Marlboro Under Fire for Cigarette Ads

Apr 15, 2015 | Agency Updates, B2B

Take time to view the videos below and chances are, you get a sense of adventure, the great outdoors, exploration of uncharted territories, and so much more.

Unless you’re Marlboro, then you think they make for a great marketing piece for your brand. Only one problem, the creators of these films never gave the company permission to use their clips.

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

This is San Francisco from Ryan Jay on Vimeo.

“Move,” a promotional video commissioned by STA Travel, was created to encourage young people to explore the world. As you might imagine, STA Travel was shocked to find footage from its positive video used to promote smoking, which is obviously not in line with its company values.

Additionally, Ryan Jay, co-director of “This Is San Francisco,” reached out to Buzzfeed regarding the Marlboro video. He said, “At first I thought I looked really cool! I forgot how cool I looked when I was 20. But then I realized that my face is being used to promote smoking to younger people.”

The manufacturer’s parent company, Phillip Morris International, claimed the “Don’t Be a Maybe” video campaign was created by the business’ creative team for internal use only for the purpose of discussing the tone they wanted to convey. They never meant for the campaign to go public.

Regardless of intent, it is evident the company did not take into account proper policies and procedures prior to creating the video. Additionally, Marlboro’s promotion of smoking to a young audience has come under fire. Which is indicated through these advertisements.