In June, Charlie Stjerneklar, Head of Communications at Philip Morris Denmark, published a lengthy article in the membership magazine for Dansk Markedsføring (Danish Marketing Association), Denmark's largest association for marketing professionals. In the article, Charlie Stjerneklar stresses that Philip Morris is building its future on IQOS and reduced-risk products, which are better, smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes.
”It is not my job to create awareness around Philip Morris’ best selling products. My main objective is to get the smokers who don't want to stop smoking to replace cigarettes with a smoke-free alternative. And that actually applies to the whole of Philip Morris in Denmark. We are so good at doing our jobs that today there isn't even one single smoker left among our employees. Now we just need to extend our success to the whole of Denmark”, writes Charlie Stjerneklar.
In the article, Charlie Stjerneklar explains how Philip Morris Denmark not only wants to see increased regulation of cigarettes, but also a rise in cigarette prices, as it is the company's greatest wish to see cigarette smoking completely extinguished. He also points out the importance of taking into account the Danes who have no desire to stop smoking.
”According to the Danish Health Authority's own calculations, 43% of smokers in Denmark do not want to stop smoking. That corresponds to 400,000 Danes. And this group of 400,000 individuals covers a very broad spectrum. It includes a 40-year-old butcher, a 30-year school teacher and an elderly pensioner. These are the ones that are rarely mentioned. And they were virtually unaddressed in the recent election. Unfortunately, they are the invisible smokers. For them, cigarettes are a major part of their everyday life, and it’s in this every day that my task lies. It is, unfortunately, the case that many of these smokers (mistakenly) believe that cigarettes are the only solution to providing their every day with tobacco flavor and nicotine. Because that is the way it has been until now”, writes Charlie Stjerneklar.
The article was published in the wake of the election for Danish parliament. The debate prompted Charlie Stjerneklar to question how successful Philip Morris was in presenting an easily understandable solution to the tobacco problem for politicians and journalists, especially in light of how much the issue was being discussed during the election campaign.
”We need to move away from just discussing prices and concealed cigarettes, towards a wider conversation about what strategy needs to be adopted if we are to persuade 400,000 cigarette smokers who do not want to stop smoking to replace cigarettes with less harmful and smoke-free products. Perhaps I failed to do this during the election campaign. Did we manage to raise the politicians' focus and ambitions higher than just the prices? Did we take responsibility and present a solution for the many Danes who want to insist on continuing to smoke? No, we probably did not. But our fight for making the cigarette a thing of the past is not over”, writes Charlie Stjerneklar.
The article was posted as the monthly contribution from the communications industry in the June issue of the Dansk Markedføring's (Danish Marketing Association) membership magazine, and it was communicated to all its members.