The first issue the website intends to tackle is tobacco addiction. The website, which is financed by Philip Morris, is going to launch a campaign to help people quit smoking. According to the Financial Times, the tobacco manufacturer is spending 5 million pounds sterling on the campaign.
Philip Morris has stated that it will only be a sponsor. Vice Media will take care of all the content thanks to a specially recruited team of journalists. Vice says that the campaign’s editorial staff will be completely independent, which has been confirmed by Philip Morris.
A new strategy for Philip Morris
Philip Morris’ involvement in Vice’s project suggests a major shift in its company strategy. For some time now, the manufacturer has been looking towards alternatives to tobacco. In fact, it has already dedicated $4.5 billion towards the development of new technologies, such as IQOS. The American company is projecting that by 2025, its various “limited risk products” will represent 40% of all profits.
At the 58th annual Toxicology Society Conference, Philip Morris presented a study showing that electronic cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco.
Vice’s campaign should start in April in the United Kingdom. Vice says there will be absolutely no advertising for traditional cigarettes. The media company is further counting on building other similar English-language websites throughout the world.