Bad Influencers

Public health and anti-tobacco organizations put social media giants on notice to stop giving a platform to Big Tobacco’s hired influencers.
In a letter to Facebook Inc, Instagram, Twitter and Snap Inc, more than 100 organizations from 48 countries urged “swift action,” citing a Reuters investigation detailing Philip Morris International’s exploitation of a regulatory gray zone in online advertising. The investigation found that PMI paid influencers to feature their products subtly, skirting policies against marketing nicotine products to youth.
PMI said the posts aimed to inform adult cigarette smokers about safer alternatives—a defense Caroline Renzulli of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids dismissed as “laughable.”



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