Chris McLaughlin, a former BBC Enterprises PR director, has accepted a
pounds 150,000 communications job with tobacco giant Philip Morris.
The post, believed to be that of public affairs director for Eastern
Europe, is based at Philip Morris’s European headquarters in Lausanne.
McLaughlin, who is currently acting as a consultant to TransWorld
International and as a freelance consultant for Larkspur Communications,
wouldn’t confirm the appointment but is thought to be taking up the post
The moves marks a change of direction for McLaughlin who is a veteran of
high-profile, if short-tenured, broadcasting communications roles. He
was PR director at BBC Enterprises in 1994 - a role that lasted less
than a year due to corporation restructuring; Carlton Television’s head
of press and publicity from 1992-1994; and head of corporate affairs at
British Satellite Broadcasting for two years until the company merged
with Sky. His CV also includes stints at Charles Barker PR and College
The recruitment comes at a tough time for Philip Morris, which makes the
Marlboro brand. In the US, the tobacco market is reeling from successful
litigation against firms, restrictions on smoking in public places and a
recent White House-backed Food and Drug Administration ruling that
tobacco is an addictive drug.
The pressures are not confined to America, in the UK alone there are 300
legal cases pending against the tobacco industry.