Hershey and Philip Morris
"Kiss of Death"


VICTORY! (9/18/02)
Late in the night on September 17, 2002, the Hershey Trust Company called off the sale of the Hershey Foods Corporation, rejecting bids from Philip Morris/Kraft and all others. The announcement is a major victory for all who opposed the sale!

SEND A THANK YOU: It is important to give praise where praise is due. We encourage you to send an email to Robert Vowler, CEO of the Hershey Trust Company, thanking the board of trustees for doing the right thing. Just click on the link below. Your email will be automatically cc'd to all Hershey Trust Company board members and officers.



Local news coverage on the Hershey issue

Trust board abandons plan amid unrelenting opposition - 09/18/02

Foes hail grass-roots victory - 09/18/02

ACTION ALERT (9/17/02)

Hershey Foods, the largest North American manufacturer of chocolate products, is up for sale. Guess who is a leading contender to buy the company? None other that the world's #1 Merchant of Death: Philip Morris. We must stop the sale from happening! Join others in taking the following actions:

1. SEND AN EMAIL to Robert Vowler, CEO of the Hershey Trust Company (trustee of the Milton Hershey School Trust, which owns one-third of Hershey shares & controls three-quarters of votes). Click on the link below and tell him why you think Hershey and Philip Morris go together like chocolate and poison! Your email will be automatically cc'd to all Hershey Trust Company board members and officers.


In particular, we encourage you to cite specific examples of how Philip Morris targets youth around the world. Need examples? Search http://www.essentialaction.org/tobacco

2. SEND LETTERS & POSTCARDS to Hershey Trust Board Members. Short, handwritten, personalized notes can have a great impact. If there is a board member in your state (CA, DC, OH, MA, MN, NC NY, PA, VA), be sure to write to them in particular. And for some additional fun, give them a phone call!

Download "Hershey & Philip Morris Go Together Like Chocolate & Poison" postcards:
4 to a sheet, 2 to a sheet

Directions: Print out, photo copy on card stock, cut & send!

Names, addresses, & phone numbers of trustees (scroll down)

Note: This is an ideal activity for youth groups! Kids involved with Otsego County Reality Check (NY) have already started a letter campaign among peers -- with a card featuring a hershey's kiss and the title "Sale of Hershey's to Philip Morris will be the kiss of death!"

3. SIGN PETITION TO REMOVE HERSHEY TRUSTEES! Hershey Trust's decision to sell Hershey Foods corporation has sparked incredible controversy and deeply rooted public opposition. Local community members have launched a campaign to block the sale altogether. To support their effort, click on the link below and sign their petition to remove Hershey Trust's board of Trustees.


For more information about the ongoing local grassroots campaign against selling Hershey Food go to: http://www.friendsofhershey.org

4. ADD YOUR VIEWS TO THE LOCAL DEBATE. Submit letters-to-the-editor to local newspapers. Newspaper contact information: http://www.friendsofhershey.org/action.htm (scroll down to bottom)

Want to see censorship in action? The local Patriot-News has an on-line forum about Hershey. Go to http://www.pennlive.com/news/hershey/. Click on "join the heated discussion" under TALK HERSHEY (left column). Click "Get a Forum Name" (no need to give your real name or supply any personal information). Post a comment about Philip Morris and Hershey. Most postings that are offensive to Philip Morris are removed within a day -- excellent proof that Philip Morris advertising $$$ is important not only in pushing deadly products but in silencing public debate about them.


1. On September 12, 2002, Essential Action and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids sent a letter to the Hershey Trust urging that the trust not sell the chocolate company to Philip Morris. Read the letter: PDF, HTML

2. Kraft seen as good bet for Hershey
By Bill Sulon, The Patriot-News (09/10/02)

Three former top executives at Kraft's Nabisco division joined Hershey Foods management team in 2001. Richard H. Lenny, former head of the Nabisco biscuit and snack business at Kraft, in March 2001 became the first outsider to be named chief executive officer at Hershey Foods. Until Lenny's appointment, all Hershey CEOs were groomed from within. In May 2001, Lenny hired David J. West, a 14-year veteran of Nabisco, as vice president in charge of business planning and development. A month later, Lenny named Wynn A. Willard, who worked at Nabisco nine years, as vice president and chief marketing officer.

Other recent news stories about Hershey:

3. Read about Milton Hershey and the Milton Hershey School (the sole beneficiary of the Milton Hershey School Trust, of which Hershey Trust Company is trustee)

4. Hershey Trust Company

5. Hershey Foods Corporation
Brands include: Almond Joy, 5th Avenue, Good & Plenty, Health, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Ranchers, Milk Duds, Mounds, Payday, Reese's, Twizzlers, York, & Whoppers.


Essential Action
Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control

P.O. Box 19405 ~ Washington, DC 20036
Tel: +1 202-387-8030 ~ Fax: +1 202-234-5176
Email: tobacco@essential.org