’Responsibility’ tops BAT’s new PR agenda

British American Tobacco, the world’s second largest multinational tobacco company, is set to position itself as a ’responsible company within a controversial industry’.

British American Tobacco, the world’s second largest multinational

tobacco company, is set to position itself as a ’responsible company

within a controversial industry’.



A plan was being devised for the new positioning at a corporate and

regulatory affairs global conference at the company’s UK headquarters

this week.



The conference was attended by 70 BAT staff from across the world,

including corporate and regulatory affairs director Michael Prideaux,

corporate communications head Suzanne Meldrum, corporate marketing head

Adrian Marshall and newly appointed external communications manager Fran

Morrison.



Morrison, who joined this week, will play a key role in the

repositioning.



She will build and manage a new corporate press office and launch a web

site within the year. The web site will be on similar lines to the one

launched by BAT’s US company Brown and Williamson, which offers

information on many of the major tobacco issues.



Morrison said: ’The brief is to establish BAT as a responsible company

within a controversial industry.’



BAT is currently gaining regulatory approvals throughout the world for

its merger with Rothmans, a move which makes the firm the second largest

multinational tobacco firm behind Philip Morris. BAT sells its brands,

which include Benson and Hedges, in the Americas, Asia, Africa and

Europe, but not in the UK. However, if approved, its merger with

Rothmans will give the company a UK presence.



Morrison will develop pro-active media relations, manage relevant

agencies and contribute to a range of other tasks including internal

communications, investor relations, issue management and corporate and

brand sponsorship.



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