Philip Morris Sheds Its Skin

It's official: Philip Morris, the world's largest tobacco company, has now changed its name to "Altria," from the Latin root for "altruism." The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids isn't impressed. "No matter how often a snake sheds its skin," they say, "it's still a snake." Despite an expensive public-relations effort to change its image, "Altria" still markets cigarettes to kids and plays unethical games with the public's health. Advertising Age in its article "Behind the Philip Morris Name-Change Plan" quotes Jeffrey Wigand, former vice president of research and development for British American Tobacco's Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., "They spend more money telling you what good they do than on the actual good they're doing." (PM's name change prompted SatireWire to quip, "lung cancer today announced it will change its name to Philip Morris.")