Middleton Sales Team Cut..

March 24, 2008 - Middleton Sales Team Cut.. Altria Group Inc., parent company to the nation's largest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA (PM USA), decided to eliminate most of the sales force of its recently purchased John Middleton Inc. Middleton's Black & Mild Cigars - a family of pipe tobacco cigars is the top selling cigar package in the U.S. (as of 9/2004 - ACNielson) is very popular with young African Americans. Several different flavors are available including Mild, Apple, Mild FT Filter Tip, Mild Cherry-Vanilla, Cream, Vanilla and Wine. Philip Morris' Black & Mild is the most popular brand of cigars for smokers 12 and older. Nearly a quarter of 18- to 24-year-old blacks in the Baltimore smoke B&M cigars.
Black & Milds in Baltimore, Baltimore City Health Dept., 10/2007.
PM USA spokesman Bill Phelps said, "Starting this month, a variety of the John Middleton merchandising and promotional resources will be available through the PM USA sales organization." Phelps explained that in cases where retail and wholesale accounts are called on by both Middleton's and PM USA's sales force, those accounts will be transitioned to the team at PM USA.