JANUARY 28, 2003
Ferrari gets a new sponsor (sort of)
For the last 25 years Philip Morris has been supporting the Ferrari team with its Marlboro cigarette brand. But as of yesterday morning Philip Morris ceased to exist, transforming itself into a new organization called the Altria Group Inc. This is the parent company of all the Philip Morris firms. The switch has come about because the company feels the need to move away from the Philip Morris name because of its associations with the tobacco industry and it was felt by new chief executive officer Louis Camilleri that it was necessary to find a name which better reflected the range of the company's business which includes dozens of brands which generate more than $100m in revenue every year. The company has 12 what it calls "mega-brands" which each generate $1bn a year. These include Marlboro, L&M, Parliament, Philip Morris and Virginia Slims, cigarettes and the Kraft, Maxwell House, Nabisco, Philadelphia, Post and Oscar Mayer food companies.