The way we were
Here is the first Home Page of the Yesmoke.com site, with a choice of… 3 brands. In the summer of 2001, Philip Morris enjoined Yesmoke not to use the cowboy image. The tobacco giant seemed to think it had a sort of universal copyright over cowboys.
The Online Store enriches its offer with many brands and with more information, and it renews the sitès layout. But the cowboy, in spite of actions brought against it by Phillip Morris, remains in his place.
The new site has a more “institutional” layout, but its objectives will not change: it will continue to indicate, with names and surnames, the corrupt and the servants. It is the design of the site that remains today.
The “Duty-free zone” of Swiss customs at Balerna (Switzerland)
This is the customs area. Here the goods, stored or in transit, have not yet been taxed. The “Free Zone” is like the international duty-free areas in airports.
Logistics system in Switzerland
Yesmoke built up a logistics system that was totally automated: machines opened the cartons of cigarettes, repackaged them, closed them and sealed the ends; then it wrapped the packages in cellophane. This was all done by custom-made machinery.
A conveyor belt ended the process transporting the packages to the floor below, where there was a special sorting centre of the Swiss Post Office; from here, the packages were shipped off without delay.
The logistics area was a pride of Yesmoke; it continued to grow and reached the point where it made its own padded mailbags, labels and boxes. It was environment-friendly, as it left no waste materials: it recycled everything including the tons of paper and cardboard of the original cigarette packaging that had been opened and repackaged for shipment.
The warehouse with millions of cartons of cigarettes
Yesmoke's warehouse, located in the “duty-free zone” inside the Swiss customs area of Balerna: from the initial 25,000 cartons, the quantities handled grew to millions of cartons, taking up a good part of the customs area.
The Swiss cigarette factory
In 2004, while it was selling Marlboros to its American customers, Yesmoke built a factory in Switzerland that had a production capacity of 25 million 200 cigarette cartons per year.
March 24th 2005
Swiss television broadcasts a special program on Yesmoke. It showed the company's logistics facility in full activity, and the new Swiss manufacturing plant under construction.
The program interviewed Yesmoke's founders, the directors of the Swiss customs and the heads of the United States customs. It is the clearest and most complete document on the “Yesmoke case”.
Video: Una guerra (poco) virtuale… – Falò RSI La 1 24/03/2005 (27 minutes)
The Italian cigarette factory
“Yesmoke” cigarettes destined to countries of the European Community are manufactured in the plant of Turin, which was built between September 2005 and August 2007. The factory's production capacity, each year, is 50 million cartons, each containing 200 cigarettes. Different from the giant multinational cigarette producers, Yesmoke's factory will not be rigorously “top-secret”.