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Anne Landman's Collection

Ets Media Strategy

Date: Feb 1993 (est.)
Length: 12 pages
2023920090-2023920101
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Abstract

This report, found in the files of Victor Han (Director of Communications for Philip Morris Worldwide Regulatory Affairs) describes the threat that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 1993 rating of secondhand or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) as a Group A Human Carcinogen posed to the cigarette industry.

"Indirectly, ETS will have considerable influence on all other tobacco-related legislation, including taxation, marketing freedoms, etc. Of critical importance will be the effect on consumers, practically deprived of more and more locations in which they can smoke, and psychologically given more incentive to quit."

The Philip Morris (PM) report characterizes the EPA as "at worst corrupt and controlled by environmental terrorists" and states that "...without an effort to build considerable reasonable doubt about [EPA's case against secondhand smoke]--particularly among consumers--then virutally all other efforts [to fight the ETS issue] will be diminished in effectiveness."

PM's strategy is laid out: not to fight the ETS issue on its merits, but instead to destroy the credibility of the government agency that declared it dangerous:

"The credibility of the EPA is defeatable, but not on the basis of ETS alone. It must be part of a larger mosaic that concentrates all of the EPA's enemies against it at one time."

The paper describes how the media's focus would be taken off of ETS by the generation of non-ETS stories, stories that focus on "general EPA bashing by credible, authoritative sources." and "EPA ineptitude and, when possible, corruption."

The 13-page report reveals Philip Morris' strategies for a full-bore attack on the U.S. EPA over its efforts to better inform American citizens about the health dangers posed by the company's ubiquitous and largely unregulated products.

Fields

Quotes

Regardless, for the media and the public, assualted for 30 years with an ever-growing litany of the dangers of smoking, EPA's findings--buttressed by HHS as well as scientific authorities and aggressively advanced by the antis--are inherently believable.

The short term direct results will be:

--...to escalate employer-initiated and legislated smoking bans, --to stimulate an increase in litigation on ETS-related fronts.

Indirectly, ETS will have considerable influence on all other tobacco-related legislation, including taxation, marketing freedoms, etc. Of critical importance will be the effect on consumers, practically deprived of more and more locations in which they can smoke, and psychologicall given more incentive to quit.

The tobacco industry has several large obstacles working against it in its efforts to bring EPA's flawed action to light:

--Little credibility with the public --Less with the media which, in addition, acord the industry limited standing and access, --the tobacco industry is more isolated than most from teh networks of national allies from which other industries, in controversial situations, can draw support.

Philip Morris stands alone in the industry in its understanding, sophistication, resources, commitment to proactive public affairs and credibility, but direct company exposure on negative issues is an internal concern that has merit.

The growing perceptions about and animosity to EPA as an agency that is at least misguided and aggressive, at worst corrupt and controlled by environmental terrorists, offer one of the few avenues for inroads...

...However, without a major, concentrated effort to expose the scientific weaknesses of the EPA case, without an effort to build considerable reasonable doubt about that case--particularly among consumers--the virtually all other efforts...will be significantly diminished in effectiveness. This is the toughest challenge of all, the one against which the clock is ticking the fastest and the one that should be treated with the greatest urgency.

The credibility of EPA is defeatable, but not on the basis of ETS alone. It must be part of a larger mosiac that concentrates all of the EPA's enemies against it at one time.

Company
Philip Morris
Author
No author stated. Found in the area of Victor Han, Director of Communications for Philip Morris Worldwide Regulatory Affairs.
Region
United States
Named Organization
1st Amendment Center
ABA
ABA Journal
AFL-CIO News
American Automatic Merchandiser
Burson Marsteller (Tobacco industry PR firm)
Tobacco Industry public relations firm.
Business Law Today
Business Week
Chicago Tribune
Congress
Convenience Store Decisions
Convenience Store News
Environmental Forum
Environmental Law Inst
EPA Watch
*EPA ( use United States Environmental Protection Agency)
Financial World
Flue Cured Tobacco Farmer
Fortune (Magaine)
General Finance
Harpers (Magazine)
HHS, Dept of Health and Human Services (U.S.)
Independent Business
Inside EPA
Law Practice Management
Legal Times
Nations Business
Nations Restaurant News
Natl Law Journal
New York Times
OSHA, Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Progressive Grocer
Restaurant Hospitality
Retail Tobacconist
Science
Tobacco Reporter
US Chamber of Commerce
US Distribution Journal
Vending Times
Wall Street Journal
Named Person
Borelli, Thomas J. (PM Corporate Scientific Affairs Mgr., 1990)
Manager of Corporate Scientific Affairs for Philip Morris in 1990. Also worked for PM Corporate Services in Brussels.
Cohen, B.
Ohara, J.
Parrish, Steven C. (PM, Sr. VP, General Counsel)
Partner of industry law firm Shook Hardy and Bacon before going to work for PM. Was VP of PM Corporate Scientific Affairs in 1990. Defends PM on television.
Siegenthaler, J.
Type
REPT, REPORT, OTHER
CHAR, CHART, GRAPH, TABLE, MAPS
Litigation
Stmn/Produced
Subject
secondhand smoke
Corporate strategy
media campaign
media coverage

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Page 1: sav88e00
01. ETS MEDIA STRATEGY SITUATION The EPA has endorsed an ETS risk assessment based on: o flawed science o data manipulation o selective review of science o biased' interpretation.. Regardless, for the media and the public, assaulted~for 30 years with an ever-growing litany of the dangers of smoki~ng, EPA's findings -- buttressed by HHS as well as scientific authorities and aggressively advanced by the antis -- are inherently believable. The short term direct results will be: o to hasten and influence OSHA review o to escalate employer-initiated and legislated smoking bans, o to stimulate an increase in litigation on ETS-related' fronts. Indirectly, ETS will have considerable influence on all other tobacco-related legislation, including taxation, marketing freedoms, etc. Of critical importance will be the effect on consumers, practically deprived of more and more locations in which they can smoke, and psychologically given more incentive to quit. The tobacco i~ndustry has several large obstacles working against it in its efforts to bring the EPA's flawed action to light: o littlie credibility withithe public o less with the media which, in addition, accords the industry limited standing and access. o the tobacco industry is mo!-e isolated than most from the network of national allileE from which other industries, in- controversialsituations, can draw support. Philiip Morris stands alone in t..;e industry in its understanding, sophisticati~on, resources, commitment to proactive public affairs and credibility, but direct company exposure on negative issues is an internaL concern that has merit. 0
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The orcwing perceptions about and animosity to~EPA as an agency that is at least misguided and aggressive, at worst corrupt and controlled by environmental terrorists, offer one of the few avenues for inroads. Of particular importance are the scare tactics and the scientific laxity of the risk assessment process, the economic and social harm of over-regulation and the out-of-control expenditures of taxpayer money. The great leveler here, if there is one, i~s that, with ETS and other EPA actions, the facts simply will not sustain the rhetoric or the actions. However, without a ma]ior, concentrated effort to expose the scientific weaknesses of the EPA case, without an effort to build considerable reasonable doubt about that case -- particularly among consumers -- then virtually all other-effoxts including the effort to achieve a more balanced approach by OSHA, will be significantly diminished in effectiveness. This is the toughest challenge of all, the one against which the clock is ticking the fastest and the one that should be treated wilth the greatest urgency. The credibility of EPA is defeatable, but not on the basis of ETS alone. It must be a part of a larger mosaic that concentrates all of the EPA's enemies against ilt at one time. These premises are the foundation of the following media and communications recommendations. As with the ETS issue itself, media efforts must be a fully integrated component of all ETS strategies. Otherwise, they cannot succeed.
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f'fEDIA STRATEGY OVERVIEW There are those who will maintain that the best -- perhaps the only -- media strategy is to have no more coverage whatsoever. Theoretically, they are correct, but to pursue that theory is to ignore reality. There will cor.tinue to be considerable coverage generated at the national lievel, and that will be supplemented by growing coverage at local levels. Against those certainties, there must be both proactive and defensive strategies on ETS. The defensive strategy must be: o to respond o to influence o to maintain balance This should be accomplished through a combination of spokespersons selected from: o company o industry o third-party individuals and groups The ETS-specific proactive strategy should: o build upon the efforts and accomplishments managed through D-Day o concentrate on one-on-one opportunities with journali~sts and editorial writers, rather than focus on the herd of daily journalists o be supplemented by carefully tailored, authored, placed pieces The proactive strategy for non-ETS stories should be pursued with the intent of achieving the broadest possible coverage in general and opinion-leader media. The stories should focus on: o general EPA bashing by credible, authoritative sources (,i.e., scientists, mayors, etc.): o complaints of other victims (industries, individuals, groups, local governments, associations) o risk assessment revisionism o EPA ineptitude and, when possible, corruption
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THE MESSAGES The following messages are those that will do the most to further the cause, whether in the proactive or defensive posture. With respect to the proactive strategy, the only stories we should~be seeking are,those that further one or more of these messages: o Demonstrate the scientific weaknesses of the EPA conclusions in consequential terms o Put the risk in perspective o Point to EPA excesses and mistakes unrelated to tobacco o Demonstrate EPA "corruption" o Re-evaluate the risk assessment process o Stimulate non-tobacco industries, anti-regulation groups and~others to provide their own perspectives in order to portray EPA as an agency correctly under siege o Provide comfort and articulation to smokers o Provide a counterbalance against an employer stampede for smoking bans - o indicate the company's and industry's resolve on behalf of smokers and employers who wish to preserve the "rights of all" o Indicate the resolve of the company to defend liti~gation against the company and to provide aid and counsel to others who must defend against litigation o Point to separate sections, ventilation and accommodation as the only rational solutions of a democratic society. To strategically position the messages, we must consider and approach a broad range of media outlets, have available a diverse group of authoritative, credible sources as messengers and determine those audiences that will be most receptive. In this manner we can tailor strategy to match the media, the message, the messenger and the audience. I i
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THE MEDIA we should try accompLish our strategy through use of both electronic and print media. Scientific, Investioative, Revisionist Writers This group represents the most likely category to pursue the kind of major pieces which attack the science. Whi~le some, like John Crewdsen of the Chicago Tribune, Nick Wade and Keith Schneider of the New York Times, write for daily newspapers, others, such~as Gregg Easterbrook, write for several publications, while still others, such as Rick MacArthur, publisher of Harper's Magazine, also are freelancers. Print Media There are a vast array of plrhlications, including newspapers, magazines and newsletters that would be appropriate venues for the various messages we wish to present. The following,list covers only a representative sampling of the options we would recommend for potential placement of targeted pieces, alongg with examples of publications: o General --dailies --weeklies o Business publications --general business journals - Fortune - wall Street Journal - Business Week --Small business publications - Independent Business o Human resources/personnel publications -- Your Company o Business association publications -- Nation's Business (U.S. Chamber of Commerce) o Investor publications --General Finance --Financial WorLd o LegaL --Journals - ABA Journal - Legal Times - National Law Journal
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--Association publicatioms - The Environmental Forum (Environmental Law Institute)- Law Practice Management (ABA). - Business Law Today (ABA) o Environmental Scientific --EPA watchdog groups - Inside EPA - EPA Watch --Scientific magazines - Science o Specialized --Grower publications - Tobacco Reporter - The Flue Cured Tobacco Farmer --Retail tobacco publications - U.S. Distribution Journal - Retail Tobacconist --"Smokers' Rights" groups o Labor --Uni~on publ,ications - AFL-CIO News o Retailers --Restaurant publications - Nation's Restaurant News - Restaurant Hospitality --Vending machine associations - Vending Times - American Automatic Merchandiser --Grocery - Convenience Store News - Convenience Store Decisions - Progressive Grocer Radio Radio is an outlet we believe is highly underutilized~. We have found in the past that -adio actualities that support the PM message have received widespread usage, especially among
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regional! and local stations that are always looking for news. Messages by third~-party spokespersons culled from other activities related to the ETS strategy (e.g., press conferences, seminars) -would provide opportunities to disseminate messaaes to a liarqe, diverse audience at minimal cost. There is an active farm network of radio stations that coul'd be particularl!y useful for disseminating messages in tobacco states. Another option is to develop spokespersons to provide radio actualities on related matters, with the ultimate objective of establilshing these spokespersons as "experts" on these issues. These would be persons accessible for comment. (See also, "Other Considerations.") Television we recommend a case-by-case determination with respect to use of television for ETS-specific messages. You can never guarantee your message, and often the potential damage outweighs any benefit. From a defensive standpoint, challenges should normally not go unanswered. where television can have its greatest beneficial impact will be on non-ETS-specific stories, and every opportunity to maximize coverage of these should be attempted.
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I REOUIRED RESOURCES -- THE MESSEPJ!GERS Any successful media effort that has the reach, frequency and credibility necessary to succeed on this issue will, require the recruitment, backgrounding and training of a cadre of third-party spokespersons from different disciplines. Listed below are the necessary categories: o Steve Parrish and Tom Borelli (who remain essential) . o Scientists --who can address the science of ETS specifically --who can address the sci~ence of risk assessment generally o Third-party victims of other EPA abuses o Third-party litigatilon experts o Third-party human resources experts o Labor representatives o Organization or coalition representatives o ventilation experts o Anti-regulation group experts o Smoker rights advocates
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AUDIENCES There is vi~rtually no audience that is unimportant to the effort, however, we have listed below the audiences we believe should be among those specifically targeted in the media strategy: o Consumers 0 0 S HiA o Business executives (employers) o Human resources managers and corporate general counsel (employers) o Th,e Congress o State and local legislators and regulators o Employees/union leaders and membership o Small-business owners o Business associations o Investment counselors/financial officers o Scientists - o Legal community o Retailers/Restaurateurs o Tobacco-related occupations In addition, from both the proactive and defensive postures, the media must be viewed not only as a critical audience unto itself, but as a conduit to the above.
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The foll.owing grild illustrates how we would match the type of media to the messenger, to the message and to the audience for the most effective dissemination of our side of the story. MEDIA MESSENGER MESSAGE(S) AUDIENCE ScientiZic, Scientists Bad science Scientific investigative,, EPA-bashing comm. revisionist Policymakers writers General' Dailies Scientists Bad science General public - Weeklies Other EPA "victims" EPA-bashing Policymakers PM. Accommodation/IAQ Local govm1t Business - General Bus. groups Accommodation Executives - Human res. Bus. trade assoc. IAQ/ventilation Human Resource - Small bus. Bus. owners Bad science Bus. owners Other EPA "victims" EPA-bashing Bus. organ. HVAC experts OSHA regs. Investor Investment counselors Liability Investors CFO/Philip Morris EPA-bashing Counselors Bad science Brokers Bus. executive Bankers Le a 1 PM Liability Plaintiff atty Legal scholars PM position Legal organ. Legal assoc. Bad science Businesses EPA bashing OSHA regs. Envi ron:nental/ ScientTic PM Bad science Policymakers 3rd-party scientists EPA-bashing Regulators Other EPA "victims"' IAQ Legislators HVAC experts OSHA regs. Businesses S ecialized - Tobacco Trade associations Bad science Retailers PM EPA-bashing wholesalers Advocacy groups Accommodation/IAQ Vendors Suppliers Growers - Labor Union leaders Accommodation/IAQ Union members Bus. owners Bad science OSHA regs. EPA-bashing - Retail Bus. owners Accommodation/IAQ Customers Bus. associations OSHA reg,s. Bus. owners Restaurants EPA-bashing Gen. public Retailers

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