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The world’s largest tobacco corporation, Philip Morris, launched ads in the UK claiming its New Year’s resolution for 2018 is to help people quit smoking cigarettes. The brand plans to eventually stop selling cigarettes entirely in the UK and is now encouraging customers to switch to its smoke-free products, such as heated tobacco and e-cigarettes. Philip Morris, which runs labels including Marlboro and Parliament, is also seeking government permission to print information on quitting smoking inside its cigarette packs.

Our minds are BLOWN that a cigarette company (!) is now actively pushing marketing that is anti-cigarette. And yes, there are many who will be cynical, a fact which the campaign acknowledges, saying ‘you might wonder if we really mean it’. Indeed, this cynicism isn’t without merit – the World Health Organization refused to work with the Philip Morris-funded The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, saying it was ‘misleading’ consumers.

But look past the specifics of this campaign, if you can, and recognize that this is another step on the epic journey towards the new consumerism: one where people expect brands to advance responsible agendas that benefit both brand and consumer.

More interestingly, it’s a powerful example of the steps many incumbent – and dare-we-say-it irresponsible – brands need to take: boldly upend the legacy parts of their business which are now actively stopping them engaging today’s consumer. Gucci’s recent declaration that it would stop using fur is another recent example.

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Discover what lies ahead with 5 Trends for 2018