Memorandum from W. Kloepfer to E. Clemente outlining upcoming projects. Observes that: 1)1968 public relations program requires substantial revision; 2)TI's "basic position in the cigarette controversy...may be subject to a finding that we are making false or misleading statements to promote the sale of cigarettes"; 3)ability of TI to "'reopen' the cigarette controversy through public communications projects" is diminished, and therefore "current policy discussions with Administration and Congressional sources take on even greater importance." Discusses anti-smoking rebuttal of "True" article and asserts that "we should proceed on the basis" that the technique and content of future projects "will be checked and criticized by anti-smoking forces." Outlines plan to test effectiveness of TI communications in Indianapolis, calling the test "a priority project."
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THE TOBACCO INSTITUTE, INC.
1735 K 5"TREET, NORTHWEST
WASHINGTON, D. C. ~O000
WILLIAM I~ LOE~FE:F~. J IR oy
April 15, 1968
PRIVILEGED AND ~
P~duced as ~equired by the C: ........
Recent extended discussions among Mr. Austern, Mr. Reeves
and his associates, and myself, lead me to the following
i. Our 1968 public relations program requires
substantial revision, to a degree still
2. Our basic position in the cigarette controversy
is subject to the charge, and may be subject
to a finding, that we are making false or
misleading statements to promote the sale
3. With oar ability somewhat reduced to "reopen"
the cigarette controversy through public
communications projects, current policy
discussions with Administration and
Congressional sources take on even greater
A brief review of certain events will help provide a basis
for discussion of these observations.
Statements made by Senator Magnuson, the American Cancer
Society, Mr. Banzhaf, the Surgeon General and Wall Street
Journal reporter, Ronald Kessler, make it possible for us
to assume that there was.both individual and collaborative
effort involved in the rebuttal to the January True magazine
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article. Well-meant cooperation by True and the cigarette
industry in the promotion of the article has been charac-
terized as deceptive by some of the ~bove persons and
organizations, and in subsequent editorial comment in
Advertising Age and other publications read especially
in advertising ~_nd public relations circles.
It can be argued that these rebuttals and reactions have
been more harmful to the industry than if we had taken no
action with respect to the True article. Certainly Hill and
Knowlton's employment of Mr. Frank and True's change of
editors contributed to the plausibility of our critics'
statements in this case. But such unknown and unforeseen
events can occur in the course of any of our projects.
I believe, therefore, that we should proceed on the basis
that the technique of future projects will be checked and
criticized by anti-smoking forces.
Similarly, we have to expect that the content of our efforts
will be rebutted in detail by the same forces. In the
case of the True article, detailed criticism was prepared
and publicized by the American Cancer Society, and also
prepared by the Public Health Service and publicized by
Senator Magnuson. To a considerable degree the article
was similar to the industry's own position in the smoking
and health controversy, as currently stated in our draft
"position paper." (Tiderock, as of April 8, is preparing
a memorandum comparing in detail the two critiques and our
It should be noted that our earlier project, the advertisement
of the Barron's editorial, escaped noticeable rebuttal. The
editorial will be remembered, however, as an independent
criticism of government activity, with no reasonable
suspicion possible that cigarette interests were responsible
for its preparation. The contrast with the True article
is obvious both as to content and suspected source.
Assuming that both the technique and content of certain of
our efforts are thus subject to attack, including the filing
of complaints with government agencies, and consequent nega-
tive publicity, the "test" of whether we can "speak for
ourselves," as proposed by Tiderock and approved in January
by the Executive Committee, becomes exceedingly important,
and a priority project.
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State of Minnesota, ~t a|. ~ v~
, . Cou~t F~le No.:
Tiderock is preparing to sample public opinion in one city--
tentatively Indianapolis--on the cigarette controversy,
following this immediately with heavy institutional Tobacco
Institute advertising for several weeks, with a subsequent
remeasurement of public opinion. From this, given forthright
copy pegged squarely on the issues, we hope to learn (a) more
about our ability to communicate without causing "flak" which
leaves us worse off than before, and (b) whether we can bring
about a greater awareness that the cigarette controversy is
not a closed question. Tiderock should expedite appropriate
and careful copy preparation and industry executives should
lose no time in approving it.
Pending this, projects such as the "big book" and the
publication or republication and advertising of other
books, and direct mail efforts, should be placed in
abeyance. Time, however, is very short in terms of the
possible onset of legislative hearings in but ten months.
Mr. Austern has prepared a letter to me setting forth certain
legal considerations relating to the foregoing. A copy of
his letter and this memorandum will be made available to
the general cou/qsel of principal member firms for their
information and that of other executives. I am also sending
copies of this memorandum to company public relations
cc: H. Thomas Austern
John V. Blalock
Frederick P. Haas
H. Henry Ramm
Addison Y. Yeaman
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