Jump to:

Anne Landman's Collection

Operation Apodixis

Date: 1996 (est.)
Length: 13 pages
2048303695-2048303707
Jump To Images
snapshot_pm 2048303695-2048303707

Abstract

This 1996 presentation prepared for Philip Morris (PM) proposes PM implement a "youth program" to insulate the company from attacks by public health advocates, boost the company's record low credibility and "blunt the FDA effort to regulate tobacco." The creator of the idea, Smith Worldwide, was run by Guy L. Smith, IV, who worked for Philip Morris for many years. The proposal states,

"The credibility of the tobacco industry and the executives who run it has reached an all-time low...Traditional industry allies are abandoning the ship. The industry is becoming more and more isolated..."

To help this situation, Smith proposed PM initiate a youth anti-smoking program through credible conduits. Smith proposed that PM "establish and fund, through major social organizations (e.g. the nation's private hospitals, large black churches...community health and civic organizations)...anti-smoking programs for children..."

He proposed that PM have no input into the content of the program or selection of the organizations to conduct the programs. This would enable PM to "challenge the anti-smoking forces to 'audit' the anti-smoking classes and report to the news media what they find."

Smith explains how the youth program would force positive publicity for the tobacco industry while curtailing criticism from public health advocates:

"Operation Apodixis will provide the company with a highly believable program, largely above reproach...Operation Apodixis will force grudging compliments from editorial writers and columnists and sullen acquiescence from the anti-smoking forces...Each time an Operation Apodixis program opens in a new community, a new opportunity will present itself for publicity and promotion for the industry...[There] will be little that the anti-smoking forces can say except possibly mumbling something about 'it's not enough.' "

The strategic rationale for the program includes "Keeping the anti-smoking forces off balance" and "Blunt[ing] the FDA effort to regulate tobacco by demonstrating that the industry can be self-regulatory. And that is a powerful, credible argument to members of Congress and state legislatures."

Thus, the idea was to inhibit public health progress against tobacco while at the same time making the company appear responsible and self-regulating.

It appears that Operation Apodixis was carried out, and that the strategy proved so effective that PM expanded on it greatly following its initial implementation. In 1999 PM funded the National 4H Club to implement a youth program exactly like Operation Apodixis. The program is called "Health Rocks." On par with the Apodixis plan, the "Health Rocks" web site states that "All aspects of the program, including its curriculum, implementation and evaluation, are independent from the initiative’s funder, Philip Morris U.S.A." In addition, PM touts "Health Rocks," and many other PM-funded youth programs on its web site: http://www.philipmorrisusa.com/policies_practices/ysp/grant_programs/nonschool_hour_program.asp

In the time since Operation Apodixis was introduced, many state 4-H clubs have opposed using the PM-funded program. The California 4H club stated, "...Health Rocks! has been developed by the National 4-H Council with funding from Philip Morris USA as part of that corporation's recent youth smoking prevention initiative...[T]obacco prevention advocates and other public health professionals...view the initiative as a politically motivated strategy that benefits the corporation in several ways and gives the appearance of corporate responsibility, while being ultimately detrimental to the public health goal of reducing youth tobacco use." (From California 4H web site at http://fourhcyd.ucdavis.edu/communications/eb121202.html)

Fields

Notes

An article explaining how tobacco industry youth smoking prevention programs help the tobacco industry and hurt public health was published in the June 2002 issue of the Journals of the American Public Health Association. A PDF version of the article can be downloaded at http://www.medialiteracy.net/pdfs/LandmanYSP.pdf

Quotes

Apodixis*

*Apodixis: Absolute Demonstration. (from the Greek apodeixis) Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition, Unabridged.

Industry Credibility

The credibility of the tobacco industry and the executives who run it has reached an all-time low. Believability factors for virtually all of the industry's messages are met with high levels of skepticism at best and downright hostility at worst. Media hostility has reached proportions few would have expected just a few years ago.

Traditionally, the explanation for the decline in industry credibility was linked to the legal strategy of holding the line on the primary issue. Recent revelations by former industry scientists charging the cover-up of research that did not reflect favorably on tobacco have badly damaged what remaining credibility existed.

All major anti-smoking organizations, newly emboldened by the FDA's effort to gain regulatory control over tobacco, are combining their efforts to perpetuate and expand the widely held belief that the tobacco companies actively promote cigarettes to children.

Anti-smoking forces are reported to have a multi- million dollar sum available to advance the FDA control effort. Many communication experts expect this public relations effort to center on the tobacco industry's alleged marketing to youth.

The atmosphere today remains as charged as ever.

Traditional industry allies are abandoning the ship. The industry is becoming more and more isolated.

Beyond Lip Service

In order to get its message through the extraordinary levels of skepticism and cynicism to key, critical audiences, the industry must basically put its money where its mouth is.

Paying lip service to messages about not wanting children to smoke is no longer believable.

Basically, no one believes the company and industry statements that they do not want children to smoke.

While current company efforts to demonstrate its opposition to youth smoking and the marketing of cigarettes to children are genuine and no doubt effective, they have two large shortcomings:

--they annoy much of the retail trade;

--they are subject to anti-smoking forces' criticisms because the program is essentially like training the fox to guard the henhouse.

The company must move beyond the arena of lip service.

It must move beyond platitudes about not wanting children to smoke.

The company must act in a way that firmly demonstrates to its vocal and virulent critics that it does not want children to smoke.

Strategic Methodology

Operation Apodixis

The company will establish and fund, through major social organizations (e.g. the nation's private hospitals, large black churches, urban ministerial associations, community health and civic organizations), thorough and complete anti-smoking programs for children of junior high and high school age.

Participants will be selected by the sponsoring social organization.

The company will have NO INPUT into the content of the anti-smoking program.

The company will have NO INPUT into the selection of persons or organizations that the recipient organizations select to conduct the anti-smoking programs.

The company will challenge prominent anti- smoking organizations and the media to "audit" the anti-smoking programs.

Basically, the company will fund, and then celebrate, an unrestricted anti-smoking program designed for junior high and high school students.

The company will select an appropriate social organization for execution of the anti-smoking program.

The program will be announced with appropriate media and publicity fanfare, as well as a full advertising program that basically says, "We're Putting Our Money Where Our Mouths Are."

Since there will be no strings attached to the programs...

no ifs... no caveats... no hidden elements...

and since the announcements to the news media will challenge the anti-smoking forces to "audit" the anti-smoking classes and report to the news media what they find, the ability to criticize the industry for not really meaning its message of not wanting children to smoke will be sharply curtailed.

Strategic Communications. Objective

Operation Apodixis will provide the company with a highly believable program, largely above reproach, to which it can point when it speaks to a variety of key audiences, e.g. legislators, regulators, the media.

It will be the rare media interview that the program cannot be invoked as a demonstration of the company's absolute seriousness about curtailing youth smoking.

Operation Apodixis will force grudging compliments from editorial writers and columnists and sullen acquiescence from the anti-smoking forces.

Each time an Operation Apodixis program opens in a new community, a new opportunity will present itself for publicity and promotion for the industry. Each time there will be little that the anti-smoking forces can say except possibly mumbling something about "it's not enough."

Operation Apodixis will...be targeted to key, critical audiences that can impact the industry (e.g. legislators, regulators, the media, the education community)

Company
Philip Morris
Author
Smith Worldwide, Inc.
Recipient
Presumed corporate recipient, Philip Morris
Region
United States
Type
REPT, REPORT, OTHER
Litigation
Stmn/Produced
Named Person
Han
Operation/Project
Operation Apodixis (PM youth project to restore company credibility)
Apodixis was a PM plan to restore flagging company credibility by sponsoring/creating a youth anti-smoking program. Project was aimed at influencing legislators and regulators
Named Organization
Congress
United States Food and Drug Administration
Smith Worldwide (Public relations counselors)
Headed by Guy L. Smith, IV, who was senior public affairs official for PM for 15 years; "handled all aspects of news media relations" for Cipollone case--WP, 11/17/96
Tobacco Institute (Industry Trade Association)
The purpose of the Institute was to defeat legislation unfavorable to the industry, put a positive spin on the tobacco industry, bolster the industry's credibility with legislators and the public, and help maintain the controversy over "the primary issue" (the health issue).
Subject
youth
Youth Smoking Prevention Programs (Industry-sponsored youth smoking prevention programs)
Designed to stave off further legislated marketing restrictions
industry funding of education
industry sponsored prevention program
industry strategy
Corporate philanthropy (Company giving behavior)
The giving of money to causes by a company, usually in a manner that makes the company appear altruistic to the public. Corporate philanthropy is usually done to achieve public relations or political gains.
Corporate strategy
Political Influence (How the industry develops and applies political influence)
credibility (pertains to credibility levels of of tobacco industry)

Document Images

Text Control

Highlight Text:

OCR Text Alignment:

Image Control

Image Rotation:

Image Size:

Page 1: gos65e00
Operation Apodixis Prcpared by Smith Worldwide Inc. 171 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016 212-779-2336 C> v W SMITH WORLDWIDE ~ -0 CA
Page 2: gos65e00
Apodixis * *Apodixis: Absolute Demonstration. (from the Greek apodeixis) Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition, Unabridged. SMITH WORLDWIDE
Page 3: gos65e00
Industry Credibility r~ The credibility of the tobacco industry and the executives who run it has reached an all-time low. Believability factors for virtually all of the industry's messages are met with high levels of skepticism at best and downright hostility at worst. Media hostility has reached proportions few would have expected just a few years ago. F-1 Traditionally, the explanation for the decline in industry credibility was linked to the legal strategy of holding the line on the primary issue. Recent revelations by former industry scientists charging the cover-up of research that did not reflect favorably on tobacco have badly damaged what remaining credibility existed. ID All major anti-smoking organizations, newly emboldened by the FDA's effort to gain regulatory control over tobacco, are combining their efforts to perpetuate and expand the widely held belief that the tobacco companies actively promote cigarettes to children. ~ Anti-smoking forces are reported to have a multi- million dollar sum available to advance the FDA control effort. Many communication experts expect this public relations effort to center on the tobacco industry's alleged marketing to youth. SMITH WORLDWIDE
Page 4: gos65e00
Q The atmosphere today remains as charged as ever. r~ Traditional industry allies are abandoning the ship. The industry is becoming more and more isolated. SMITH WORLDWIDE
Page 5: gos65e00
Beyond Lip Service ~ In order to get its message through the extraordinary levels of skepticism and cynicism to key, critical audiences, the industry must basically put its money where its mouth is. ~ Paying lip service to messages about not wanting children to smoke is no longer believable. ~ Basically, no one believes the company and industry statements that they do not want children to smoke. ~ While current company efforts to demonstrate its opposition to youth smoking and the marketing of cigarettes to children are genuine and no doubt effective, they have two large shortcomings: 1J they annoy much of the retail trade; 1J they are subject to anti-smoking forces' criticisms because the program is essentially like training the fox to guard the henhouse. QI The company must move beyond the arena of lip service. a It must move beyond platitudes about not wanting children to smoke. ~ The company must act in a way that firmly demonstrates to its vocal and virulent critics that it does not want children to smoke. SMITH WORLDWIDE
Page 6: gos65e00
Strategic Methodology Operation Apodixis a The company will establish and fund, through major social organizations (e.g. the nation's private hospitals, large black churches, urban ministerial associations, community health and civic organizations), thorough and complete anti-smoking programs for children of junior high and high school age. 0 Participants will be selected by the sponsoring social organization. a The company will have no input into the content of the anti-smoking program. ~ The company will have no input into the selection of persons or organizations that the recipient organizations select to conduct the anti-smoking programs. ~ The company will challenge prominent anti- smoking organizations and the media to "audit" the anti-smoking programs. Q Basically, the company will fund, and then celebrate, an unrestricted anti-smoking program designed for junior high and high school students. r ~ ~ ~ .~ ~ w C> SMITH WORLDWIDE ."" 4 0 0
Page 7: gos65e00
Tactical Methodology ~ The company will select an appropriate social organization for execution of the anti-smoking program. ~ The program will be announced with appropriate media and publicity fanfare, as well as a full advertising program that basically says, "We're Putting Our Money Where Our Mouths Are." 1j Since there will be no strings attached to the programs... no ifs... no caveats... no hidden elements... ~ and since the announcements to the news media will challenge the anti-smoking forces to "audit" the anti-smoking classes and report to the news media what they find, 13 the ability to criticize the industry for not really meaning its message of not wanting children to smoke will be sharply curtailed. SMITH WORLDWIDE
Page 8: gos65e00
Strategic Communications Objective Q Operation Apodixis will provide the company with a highly believable program, largely above reproach, to which it can point when it speaks to a variety of key audiences, e.g. legislators, regulators, the media. ~ It will be the rare media interview that the program cannot be invoked as a demonstration of the company's absolute seriousness about curtailing youth smoking. L) Operation Apodixis will force grudging compliments from editorial writers and columnists and sullen acquiescence from the anti-smoking forces. U Each time an Operation Apodixis program opens in a new community, a new opportunity will present itself for publicity and promotion for the industry. Each time there will be little that the anti-smoking forces can say except possibly mumbling something about "it's not enough." < SMITH WORLDWIDE
Page 9: gos65e00
Consistency IJI Over the years many tobacco company and industry programs have suffered from lack of consistency. There will be a burst of activity and then the program will fade away. U Operation Apodixis will closely dovetail the industry's "Helping Youth Say No" program, and the company's "Access" programs and ads. a In addition to a full public relations program highlighting the anti-smoking clinics for children of junior high and high school age, ~ A complete advertising program flowing from the company's previous youth smoking campaign will help promote the company and industry's message of being serious about curtailing youth smoking. Will be targeted to key, critical audiences that can impact the industry (e.g. legislators, regulators, the media, the education community) SMITH WORLDWIDE
Page 10: gos65e00
Credibility 1:1 Operation Apodixis will instantly put a valuable tool into the hands of every company executive, employee, public relations professional, shareholder and lobbyist. IJ When an company spokesperson is interviewed or speaks with the media, he/she will be able to point to the company-funded "no strings attached" anti- smoking program for junior high and high school age students. Q Each time they speak with the media, or industry lobbyists speak with a legislator, they will be able to challenge the anti-smoking forces to "audit" the programs for authenticity. 1J Each time the anti-smoking forces raise the issue of youth smoking, the company will now have a real, credible defense - a positive program. ~ The anti-smoking forces' arguments against youth smoking, in time, will be reduced to saying that "the company is not doing enough" rather than the industry is not doing anything or that it is actively promoting to children. ~ More importantly, Operation Apodixis will categorically demonstrate that the company is serious about not wanting children to smoke. SMITH WORLDWIDE

Text Control

Highlight Text:

OCR Text Alignment:

Image Control

Image Rotation:

Image Size: