British American Tobacco has called in Shandwick International,
Rowland Worldwide and Edelman PR Worldwide to pitch for an international
media relations account, aimed at positioning the company at the
forefront of the tobacco industry.
The decision to recruit a media relations agency is part of BAT’s plan
to take the industry lead from Philip Morris by raising its previously
’We have a corporate goal of regaining our leadership in the tobacco
world and that’s partly commercial leadership and partly leadership in
the debate,’ said head of corporate communications David Bacon.
With the climate in Europe and the US becoming increasingly hostile
towards tobacco manufacturers, the company is pouring money into public
relations and international sponsorship.
According to reports this week, BAT is to buy the British Formula 1 team
Tyrell and will invest pounds 300 million in the sport over the next
This summer the company retained Edelman to handle its international
sponsorship; this relationship will continue. The account is run from
Montreal in Canada. BAT has no other agencies in the UK.
The company reorganised last year, merging four regional divisions into
one. They are Brown and Williamson Tobacco in the US, Souza Cruz in
Brazil, BAT Germany and the international British American Tobacco
British American Tobacco is to be floated on the London Stock Exchange
next year after its parent company, BAT Industries, merges its financial
services arm with Zurich International UK.
The media relations account is likely to cover the Americas, Asia and
Europe. The company does not trade in the UK. Outside this country its
brands include State Express 555, Lucky Strike, Benson and Hedges and