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CREATED 8/10/2010

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.






Steve Rabin    

(misspelled as Raybin)

— An Ogilvy & Mather policy analyst and lobbyist who worked for the tobacco and advertising industries on blocking cigarette ad bans. —  

Rabin was a corporate lobbyist who didn't mind getting his hands dirty. He seems to specialise in the more ugly and underhand realms of the public relations 'profession'. However in the mid 1990s he underwent a Damasian conversion.

Rabin worked as a tobacco industry lobbyist through Ogilvy & Mather, and became embroiled in a number of the scams being operated by Philip Morris — mainly LIBERTAD, a fake journalist/lawyer project which was being run by Andrew Whist of PMI's Corporate Affairs.

Later, he went to work for PR company Porter/Novelli who's boss William Novelli was a fierce anti-smoking activist. At Porter Novelli he joined forces with Paul DelPonte, a Rhode Island activist who had a solid reputation in the anti-smoking world,

They then jointly set up a new PR company with the part-time involvement of a couple of ex-FDA Commissioners, and, with the financial assistance of the Ross Wood Johnson Foundation, they mounted a significant anti-smoking program by involving marketeers and advertising people in a campaign to reduce youth smoking.


There are dozens of Steve Rabins, and at least two working with the tobacco industry — and it is not easy to be sure which is which.
  • This Steve Rabin was a Vice President of Ogilvy & Mather in the Washington office (ie a government lobbyist) who worked mainly on excise taxes and the lobbying of Congressmen.
  • Stephen L Rabin was the president of the Educational Film Center in Annadale Virginia. He was involved (incidentally?) in making a fake 'independent' documentary under the "Off Limits:" title for tobacco industry propaganda. It was given to PBS TV.
  • Another Stephen L Rabin was a student at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 2003.

Some key documents

• Philip Morris has a Steve Rabin file: 2063558000/2063558008/STEVE RABIN - A0470;

1986 Feb 17: Steve Rabin is in charge of Ogilvy & Mather's "Say No" advertising campaign. He is receiving advice fom Ian Latham at O&M in Atlanta about promoting a booklet — associated with Jolly Ann Davidson and the NASBE (later the promoters of the "Help Yough Decide" campaign). This letter is copied around the Tobacco Institute.

1986 March 4: -7 The Corporate Affairs Conference meeting which discusses the role of LIBERTAD and various other Philip Morris International operations to foil WHO and the anti-smoking movement has:

  • Andrew Whist (PMI), Bryan Simpson (INFOTAB), John Dollison (TIA) and Bill Murray (CEO of PMI) all key speakers [and all Australians]
  • Rupert Murdoch, Australian Chairman and CEO of News Corp and a few of his 20th C Fox and News henchmen present. Murdoch was keynote lunch speaker. [also on PM board shortly after]
  • Paul Dietrich, "Publisher and Editor-in-chief" of the Saturday Review ... who is listed under the LIBERTAD banner.
  • Steve Rabin, VP Ogilvy & Mather, Washington ... listed under the LIBERTAD banner.
  • Quique Iampolsky, President of Radix Publicided, and President of the IAA, Argentina ... listed under the LIBERTAD banner

1986 Apr 10: Rabin writes to Jim Savarese (Consultant lobbyist at Tobacco Institute) and his immediate O&M boss on Ad Tax Deducations. This is an attempt by some legislators to deny tax deductions to cigarette companies for their advertising costs.

Only one of the major advertising organizations, the American Advertisers Association, seems interested in the Stark bill and a possible Senate companion. (Once again the majority of the business community is willing to sit back if they are not specifically threatened.)

    It seems the most immediate threat to the tobacco industry will come from a bill or authorization rider to be.introduced by Sen. Bradley sometime this year. His proposal will probably call for the elimination of a tax deduction for tobacco advertising, but it will not call for an elimination on deductions for promotional activities. (Like basketball tournaments?)
He suggest:
  • O&M be contracted to lobby other ad agencies, to conduct a direct mail campaign, and to write articles in Adweek and Ad-age to stir the industry up.
  • Enlist adverising and marketing academics
  • Use O&M's San Francisco connections with Nancy Pelosi to water down the Stark bill,
  • Develop a propaganda campaign aimed at editors, publishers, reporters etc.
  • Generate printer-union interests in the problem.
  • Fund some advertising industry trade groups to take a stand.

1986 Apr 17: Ogivy & Mather executive writes to Fred Panzer at the Tobacco Institute about Ad Tax Deducations,

I asked Steve Rabin from our office who has strong connections throughout the ad industry, to put any thoughts he might have on the ad tax on paper.

1986 May 6: The April - Monthly Status Report from Ogilvy & Mather to Susan Stuntz at the Tobacco Institute. They are working on:

  • Labor Management Conference at Loew's L'Enfant Plaza Hotel (owned by Lorillard)
  • Preparing 'Smoking in the Workplace Kit"
  • Locating a suitable building in San Francisco tor "Indoor Air Quality Assessment" [later done by ACVA/HBI and used as evidence that anti-smoking measures aren't needed]
  • Black Coalition Building
  • Meetings with ACL-CIO union leaders
  • Generated eight proposals for research by economists on Social Cost Issue.
  • Women's Coalition Building
  • Drafting BNA Op-ed article to run under Ray Scannell's byline. [Labor/union contact for the tobacco industry]

1986 May 23: Ogilvy & Mather have signed an agreement to prepare an Excise Tax Advertising Campaign for the Tobacco Institute.

1986 June 3: Bill Klopfer memo re a meeting of the Communications Committee of the Tobacco Institute. Steve Rabin, director of government affairs in O&M's Washington office, will introduce his colleagues and present the advertising proposal. Polling shows that half of the public thinks excise taxes should be higher on cigarettes.

Our environment, right now, is one in which an unprecedented industry-labor-consumer-minority coalition has kept excise increases out of the tax reform bills in the Senate committee and in the House. Relatively few people beyond Washington insiders — even those affected — are aware of this.
Seagrams, DISCUS [the distillery trade group] and Citizens for Tax Justice have already used advertising to put forth anti-excise messages. The coalition is expanding to include Busch and Timmons Co.

1986 Nov 24: Ogilvy & Mather sends a list of staff working on TI projects together with their hourly billing rates along to Susan stuntz at the Tobacco Institute

  • Kamer Davis, Director of Creative Services, $100
  • Tom Donahue, Senior Account Executive, $90
  • L Michael Dowling, Head of Office, $175
  • Sheila Hayes, Editorial Assistant, $50
  • Karen Hochberger, Junior Account Executive, $70
  • Richard Marcus, Account Supervisor, $110
  • Naomi Paiss, Account Executive, $75
  • Steve Rabin, Senior Vice-President, $150
  • Debbie Shriver, Account Supervisor, $100
  • Marcia Silverman, Vice President/General Manager, $125
  • Scott Widmeyer, Senior Associate, $115

1987 Jun 4: Under the Ogilvy & Mather letterhead he is advising Jeff Ross (VP of [Matt] Reece Communications)
    [Note Reece Communications together with Hill & Knowlton and Ogilvy & Mather were all swallowed up at various times by the combined entity, London-based, WPP under the chairmanship of Hamish Maxwell (ex Philip Morris Chairman/CEO)] Rabin writes:

Ray Scannell's [tobacco union leader's] support of the Sneak Attax ad [Excise Tax Ad] offers us entry to a fairly large network of labor publications, at very little cost.

    There are approximately 3,500 labor publications in the United States ranging from small mimeographed newsletters reaching 50-100 members of a union local, to slick magazines with circulation figures over 100,000 printed by the parent unions. An estimated 12,000,000 households are reached by union publications/\.

    I recommend that we print multiple copies of the revised Sneak Attax ad (the one with the generic box) and mail it under a Labor-Management Committee cover letter which urges the unions to run the ad for free.

1991: The Center for Public Integrity article on "The Buying of the President"
    Steve Rabin, the director of public affairs at Ogilvy, Adams & Rinehart. Talks about Paul E Tsongas

But Schwartz is not the only Tsongas adviser who has an insider's view on the health care industry. Steve Rabin, Director of Public Affairs for the law firm of Ogilvy, Adams & Rinehart, is registered as a lobbyist with the US Congress.

    According to Rabin, his firm represents the Centers for Disease Control, the American Nursing Association and Family Health International, a US-based nonprofit organization.

Somewhere in this time-frame he appears to have had a Damascian conversion, and decided to work with the white-hats.

1993 Nov 22: Article in the Legal Times places him with Porter/Novelli [part of Omnicom PR Network] working on health issues. This company has many pharmacuetical clients, but the head of the firm was a supporters of anti-smoking organizations.

    The article says that Steve Rabin became managing director of the Washington office about 18 months ago.

1995 Nov 1: Health News Daily reports:

IssueSphere: Two former FDAers and two former executives from the public relations firm Porter/Novelli establish the new health sciences public affairs firm. IssueSphere is headquartered in New York with offices in Washington and San Francisco.

    Partners include former FDA Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes; Steve Rabin, former head of PorterfNovell's DC office; Paul DelPonte, formerly at the Porter/Novelli DC office; and Nelson Communications Vice Chairman Joseph Romano. Former FDA Director of Consumer Affairs and American Foundation for AIDS Research President Mervyn Silverman, MD, is senior counselor.

    IssueSphere's clients include Johnson & Johnson, Schering-Plough, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Dietetic Association....

    [Both Rabin and Hayes worked for the tobacco industry for many years, but Paul DelPonte and Porter/Novelli were on the other side.

1995 Nov 16: An exchange of e-mails between members of the Tobacco Institute shows that they had been watching IssueSphere's creation. They exchange information on the new company:

  • I'm not sure either one of you have heard about this operation but a couple of clues tell me their not going to be friendly:
    1. Steve Rabin will be president of the firm and apparently was an adjunct faculty member at Columbia's School of Public Health .
    2. The DC office will be led by a guy named Paul DelPonte, who just left Porter/Novelli. [known to be an anti-smoking company]
    3. IssueSphere also plans to have a branch in — place of all places — San Francisco .
  • Steve Rabin used to be at Ogilvy & Mather (he knows about our stuff some, but was never really involved that I can recall). I know him a little. Never heard of the guy from Porter Novelli, but maybe Charlie Powers might know him. Any clue who the FDA-types are?
  • One big name: Arthur Hayes, former FDA commissioner under Reagan — apparently he now heads up some regulatory consulting firm in up-state NY and will split time between the two jobs.

1995 Nov 21: Philip Morris, hiding behind Research Information Services, filed a Freedom of Information request with the Department of Health and Human Services for any correspondence they have had with:

William Novelli, Arthur Hull Hayes, Steve Rabin, Paul DelPonte, Joseph Romano, Mervyn Silverman, IssueSphere, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Scott Ballin, Stanton Glantz, Richard Daynard ....
and a few dozen other well-known anti-smoking activists and organizations.

The Philip Morris draft document

The Research Information Services request

1998 May 14: The Columbia University School of Public Health through subcontractor lssueSphere, a public affairs and social marketing agency located in Manhattan, convened a group of marketing and research experts from among the nation's leading corporations and consulting firms, including Levi Strauss & Co., Adidas America, Procter & Gamble, and NBC Television.

    This Panel first met in 1995 to review the opportunities for private sector involvement in efforts to reduce tobacco use among adolescents.

    During the first year of activities, 1995 to 1996, the Expert Panel examined the current efforts to market tobacco to youth and, the necessary steps to strengthen the nation's counter-marketing efforts.

2000: Nelsons Public Relations, 25 Century Park West, NY

2001: Steve Rabin, Kaiser senior vice president for media and public education.


2002: Steve [Rabin] is a leader in public affairs and strategic communications. His counsel draws on a background in law, public health and public affairs. He works closely with senior executives in private industry, non-profits and the federal government to integrate public policy, marketing and science into effective programs.

    Recently he helped Johnson & Johnson to develop and implement a global reputation management effort and access to medicines program in more than 100 countries; designed a 10-year strategy for teen suicide prevention in the United States; and evaluated the health insurance reform efforts of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

    Steve established Rabin Strategic Partners in 2002. Prior to that he served as President of Ogilvy Public Affairs, head of the Washington, DC office of Porter Novelli and served as the Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Steve has been on the faculty of the Columbia University School of Public Health and was a visiting fellow at the Harvard University School of Public Health. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois and holds a J.D. from The George Washington University School of Law.

2004 Mar: "Whatever happened to AIDS and Straight Men"

After putting a $27 million campaign out to bid, [the CDC] hired one of the nations largest ad agencies, Ogilvy & Mather, and specifically the services of a bright 32-year-old ad man named Steve Rabin, who headed the agencies health unit in Washington, DC.

    Rabin, an openly gay man who had seen friends die of AIDS, held 20 focus groups around the country that August and found that nearly all Americans — straight and gay — thought of AIDS as someone else's problem. He knew, and his CDC bosses agreed, that they had to underscore the universality of AIDS to make it a public-health priority.

    That fall, Rabin shot a series of 38 TV spots, many of which featured men and women with AIDS. They were not identified as gay or as IV-drug users, and the ads addressed their high-risk activities only in veiled ways
[This seems to suggest that he was still working through O&M. Perhaps he subcontracted to them to provide a fron to the gay community ??]

2005 Apr 14: Steve Rabin, 25 Central Park West 10S, New York, New York 10023, Rabin Partners, A puff pieces says:

This Steve Rabin is now the President, Rabin Partners [Later Rabin Strategic Partners, Inc]. He is listed as a Public Relations and Communications specialists in the Greater New York City Area, and is also a Senior Advisor at Columbia University Department of Child and Adolescent.

Past: Sr Vice President at Kaiser Family Foundation, President at IssueSphere, Ass't Professor — Public Health at Columbia University,

Education: The George Washington University Law School , Harvard University School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Urbana

Puff Piece by NCI Consulting.

2010: Pharma Services:

OTC & Consumer products.

    [OTC refers to "Over-the-counter" = taking drugs out of the prescription-only list and making them available without prescription — "Rx-to-OTC Switch"]
    We are a leader in helping clients assess and address shifting competitive challenges. Services include:

  • Competitive landscape analysis
  • Threat and opportunity assessment
  • Differentiation and claims identification
  • Benchmarking
  • War games and competitive simulationitive simulation
Steve Rabin has specialized in health policy, advocacy development and community-based initiatives for over 20 years. He helps support NCI's pharmaceutical and OTC clients in identifying potential issues, developing communications and environmental strategies capable of impacting public policy, and, when appropriate, spearheading effective strategic implementation.

    Currently, Steve leads Rabin Strategic Partners, a firm he founded in 2002 to work closely with senior executives to integrate public policy, marketing and science into effective programs. His clients span private industry, non-profits, and the federal government. Steve comes to this role with a diverse background in public affairs.

    He served as Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at the Kaiser Family Foundation, initiating projects to improve healthcare delivery to underserved populations. Before joining Kaiser, he was President of IssueSphere, a public health consulting firm, helping pharmaceutical and non-profit clients in strategy development, advocacy development, and community-based grass roots initiatives. While focused primarily on pharmaceutical strategies, Steve also applied his expertise to a range of OTC projects, including leading the advocacy development for the OTC approval of Excedrinš Migraine and helping develop the public health rationale and support for OTC approval of HIV home testing.

    In earlier positions, Steve was President of Ogilvy Public Affairs and later head of the Washington, DC office of Porter Novelli, the international public affairs firm. Clients included the National Cancer Institute, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

    Steve has been on the faculty of the Columbia University School of Public Health and was a visiting fellow at the Harvard University School of Public Health. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois and holds a J.D. from The George Washington University School of Law.


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