NEWS: BAT calls in Napier for tobacco fight

British-American Tobacco Holdings has ended its three month search for a consumer and regulatory affairs director to spearhead an assault on the anti-smoking lobby.

British-American Tobacco Holdings has ended its three month search for a

consumer and regulatory affairs director to spearhead an assault on the

anti-smoking lobby.



Andrew Napier joined BAT this week on a part-time basis from the

International Olympic Committee in Geneva, where he was public relations

director for two years. He will join the BAT Holdings board officially

on 1 May.



Napier, a former director of governmental and corporate affairs for Ford

of Europe and public affairs manager for Philip Morris Europe before

that, takes responsibility for local PR managers in each of BAT

Holdings’ five geographical regions and will report directly to managing

director Ulrich Herter.



He will also have the task of building up a 20 to 25-strong consumer and

regulatory affairs team to promote BAT’s 250 cigarette brands worldwide,

including Lucky Strike, Kent, Pall Mall and State Express 555. More

controversially, the new department - which will include scientists and

lawyers as well as public relations professionals - will work to combat

social and medical arguments against smoking.



Michael Prideaux, director of group public affairs at parent company BAT

Industries said the department would put forward its own case on issues

such as passive smoking to both consumers and government regulators.



‘We recognised we hadn’t been as active at putting our case in the past

as we should have,’ said Prideaux.



‘In forming our positions on issues in the tobacco industry you need to

have advice from all quarters.



‘The idea that second-hand smoking is bad for you is absurd and we have

allowed that idea to get away for too long. It’s championing the cause

of sound science.’



Napier arrives at a difficult time for BAT. The company faces lawsuits

in at least three US states amid claims by a former employee that it

knew for decades about the addictive nature of nicotine and used

cancerous additives in pipe tobacco.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in