‘Hands-Off Altria’, Namesake Tells Philip Morris

22 November 2001

Foods, brewing and tobacco conglomerate Philip Morris, which last week announced a corporate rebranding as Altria for its non-tobacco interests [WAMN: 16-Non-01], has stamped on the toes of a company with a near identical appellation – Altria Healthcare.

Says the president of the healthcare firm, Warren Smedley: “It is of great concern to a healthcare business to have a big tobacco and alcohol company wish to adopt an identical name.”

The multinational titan was dismissive of Smedley’s concern, insisting that it would not be in breach of any law, had conducted all the necessary searches, and was confident that there would no confusion among Altria Healthcare’s customers.

News source: The Times (London)