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SYDNEY, Australia (ABC News Online, April 28) – The world's biggest tobacco company, Philip Morris, has apologised to New Zealand Maori for using their name and image to sell cigarettes in Israel.

The unconditional backdown came after representatives of the Maori smoke-free coalition made an impassioned presentation to the tobacco giant's annual general meeting in New York.

They have argued the marketing of the cigarettes in Israel as Maori Mix was culturally offensive and exploitative.

Philip Morris' chief executive officer says it had been a mistake and that all stock would be withdrawn.

May 1, 2006

Australian Broadcasting Corp.:

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