Consumer Rights as the In-house lawyer’s contribution to Consumer Centricity

Maria Del Carmen Ordonez-Lopez , Vice-president and Associate General Counsel for Latin America and Canada, Philip Morris International, USA

Consumer centricity is a business approach that puts the consumer at the center and builds every aspect of a company’s operations (product design, distribution mode, communication strategy, product issue resolution) around the consumers, their real and observed needs, wants and values, to give consumers the best possible experience and increase company growth. However, consumer centricity should not be looked at in isolation, purely as a commercial approach. It must be seen as an element of a more general concern with companies’ impact on society and the type of conduct that gives them a license to operate and be profitable. In that context, the protection of consumer rights as per the principles of the United Nations and nationally adopted legislation is a fundamental manifestation of consumer centricity. In that context, in-house lawyers have a unique role to play in consumer centricity, there is a specific mindset for lawyer consumer centricity and specific aspects of the in-house activity in which it is evidenced. Adopting a lawyers’ consumer centric mindset will improve in-house lawyer performance, improve their relationship with their business colleagues and, ultimately, have a perceivable impact in business and consumer value.

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USA Sales Law Retail October 2019 Vol.12, No. 49, Autumn 2019

Maria Del Carmen Ordonez-Lopez

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María del Carmen (Mary Carmen) Ordóñez-López, VP & Associate General Counsel Latin America & Canada (LA&C) for Philip Morris International (PMI), was born in Mexico City, Mexico, where she obtained her Law Degree and, later on, her LLM on Business Law. She joined PMI in 1998 and, over the course of her career, has been Head of the Law Department in PMI’s affiliates in Mexico and Colombia; Regional Regulatory Counsel in LA&C; Assistant General Counsel Defense Litigation Europe, Africa & Asia and Assistant General Counsel Plaintiff Litigation based in Switzerland; and PMI’s Chief Compliance Officer, also based in Switzerland. She is currently based in New York City, from where she tries her best to help deliver a smoke-free future. She is the mother of 2 amazing children ages 9 and 7. She enjoys reading, particularly historical fiction, Philosophy, World Religions and History, and being active in social media, especially on social and political topics. Traveling in Europe and the Middle East is her favorite activity and she’s determined to visit Samarkand in the near future. She is committed to the cause of the Yazidi people.

Philip Morris International

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Philip Morris International is the leading global tobacco company. The why of each one of our 77,000 employees around the world is to unsmoke the world by convincing every smoker that would otherwise continue to smoke to quit or switch to better alternatives and to continue to provide those adult smokers not yet convinced to quit or switch with the best cigarette brands. PMI owns and commercializes the leading brands in the nicotine delivery field: IQOS, HEETS, MESH, MARLBORO, CHESTERFIELD, L&M and many others.

USA Sales Law Retail October 2019 Vol.12, No. 49, Autumn 2019