Leo Burnett possible loss of jobs - Philip Morris may scale back advertising..

April 30, 2009 - Sources say Philip Morris International has signaled it is scaling way back its global spending on almost all of its key cigarette brands, including Basic, Parliament and Virginia Slims. Only Marlboro, reportedly, will continue to get anywhere close to the ad spending the iconic cigarette brand typically enjoys.

Philip Morris hired the Leo Burnett agency in 1955 to develop and advertising campaign for the Marlboro cigarette. Burnett famously helped transform the image of the Marlboro from a lesser brand targeting women to the most popular cigarette in the world with rugged cowboy imagery - Marlboro Man.

Because Philip Morris is not a major advertising presence in the United States, many people forget the giant cigarette maker is still a going -- and very profitable -- concern overseas, where Burnett has over many years been instrumental in helping fuel cigarette sales through its advertising.

Reference: Philip Morris pullback: Layoffs likely as 300 Leo Burnett jobs may go up in smokeLEWIS LAZARE Media & Marketing columnist llazare@suntimes.com, Chicago Sun Times, 4/30/20009.