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
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
The paper is likely to include legislation restricting tobacco