retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

John Oliver strikes again.

On his "Last Week Tonight" show last Sunday, Oliver took aim at the tobacco industry, specifically Philip Morris International, accusing it of using the threat of lawsuits against poor nations that have attempted to more tightly regulate the cigarette business in an effort to reduce consumption and improve the health of their populations.

As usual, the Eye-Opening delivery is a little profane, very funny, and pretty much on target. And you can see it at right. (If you are at work or watching where kids are nearby, be warned ... the language can get a little rough.)

As a matter of fairness, it should be pointed out that Philip Morris International had a problem with the segment, arguing, in part that "'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' is a parody show, known for getting a laugh through exaggeration and presenting partial views in the name of humor. The segment includes many mischaracterizations of our company, including our approach to marketing and regulation, which have been embellished in the spirit of comedic license."

“While we recognize the tobacco industry is an easy target for comedians, we take seriously the responsibility that comes with selling a product that is an adult choice and is harmful to health."

For the record, I added the italics. For emphasis.

And I just think I'm going to plan on devoting one Eye-Opener piece a week to John Oliver, who just got HBO to extend his show through the 2017 season.

Yippee.

KC's View: