ICOSI - INFOTAB
This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.
Defense of Advertising Committee
— A sub-committee of the tobacco industry's ICOSI, which itself metamorphised into the lobby/information organisation INFOTAB. —
The Defense of Advertising Committee was a working party of ICOSI, the International Committee on Smoking Issues (a relatively secret and conspiratorial organisation made up of the key disinformation experts from each of the major US and European cigarette companies).
ICOSI was formulated as "Operation Berkshire" and it later metamorphised into the more formal and less secret group known as INFOTAB which was based in both London and Brussels and had its own Secretary General and disinformtion staff. INFOTAB put out press-releases and statements under its own name.
ICOSI was run by Jules Hartough and Mary Covington (Philip Morris) had four or five working groups at various times. It specialised in attacking the World Health Organisation (WHO) which had an effective anti-smoking program. The WHO was also conducting research into smoking and health via its research agency called IARC (International Agency for Research into Cancer) based in Lyon.
The Defense of Advertising Committee of ICOSI, focused on maintaining the right to advertise and promote cigarettes around the world by recruiting various national and international advertising trade organisations to act as its fronts. Also closely associated with these "advertising freedom" projects were the formation of coalitions with the major media organisations — especially the newspaper publishers (individually) and their associations.
Leading this group of newspaper proprietors was Rupert Murdoch of News Corporation who owned newspapers in all of the main English-speaking markets at this time. Murdoch was also a close friend with fellow Australians Geoff Bible and Bill Murray (PM) and he sat on the board of Philip Morris. Murray, Bible and Hamish Maxwell (all successive CEOs of Philip Morris) also sat on various News Corporation boards: it was a very close working relationship from about 1983 (before Mudoch's board appointment).
In the USA, Hugh Cullman, head of the International division of Philip Morris (and nephew of Chairman, Joe Cullman III) created the "Freedom to Advertise Coalition" with the US advertising groups and the media companies. In this organisation, the cigarette companies played a back-seat role; funding many of the projects, but keeping out of the limelight.
The Defense of Advertising Committee, however, was entirely a cigarette company project, although it tried to set up what was effectively a FAC operation in Europe.
Some key documents
• ICOSI and the later INFOTAB had a number of different working parties.
• Social Acceptability Working Party (SAWP)
• Defense of Advertising Committee
• See also Freedom to Advertise Coalition
1979: PM Europe held an Industry-wide seminar for the advertising agencies of ICOSI member-companies to promote the Freedom to Advertise Coalition idea.
1980 Feb 20: /E The Defence of Advertising Committee (DAC) of ICOSI had undertake a number of activities that need funding:
- They have made contact and established relations with various international advertising associations:
- EAAA — European Association of Advertising Agencies
- EAT — European Advertising Tripartite
- IAA — International Advertising Association
- They have retained Hugh Holker, the immediate past World president of the IAA as liason [two days a month plus expenses = $14,000 pa]
- Proposing to hold an industry wide one-day seminar of advertising agencies to be sponsored by the EAT (with ICOSI's financial backing of $150,000). [This was opposed.]
- PM Europe is to monitor advertising regulations and restrictions and prepare a report.
- Hamburger Weltwirtschaftsarchiv is to be contracted to do a study in Scandanavia where bans are in place, to "disprove claims that advertising bans have the effects intended by the health authorities."
- EAT is to sponsor [front] an ICOSI-funded brochure about cigarette advertising
- Shook Hardy & Bacon, lawyers, are to be commissioned to prepare a list of arguments (cost $20-25,000)
- They want to contract an academic (@ $50 -$100,000) to prepare a "state-of-the-art paper on the effects of advertising in support of the widely-held industry hypotheses on this subject."
- Jules Hartogh is to retire as Chairman