We're Rich, You're Dead!


February 2003

On February 20, 2004, Licensed to Kill, Inc held a well-attended press conference at the International Press Centre in Lagos, Nigeria to introduce Nigerian media to the newest multinational tobacco corporation to enter the Nigerian market.

Licensed to Kill's Senior VP for Corporate Communications, Corrie "Core" Prutspin began by giving the journalists a brief history of the company and distributing copies of the company's articles of incorporation (which explicitly state the company's purpose: "to manufacture and market tobacco products in a way that each year kills more than 400,000 Americans and 4.5 million other persons worldwide"). View articles

She then informed the journalists that it was a real honor to have Rich Fromdeth, the CEO and Chairman of the company himself, present at the press conference. Soon after, Fromdeth rose to unveil the company's slogan "We're Rich, You're Dead!" to the gasps of many reporters.

The Senior VP went on to address the reason for the company's visit to Nigeria. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with well over 100 million people -- over half of which are under the age of 15. This large, very young, and rapidly growing population spells J-A-C-K-P-O-T for a company like Licensed to Kill!

To facilitate its expansion into the very lucrative Nigerian market, Licensed to Kill has chosen to open up a Nigeria branch office in Lagos. The corporations's chief competitor in the country is British American Tobacco (BAT), which claims to be "Proudly Nigerian" (according to the company's public relations campaign which seeks to portray BAT as firmly rooted in Nigerian society).

Unlike BAT, Licensed to Kill does not claim to be "Nigerian." It is, however, quite proud of its profitable business. Licensed to Kill took the opportunity of press conference to announce the launching of its own Nigerian public relations campaign, "Proudly Killing Nigerians," which the company feels more accurately describes what its business is all about. View another photo

The Senior VP informed assembled journalists that Licensed to Kill is seeking tax breaks from the Nigerian government to build a new factory outside Lagos -- just as BAT received for building a factory in Ibadan. "Our products may eventually kill 100,000's of Nigerians," said Prutspin, "but isn't this is a small price to pay for the creation of 1,000 new jobs?"

Prutspin then mentioned a new report by the British Medical Association on "Smoking and Reproductive Life" and noted that smokers are 50% more likely to suffer from impotence than nonsmokers. "In the UK alone," she said, "it is estimated that 120,000 men aged 30-50 years are impotent because of smoking." The CEO and Senior VP then unveiled Licensed to Kill's newest cigarette brand, weak organ, designed specifically for Nigerian males. Read the report

Licensed to Kill hopes that its weak organ brand will help its male customers come to terms with their smoking-caused erectile dysfunction. "We want our customers to know that we care about them...and least their money," said Prutspin,"In the end, the only size that really matters is that of our customers' wallets!" View photos: 1, 2

CEO Rich Fromdeth then came to the podium to speak of Licensed to Kill's disgust with anti-tobacco activists who buzz around annoyingly like mosquitos and to detail the company's strategy of thwarting tobacco control legislation: keep the media away from the health issue! (an effective strategy that has long been employed by the tobacco industry in Nigeria) View photo of Rich Fromdeth: 1, 2, 3

Lastly, Licensed to Kill's new Nigerian Director, Gray Vastone, was introduced. Among other things, he mentioned the company's two-pronged approach to boosting profits in Nigeria: 1) sell lots of cigarettes. 2) expoit tobacco farmers (the less they get paid, the more money the company saves)

Nigerian and U.S. Licensed to Kill Execs: Solidarity across borders in selling death!


Once the Licensed to Kill executives finished speaking, a number of Nigerian journalists rose to ask questions. Here are a few of the questions posed:

1) Do you have a factory that actually manufactures cigarettes?
2) Your company is unique. How successful is it? What is the level of reception?
3) If your company knows that tobacco kills, what is the moral value behind your business?
4) Do you really have such a brand? And does your company have a conscience?

The Senior VP responded by saying that tobacco is a legal product and that it is the company's right, in a global free market economy, to sell death if it wants to. The company is simply not doing anything wrong.


In addition to significant television and radio coverage, the press
conference sparked numerous newspaper and magazine articles.
Unfortunately, the journalists apparently left with the impression that
our executives were tobacco control advocates in disguise. It just goes
to show you how difficult it is for some people to believe that there
could be a tobacco company that actually tells the truth!

Punch: A company, licensed to kill (March 8, 2004) - page 2

The Insider: Smoking to Kill (March 8, 2004) - page 2

Vanguard: Cigarettes as Licensed Killer (March 3, 2004)

New Age Online: A novel way to fight tobacco

This Day Online: 'Tobacco Kills over 4.8m Annually'

More photos from Licensed to Kill's trip to West Africa, including additional photos from the press conference

Licensed to Kill has also had a 7-minute video produced, featuring the main highlights of the press conference. For information on ordering, contact Licensed to Kill at: tobacco@licensedtokill.biz

© 2003 Licensed to Kill, Inc
Website disclaimer: Licensed to Kill, Inc stands by the veracity, but not the morality
of the contents of www.licensedtokill.biz, as well as the behavior of our company and its public statements.