Philip Morris Int’l CFO Waldemer

by Jenny Novac on October 21, 2011

Australia’s government has introduced a bill that would prevent tobacco companies from displaying their distinctive colors, brand designs and logos on cigarette packs in a bid to make smoking less attractive to young people.

PMI Chief Financial Officer Hermann Waldemer

Hermann Waldemer assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer of Philip Morris International on March 28, 2008, following the spin-off of Philip Morris International from Altria Group, Inc.

The bill requires all cigarettes to be sold in the same drab, olive green packs, with brand names dwarfed by large, graphic health warnings next year.

Philip Morris International Inc., the seller of Marlboro and other cigarette brands overseas, says the plain packaging requirements undermine public health objectives by lowering prices and increasing illicit trade, violate intellectual property protections and breach international trade obligations.

Tobacco companies are funding a nationwide advertising campaign that brands Australia as a nanny state and warns that alcohol will become the government’s next target.

Australia is a relatively small tobacco market where the smoking rate is 17 percent and falling, compared with around 20 percent of American adults. But cigarette companies fear a precedent that could be adopted by more lucrative and growing markets.

In a conference call with analysts on Thursday regarding Philip Morris International‘s third-quarter earnings, Chief Financial Officer Hermann Waldemer discussed the latest on Australia’s plain packaging proposal.

QUESTION: Is it fair to expect that the Senate does pass the bills in November and has Philip Morris International selected and started the formation of the arbitration tribunal at this point?

RESPONSE: The vote in the Senate hasn’t taken place. … As the health minister herself has said, it might, or it probably will lead to a delay in the implementation date. We are of course ramping up the legal cases. As we’ve said, we will vigorously pursue all the avenues. We are of course in full swing to be ready for this situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *