Understanding Business Ethics

Topics: Altria Group, Tobacco, Cigarette Pages: 6 (1525 words) Published: April 4, 2012
Understanding Business Ethics


Over this task I will be choosing a business and providing brief background information on my select organisation. The company that I have chosen is in a controversial industry and has its fair share of pressure groups, none more so than Governments of several countries. My organisation is in a billion pound industry and in effect manufactures legalised poison.

My selected business is Marlboro, an international billion pound company based in London and is one of the biggest cigarette manufactures in the world. I will examine Marlboro’s mission statement as well as stating its aims and objectives. I will also be explaining the ethical issues the business comes up against in its daily operations.


Marlboro earn billions in profit each year, American customers alone spent an estimated amount of $70 billion annually. It is estimated that Marlboro pre-tax profits for 2006 exceeded $7billion, of which $4.8 billion when to Philip Morris USA whom own the company, Altria Group Inc is the parent company of Philips Morris international and Philips Morris USA.

Marlboro is in the private sector and is a public limited company, its core business activities are to manufacture and market the best quality tobacco products to consumers. Marlboro is a large enterprise business and employs thousands of employees.

Marlboro’s Mission Statement

One of its key strategies is said to align with society as they respond to ‘important stakeholders’ expectations’. Other aims include exceeding consumer expectations by providing tobacco pleasure while ‘reducing the harm’. They also aim to market their products ‘responsible’ and to help people quit smoking. I have extracted the following from the Phillips Morris USA website, in which they state their aims and objectives.

Help Reduce Underage Tobacco Use — Identify, support and develop programs to help reduce underage tobacco use.

Support Reasonable Regulation — Engage with the public health community and government to help set objective standards for reducing harm associated with tobacco products and to establish rigorous regulatory processes for manufacturing our products and communicating to adult consumers.

Meet Compliance Requirements — Meet or exceed the legal, regulatory and internal policy requirements that govern our products and business.

Reduce Environmental Impact — Reduce the environmental impact of our business and promote the sustainability of the natural resources on which we depend.

Provide Tobacco Pleasure/Reduced Harm — Exceed our adult tobacco consumers' preferences by providing tobacco pleasure and providing products that reduce exposure to harmful compounds in cigarette smoke.

Communicate Health Effects of Our Products — communicate openly, honestly and effectively about the health effects of our products.

Provide Cessation Information — Help connect smokers who have decided to quit with expert quitting information.

Market Our Products Responsibly — Build relationships between our brands and adult tobacco consumers while using tools designed to minimize reach to unintended audiences.

Source: http://www.philipmorrisusa.com/en/about_us/

Ethical Issues

Marlboro needs to consider its ethical issues in its daily operations; they manufacture and sell millions of cigarettes every single day earning the company billions worldwide. Yet they seem to show a lack of corporate social responsibility, the long term effects of smoking are well documented and scrutinised. They produce an addictive drug and a harmful product. The tobacco industry has put a strain on the health services which costs billions in tax and significantly reduces the life expectancy of those whom smoke and effect people around smoke.

Corporate governance
The key men of Altria group, inc are Louis Camilleri, CEO & Chairman and Dinyar Devitre CFO. The Altria group is based in New York and is in the...
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