adeptness to deliver lethal toxins).
It turns out the Death Stalker Scorpion is now offering insurance products with discounts on premiums to tobacco users who switch to vaping products.
So let’s get this straight.
First you make tons of money by creating an epidemic in which you knowingly get people addicted to your toxic Product A (cigarettes). You are able to do this by employing all the dirty tricks in the book to fight off legal and ethical challenges to the sale of these products.
Then, when the game is finally up on Product A, you use the addiction you created to make more money (and positive PR) by selling these people (and a whole bunch of new, mainly young, ones) a slightly less toxic (we don’t really know yet) product B (IQOS).
To top it off, you use their addiction to make more money (and more positive PR) by selling them insurance products that incentivise them to switch to your slightly less poisonous product.
Bravo, Philip Morris. Bravo!
My question is, though, why stop there? Surely you can make better use of those creative talents you spend millions of Dollars on to come up with additional products that you can sell to people, fuelled by the addictions you caused.
Here, I will help you out with some products and tag lines.
• Philip Morris Oxygen Tent – “We may have taken the oxygen from your lungs, but hey, now we’re selling it back to you”
• Philip Morris Air Freshener – “Don’t you know cigarettes stink, man?”
• Philip Morris Blow Up Kissy Doll – “She won’t complain that your mouth tastes like an ashtray”
• Philip Morris Extra Thick Wool Coat – “Now you don’t have to catch pneumonia when you go out in the freezing cold to smoke”
• Philip Morris Mobile Home Kit – “When you leave your ciggies lying around and accidentally burn down your house”
• Philip Morris Diet Pills – “You don’t want to get fat when you stop smoking, do you?”
• Philip Morris Aquarium – “Unlike the oceans which are contaminated with cigarette butts, there are plenty of fish in these waters”
I could go on, but I’m afraid one of these may actually stick.
I find it really disconcerting to see all the positive media reports about this new insurance product.
Please people, don’t be so naïve to think that The Death Stalker Scorpion has turned over a new leaf and now just wants to crawl into your sleeping bag to keep you warm. It’s a Death Stalker Scorpion, for God’s sake.Burn it with your cigarette! Wait, they will just make more money from that (sigh).