Anti-tobacco organizations have attacked PMI’s “Be Marlboro” campaign, alleging it was “found to target teens.” One example of these attacks is a report¹ released by a group of anti-tobacco organizations in March 2014. In fact, all of our marketing and advertising, including this campaign, are aimed exclusively at adult smokers.


The March 2014 report claimed that PMI’s campaign:

  • “effectively and strategically targets vulnerable teenagers.”
  • “appeals to teens without regard for advertising restrictions aimed at protecting youth.”


  • About eight out of ten adult smokers around the world today do not choose Marlboro or any of our brands. We market our products to compete for market share and encourage these adult smokers to choose our brands instead of our competitors’ brands.
  • Our marketing follows the applicable laws and internal policies. In fact, we take steps that go above and beyond the legal requirements to ensure that our marketing is directed toward adults. For example:
    • In Germany, the Marlboro campaign features models who are at least 30 years old.
    • None of our marketing uses cartoons or youth-oriented celebrities.
    • We do not engage in product placement in movies or on television and routinely decline all such requests.


The March 2014 report claimed that PMI’s campaign was banned in October 2013 by a German Court.


The campaign was not banned by a Court in Germany. Regional authorities in Munich challenged the Marlboro campaign with an order that lacks any basis in law and fact. We have brought the case before the Court and a full hearing of the matter has yet to take place. Until then, Philip Morris Germany is allowed to use certain text and image visuals of the campaign.

We do not market to minors. Our marketing is about competing for market share by encouraging adult smokers to choose our brands instead of those of our competitors.

Find out more:

Our views on advertising and marketing for tobacco products are available here.

PMI’s Code of Conduct outlines the guiding principles we apply to our business, including the marketing of our products.

1 “You’re the target: new global Marlboro campaign found to target teens”, March 2014.

“BE MARLBORO”: WHAT OUR CAMPAIGN IS ALL ABOUT was last modified: October 13th, 2014 by PMI