It would also be wrong to make up a tale of fictional imagery about Geoffrey C. Bible, such as:
"Down in the heart of Philip Morris corporate headquarters there's a guy named Geoffrey C. Bible. Geoffrey C. Bible enjoys plenty of employees and a corporate jet. Geoffrey C. Bible was fed up with so-called 'scientists' saying that cigarettes kill more people every year than alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide and O.J. Simpson. Instead of just getting mad, Geoffrey C. Bible did something about it. He deposited his enormous paycheck."
So does everybody understand the ethical point here? You may NOT take liberties with the name "Geoffrey C. Bible." You may, however, take the name "Dave" and do pretty much whatever you want to it. As I say, I'm not at all bitter that Philip Morris has decided to appropriate my name, and my father's name, and the name that a lot of regular guys who really exist have used over the years, a name that has apparently earned some measure of trust, which is why Philip Morris wants to attach its new cigarette brand to this name, the way a leech attaches itself to your leg. Who knows? If this strategy works out, maybe it'll inspire a whole bunch of new cigarette brands with trustworthy names. I bet that even as you read this, some marketing people, somewhere, are batting around the concept of "Jesus" cigarettes.
They need to keep coming up with ideas. They're in a tough business: The people who use their products -- and I am NOT implying that there's a connection -- keep dying of lung cancer. It's an unfortunate situation, and I for one am getting fed up. But instead of getting mad, I'm going to do something about it.
I'm going to start calling lung cancer "Geoffrey's disease."
c 2011, Dave Barry
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