Philip Morris promotes Roberts to wider EU role

Tobacco giant Philip Morris has promoted its UK and Ireland director of corporate affairs John Roberts to become vice-president of government relations for EU institutions.

Tobacco giant Philip Morris has promoted its UK and Ireland

director of corporate affairs John Roberts to become vice-president of

government relations for EU institutions.



In his new post, based in Brussels, Roberts replaces David Bushong, who

has taken a post as vice-president of international affairs at Philip

Morris’ Washington DC office. The London office is now run by David

Bertram, who retains the title corporate affairs manager.



Philip Morris owns the Marlboro brand, the world’s best selling

cigarettes.



The company has a 49 per cent value share of the US market although in

the UK it is far smaller, at around five per cent.



The company’s products include Raffles, Chesterfield, Players and

Virginia Slims. However, in the UK, the only brands are Marlboro and

Raffles. Marlboro is distributed here by Rothmans. Philip Morris’ other

major US brand, Benson and Hedges, is owned by Gallaher in the UK.



Roberts’ appointment comes at a time when the UK tobacco industry faces

the threat of legal action. This week tobacco companies Imperial Tobacco

and Gallaher faced a possible case in the High Court. US solicitor

Martyn Day has taken a brief, on a no-win/no-fee basis, on behalf of 47

people who have contracted lung cancer.



On 14 July a Tobacco Summit, called by the Department of Health, will be

held to discuss issues which will inform a White Paper on the

industry.



The paper is likely to include legislation restricting tobacco

advertising.



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