Phillip Morris halts global campaign featuring young influencers

The depiction of an under-25 user of a vaporizer product ‘was a clear breach’ of its own policy, the company says, emphasizing that no laws were broken. Still, the FDA is keeping watch.

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Where there’s smoke—or vapor—there’s a potential PR firestorm.

Phillip Morris International has stopped a global social media campaign after reporters discovered the company was partnering with young influencers to sell vaporizer products.

The company has tried to avoid looking like a wealthy corporation seeking to hook young people on an addictive, life-threatening product. However, Phillip Morris has been testing the waters around new vaporizer products as the company looks to the future.

The company has sought to position itself in a new light with ads encouraging users to stop smoking and an organizational shift to vaporizer products that the company says are safer for users. Critics say vaporizers are just as dangerous as cigarettes and can be a gateway product for young users.

Now the company is apologizing for a campaign that used young influencers to promote its IQOS vaporizer device.

Reuters reported:

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