A report about the benefits of killing your customers? That’s PR suicide!
Cigarettes can make people very ill. After decades where cigarette companies denied the link between smoking and lung cancer, Tobacco giant Philip Morris decided on a different approach. It was bold. And it was also completely stupid.
Claiming that the government will save $24 million in healthcare, pension and public housing costs because your product could kill people is (to put it mildly) not the smartest Public Relations move. But that’s precisely what they did.
In 2000, they commissioned a study to investigate the impact of smoking on the public finances in the Czech Republic. The report concluded that the tax revenue and levels of early mortality outweighed the costs of healthcare.
This is one idea that should have gone up in smoke.