Philip Morris tobacco companies

Philip Morris tobacco companies

Two of the world's largest tobacco companies, comprising Philip Morris International Inc. and Philip Morris USA Inc., both of which are owned by U.S. holding company Altria Group, Inc. Drawing on the name of Philip Morris, a London tobacconist who opened shop in the mid 1800s, the company was incorporated in New York in 1902 as a British-American venture; ownership shifted to American stockholders in 1919, when the company was renamed Philip Morris & Co. It became a principal maker of cigarettes in the 1930s and '40s, and the popularity of its Marlboro cigarettes grew with its use of cowboy imagery to advertise them in the mid 1950s. The company developed other American cigarette brands such as Parliament, Virginia Slims, and Merit. Overseas ventures in the manufacture and marketing of cigarettes led to the formation of Philip Morris International, which by 1972 had established sales in many parts of the world, including the former Soviet Union. Its global brands include Chesterfield and Lark.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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