Sponsorships

  • Sponsorship of art museums, dance troupes, symphony orchestras, and opera companies was pioneered in the 1950s by Philip Morris, manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes, to offset the bad news about smoking. Cultural sponsorship was so successful in enhancing its image in the arts and business communities that Philip Morris adopted the slogan, “It takes art to make a company great.”
  • In 1994, Philip Morris asked leaders of the Metropolitan Opera, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Joffrey Ballet, and other cultural organizations to lobby against a bill before the New York City Council to restrict smoking in public places.

Philip Morris Promotional Videos on Arts Sponsorship

“The arts provide a kaleidoscope of visions of how beautiful and wonderful the world can be” (1:27)

Promotional video by Philip Morris
1990

“In a constantly changing marketplace, playing it safe is taking the greatest risk of all.” (0:30)

Promotional video by Philip Morris
1990

“Sponsoring art is a positive thing” (2:13)

Promotional video by Philip Morris
1990

Jimmy Margulies
Houston Post
1989

Herb Block
The Washington Post
1991

Steve Benson
Arizona Republic
1990

Nicole Hollander
No date

Postcard illustrated by Doug Minkler
Distributed by Doctors Ought to Care (DOC) as part of a satirical campaign aimed at cultural groups and opinion leaders that accepted funding from tobacco companies
1988

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