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WARNING: 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.



Robert (Bob) Bogle




National Newspaper Publishers Association    


— An organisation of Afro-American newspaper proprietors who were loyal collaborators with the tobacco industry. —  

It seems never to have occured to anyone in the NNPA that smoking was a major cause of pain and suffering in the community they were so vigorous in supporting.

While one must admire the way the NNPA effectively targeted each cigarette company, accused them of insensitivity in cutting advertising to minorities, then forced them to increase their advertising budgets ... we should not forget what was being advertised.

However it seems never to have occured to the newspaper publishers, editors or journalists that they should not be in bed with the tobacco companies — and certainly not helping them with their propaganda efforts.


  • The National Newspaper Publishers Association was a society of black publishers.
      • The American Newspaper Publishers Association was a society of white publishers
      • The National Newspaper Association, was yet another
      • as was the National Association of Hispanic Publishers, and the Magazine Publishers of America

Some key documents

1982: RJ Reynolds has the NNPA listed as part of its minorities "Corporate Responsibility" program.

1983: RJ Reynolds now has the NNPA under Minority Affairs Publicity Program

1983 May 20: A 'Gray & Company' [Run by Robert Gray - ex CEO of Hill & Knowlton] has put up an $885,000 proposal to the Tobacco Institute for the establishment of a industry excise-tax front organisation, to be called the Consumer Tax Forum.

The experience of the last few years has shown that the excise tax problem needs to be approached using more inter-industry organization. And the use of a coalition can be one of the most effective means of persuasion in the nation's Capital today.

    For this reason, it is imperative that the industries and interests most directly affected by excise taxes be brought together into a coalition.

    To be successful, however, a coalition must be carefully structured and coordinated. what follows are several recommendations as to how the proposed Consumer Tax Forum should be organized and managed.

    They plan to hire staff to run this pseudo-organisation, and they are looking for members from industries selling tobacco, beer, spirits, wine, oil, etc,. They also want general third party membership support.

    After a board has been recruited and selected [so as to retain tobacco control], Gray propose that other industry sectors, including minority business be approached as members.

    The proposal includes a draft Articles of Incorporation, so it must have passed the preliminary muster. They also list associations which have already been approached.

    The NNPA's executive director Steve G Davis is on their list of "Black Organisations" to be approached "after Coalition is formed".

1983 Sep 23: The Tobacco Institute's draft Communications Plan (heavily redacted) lists many ways to "respond to anti-smoking campaigns that are damaging to the tobacco industry":

  • Place a minimum of two stories annually pointing out the heavy burden placed on middle and lower income smokers by cigarette taxes, with print and electronic media nationallly. With concentration on minority media.
  • Through black publishers [National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA)], seek editorial comment on tax impact on black smokers, discriminatory nature of such taxes.

1985 Mar 12: Memo from the Tobacco Institute about a meeting with Thomas Johnson and Dr William Lee.

Dr William H Lee (Ph.D. Social Studies) is President of the West Coast Black Publishers Association (24 newspapers in Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and California) and lst Vice-President of
    the National Newspaper Publishers Association , 140 Black-owned
    newspapers with approximately 41 million circulation.

    He publishes The Observer Newspapers in Sacramento, Stockton and San Francisco.

    Thomas Johnson is president of Thomas A. Johnson & Associates, a New York public relations, advertising and marketing consulting firm. He worked for 19 years with the New York Times and is a consultant for Philip Morris.

    In a previous phone conversation Johnson and I had discussed and again during our meeting on Friday, Bill Lee emphasized the fact that leaders of Black publications are very influential individuals who are sensitive to the political impact of the contents of their papers. Dr Lee emphasized that influence is more important than numbers as far as newspaper ads are concerned.

    The West Coast Black Publishers Association meets the last Friday of each month in Los Angeles. Dr Lee will get me on a program when I give him a date. The NNPA will hold its national convention in Seattle the last part of June. Lee can also slot me in an appropriate spot.

1986: The Tobacco Institute Board of Directors winter meeting speech by Kloepfer. The tobacco industry has awaken to the idea that, by claiming anti-smoking workplace measures effected minorities more than majorities, they could raise the spectre of discrimination. This argument could then be extended into advertising restrictions.

[I]n 1986, we will place a special emphasis on the affirmative action implications of workplace smoking restrictions.

    Discrimination against smokers is an indirect means of discriminating against women, Blacks, Hispanics and other minorities. A majority of the public may be concerned about environmental tobacco smoke, but Americans have a deep and long-standing aversion to discrimination.

    With this industry's help and encouragement, The American Association of Affirmative Action Officers, the American Civil Liberties Union, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the AFL-CIO and various groups of personnel and labor specialists have taken a hard look at this issue and do not like what they see.

    The promotion of that aspect of the public smoking issue will be high among our priorities this year.

    [So the AMA's call for a ban on cigarette advertising] brought us closer together with established allies. Some are rather predictable: the National Newspaper
    Publishers, the American Newspaper Publishers Association, Magazine Publishers, the 4 A's [the AAAA] and the American Advertising Federation.

1988 Jan 20-23: National Newspaper Publishers Association, Mid-Winter Workshop in the Virgin Islands (part supported by Philip Morris/General Foods Corp - part by Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation)
    An attached list of Legal Advisors comes from the Washington Legal Foundation.

1990 Mar 30: Philip Morris "Report on Third Party Advocacy" includes a section, Witnesses; Requests to testify [on] Premption/Advertising.

  • Tom Watkins, President, National Newspaper Publishers Association.
  • Bob Bogle, Publisher - request to testify
Written Testimony/Statements for the Record
  • American Nesspaper Publishers Assocaition
  • National Women's Political Caucus
  • National Association of Black Broadcasters.
  • Oscar Coffee, Natl Assoc of Blakc & Minority Chambers of Commerce
  • Carlos Carillo, Exec Dir. Hispanic Media Council

1990 May 16: PR head, Guy Smith at Philip Morris complains about the need to maintain the level of minority newspaper advertising:

We have a serious problem. According to the attached letter from Robert Bogle [President of the NNPA] to Hamish Maxwell [PM's CEO] (which HM was not happy to get), we have not lived up to the commitment made by Mr Maxwell to the group of papers Bob Bogle represents.

    He wants to receive:
  • a complete explanation indicating why your organization is not in compliance with Mr Maxwell's commitment to the National Newspaper Publishing Association that each operating company would be involved with the NNPA member newspapers ;
  • a full explanation of why Oscar Mayer [a food subsidary of PM] refuses to meet with NNPA representatives;
  • the name of the individual in your organization who is assigned responsibility for overseeing this area of our business.

1990 Jun 28: Remarks by John Murphy at National Newspaper Publishers Association meeting in Chicago. [Speech suggests these are all Afro-American proprietors]

It's also important to recognize that the white press often isn't particularly objective, informative, or aggressive on the issues that affect your communities. And that's where the black press provides the only consistent, dedicated, objective voice.

    After us, you will be among the first to suffer from the onslaught of the tobacco zealots and other neo-prohibitionists. The first to suffer from any, and all, of the current proposals to restrict commercial free speech. I'm talking about outright censorship, in the form of bans of tobacco and alcohol advertising .

    At Philip Morris, we're proud that, over the years, we've been one of the leading advertisers in black media, and particularly in black newspapers, through our tobacco and beer marketing, programs. And as recently as last January, Kraft General Foods committed itself to, spending a million doPlars on advertising in the black press.

    "However, as Hamish Maxwell, our CEO, told a delegation from the NNPA in New York last February, we are partners in business... and in the struggle for strong black communities. We have every intention of sustaining, if not increasing, the levels of our advertising expenditures in black media."

1990 Dec 7: The RJR public relations weekly report to CEO Jim Johson says:

In Philadelphia, on December 6 the City Council rejected an ordinance amendment that would have banned outdoor cigarette advertising. Local outdoor advertisers, identified through RJR's Public Issues and Media departments, successfully lobbied against the ban.

    The Philadelphia lnquirer printed an editorial against the ban on the basis of free-speech, and Bob Bogle, publisher of the Philadelphia NNPA paper, personally lobbied on our behalf.

1991 Jan 16 - 19: Ben Ruffin (RJR Tobacco Corporate Affairs - Minorities Director) attended the NNPA's Mid-Winter Conference in Nassau, Bahamas, along with 225 other freeloading newspaper publishers. His report reveals:

Corporate Affairs representatives attended and participated in the NNPA's Annual Mid-Winter Conference. RJRT sponsored a dinner and Ben Ruffin addressed the NNPA membership, commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Ben Ruffin praised the NNPA for its friendship, support, and loyalty to RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company.

    Shortly after they received negative Philadelphia publicity resulting from a "Sexy Butt" contest to promote their menthol cigarettes.
RJRT's representatives met separately with Bob Bogle, publisher of the Philadelphia Tribune [also local NNPA rep], and two tobacco lobbyists, and came away with several recommendations.

    Also discussed were the hearings to be held by the Health Subcommittees of the Philadelphia City Council and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and ways in which RJRT and the industry could prepare for these hearings. Strategies, were discussed to address not only the upcoming hearings, but also the means of developing a stronger constituency base within Philadelphia.

    Corporate Affairs purchased a table at the UNCF Dinner and hosted Company staff and community leaders. Among the non-Company guests were Ms. Hazel Dukes, National President, NAACP, and Mr Thomas Watkins, President of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, and his wife.

1991 Mar 22: Report by RJ Reynolds Corporate Affairs/Public Relations team to CEO Jim Johnston on "Minority Affairs" presents a rationale for their propaganda activities:

Blacks and Hispanics traditionally link their trial and purchase of products, and their legislative and editorial support, directly to their understanding and belief that a company cares about their communities and issues.
They give three recent examples of their work:
  • Congressional Hearings Support — Through our relationships, a number of groups are prepared to testify for us in Congress. Tino Duran, President of National Association of Hispanic Publications and an outspoken proponent of our right to advertise in newspapers and magazines, testified last year and is prepared to do so again. Others include:
    • National Newspaper Publishers Association
    • National Business League
    • US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
    • National Real Estate Brokers
    • American GI Forum (Hispanic)
  • Philadelphia Outdoor Ordinance — At our request, Bob Bogle, publisher of the Philadelphia Tribune [and key man in NNPA], was instrumental in preventing passage of restrictive city billboard ordinance. He also has provided us "early warning" on other situations, and personally deflected criticism on one.
  • NNPA Papers Coverage of Youth Initiative — (Discussed with advertising section)

1992 Jan 27: RJ Reynolds Corporate Affairs Report lists among its activities: —

We sponsored a dinner at the National Newspaper Publishers Association's Mid-Winter Conference in San Diego that featured a speech by NNPA President Bob Bogle.

1992 July 8: See Craig Fuller's report

"We sponsored or supported: National Newspaper Publishers Association annual conference dinner in Baltirnore, George Knox and Virgis Colbert of Miller Brewing delivering remarks."

1992 Nov 2: Philip Morris internal memo on African American Advertising says:

I am aware of your November 16 meeting with Bob Bogle, President of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and would like to give you some background on Corporate Affairs advertising in this area. [They spend $1.8 million in 146 Black newspapers and 9 magazines]

    That budget has been cut by $1.1 million [so] the commitment we made to NNPA publishers is not being met. As you might imagine, these publishers, who have historically been good political friends to Philip Morris, are likely to vocalize this reneger.

1993 April 14: The problem of PM USA's domestic advertising budgets has now reached the top at Philip Morris Companies Inc with VP Corporate Affairs, George Knox explaining the problems to the group CEO Michael Miles.

According to these figures, in black newspapers advertising rose from 1988 to 1991, then fell dramatically in 1992. Were it not for the $450 thousand commitment from our (Corporate Affairs) budget in 1993, it would have declined again for the black press.

    Begining late in 1992, Bob Bogle first contacted then met with PM USA. Following that meeting, USA [the domestic cigarette company] budgeted for an increase in advertising via the black press and asked us [the overall group] to help out. By mid-January, the combined PM USA/PM Cos commitment had become $2 million. I was told that the KGF/MBC [the food subsidiary] plan for 1993 was $1.4 million.

    In an early February meeting, I went told Bogle that Philip Morris aggregated 1993 spending in the Black Press would be $3.4 million including $2.0 million from USA/Corp. I told him that again after our mid-March meeting in Washington.

    However, events have overtaken us. PM USA is now budgeting $1.19 million vs. the $1.55 necessary to make real the $2.0 million combined pledge from USA/Corp. But, the KGF/MBC figure of $1.71 million is $310 thousand more than the $1.4 million I originally reported to Bogle that they would spend. Net net, we are almost at the $3.4 million promised for 1993 although the distribution is different.

Question #1: Shall we stick with the currently budgeted $3.34 million figure for 1993? Given that you met with them, I think we ought to go above what they were told to expect for this year. I cannot suggest a figure which would both overjoy them and not make us faint.

1993 May: /E Philip Morris was also listing Bob Bogle of the NNPA as an ally in their fight to retain advertising rights. He was seen as a "Potential Spokesperson" (along with the presidents or other advertising and publishing associations)

1993 Dec 10: Karen Daragan [Philip Morris] reports on the company's Sur-Gen Task Force plans to derail or limit the impact of the annual (1994) Surgeon General [Dr Antonia Novello]'s report on Smoking and Health. They knew that it would deal with tobacco advertising and marketing, especially to youth. Their wish-list includes the use of "Third Parties" [hired academics] to engage in "Your basic Surgeon General bashing. Discredit her."

    They had many plans including the use of:

  • ACESS was a pseudo-sports organisation focussed on cigarette marketing via car racing — Formula One/Grand Prix Nascar, Indy, Hotrod and speedtrack.
  • The Roper omnibus poll was for public release to the press. So by adding some carefully worded questions, they could use the push-poll technique to promote their messages.
  • The COURSE Consortium was a group of educators, paid by the tobacco industry to promote their "Tobacco: Helping Youth Say No" program as if it were a genuine attempt to limit youth smoking
  • NNPA President Bob Bogle [publisher of Philadelphia Tribune] was to be recruited to help

    [Team Members: JS=Josh Slavit, KD=Karen Daragan, JL=Jack Lenzi, BT=Barbara Trach, BM=Brendan McCormick, CD=Christine Donohue, KC=Karen Chalkin]

1994 June 9: Newspaper story "Brewing Company Salutes Black Publishers and Journalists with A Philip Randolph Messenger Awards. "
    Millers Brewing Co (a Philip Morris subsidiary) is presenting iits third annual awards during the 54th National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Conference.

The NNPA is proud to partner with Miller Brewing Company to honor these achievements." said Bob Bogle, president National Newspaper Publishers Association. The awards program offers a SI0.000 prize package. Each of the newspapers that published a winning article will receive a $l.000 donation to the non-profit organization of its choice.

    The program was established in the memory of A. Philip Randolph. civil rights leader and labor activist. Randolph also was the founder of The Messenger which from 1917 to 19?8 was one of the most respected Black publications in the country.

1999 Feb 25:

    External Affairs PM Moblization univese for DOJ suits
    Avert White House filing of a federal suite (by) leverage third party relations
    Listed as a Public Interest/ Advocacy Organisation

1999 Mar 4: Memo from Frank Gomez to Roy Marden and others at PM on SGA Issues [NOT UNDERSTOOD ... NEEDS INVESTIGATION]

This morning a found a hard copy on my desk of an E-mail addressed to me on March 2, asking about the status of progress on efforts to assist SGA on some state issues. [presumably State Governor's Association]

    Yesterday morning, March 3, on my return from Washington, I sent a note to Dan Smith with copies to you, Roy, Teddi, Molly, Jim, Lattanzio and others, which summarized my March 2 conversations with Dan, including our plan to have a conference call yesterday afternoon with Jim Lemperes and his lead consultant. In any case, Dan was unavailable, and we plan to call again today. [all Washington lobbyists and political pay-off executives]

    My note to Dan lists some groups. Since then I have advanced the project somewhat by getting a list of NNPA papers in the area and by arranging for a meeting with Molly at 120 Park with Ed Peterson of Project 21. Also, I spoke yesterday with Roberto De Posada of the Hispanic Business Roundtable, and he is prepared to act. Other contacts have been made, of course, but we're awaiting talking points, information, background, calendar from Dan Smith, in as much as the only information we have is his note to you which you passed to us. More later.

1997 Mar 18: Ofeld Dukes, the prinicial of an external public relations company, is reporting to RJ Reynolds. The climate in the black community over smoking had changed. Advertising slanted at youth was being attacked, and none more than the Joe Camel campaign. RJR also had created a "special brand" called Uptown aimed at aspirational black communities.

The success of a "Little David" (Rev Jesse Brown) in Philadelphia against a corporate Goliath possibly results more from the vulnerability, timing, and circumstances of the Uptown brand marketing strategies than the power, mite, credibility and influence of Rev. Brown.

    Now, a well-funded "Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids" has "resurrected" Rev. Brown from common obscurity as a hired "human prop" to wage a frontal attack on its declared enemies, the various tobacco companies. The highly publicized failure of Uptown brand marketing strategies (which now possibly haunt RJR Tobacco as a ghost) and the reemergence of Rev Brown by the "Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids" have seemingly had some psychological and social impact on RJR Tobacco's staff. [They have cut advertising of the brands in black media]

    [A]t the National Press Club in Washington, on March 13,1997, Rev Brown said : "It is extremely upsetting to see RJ Reynolds target the African American community, and particularly our children, with their products of death. Their decision to sell a new menthol version of Camel cigarettes is unconscionable. As part of a national crusade against ['Joe'] Camel Menthols, we're seeking the total withdrawal of the cigarette brand from store shelves."

    At the midwinter meeting of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the trade association for the 210 black newspapers, several editors and publishers expressed concern over what was described as RJR Tobacco's decreased advertising budget for advertising in black newspapers.

    It was suggested that RJR Tobacco be placed on the board's agenda for serious discussion and action at the NNPA board meeting in Washington during Black Press Week, on Friday, March [21,1997.] From the perspective of NNPA editors and publishers, a reduced advertising schedule by RJR Tobacco has been a difficult and bitter economic pill to swallow and implies that the company is no longer interested in attracting African Americans who smoke.

    As a follow up to my Thursday briefing at RJR Tobacco, I called my good friend Bob Bogle, Publisher, Philadelphia Tribune, to get a more accurate reading of Philadelphia's own 20th Century version of "Little David," Rev. Jesse Brown. Bob was out of town and called back on Monday.

    I explained to Bob the nature of my "objective mission" in the one-day briefing of RJR on its Camel Menthol brand and my perplexity in reading the distorted facts in the news release quoting Rev Brown.

    Bob was quick in his response. "Rev. Jesse Brown is full of bullshit! And I told him so . He doesn't have an organization, has little respect in this city, and is being paid off to do what's he's doing." Bob said in angry terms.

    I mentioned to Bob that I had described Rev Brown as being like a "bunch of
    flies" as a picnic. Retorted Bob: "Ofield, you're wrong. He is more like a single fly at a picnic." Bob said he worked with you and RJR in your marketing strategies for the Uptown brand, as you remember, and would be pleased to work with the company in clarifying issues raised by Rev Brown. "Also, I know how to deal with Rev. Brown," Bob said in an emphatic tone.

    We both talked about having you to visit with Mrs . Dorothy Leavell, president of
    NNPA, and other members of the NNPA board during their session in Washington this week,
[He goes on to discuss strategy and the need to have "soul searching" meetings with NNPA editors and publishers. Also the need for more "creative stratgies":
In advertising in African American publications, the company may want to take advantage of "editorial adjacency," whereby by a publication will offer editorial space commensurate with paid advertising space.

    In this way, RJR could use this "free editorial" space for op-ed articles by corporate executives, especially Ben Ruffin, and objectively written feature articles on RJRT's African American employees who have made significant professional accomplishments and are civically involved. These articles, with photos, would be sent to the NNPA News Service and disseminated to the 210 black newspapers.


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