Our Stolen Futurea book by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers



In an undated entry (read online 6 January 2002) on Milloy's website, www.junkscience.com, Milloy writes:

"For more on IATP, visit our new website ActivistCash.com, with more information on other activist groups coming soon." [emphasis and link to IATP added]

According to documents made available as a result of tobacco litigation, ActivistCash.com and its parent, GuestChoice.com, are part of the tobacco and related industries' continuing effort to undermine health regulations. Reviews of these documents by PRWatch reveal that GuestChoice.com and ActivistCash.com are both creations of a PR firm that represents tobacco companies and many food, beverage and restaurant companies, Berman and Co.:

"ActivistCash is one of several front groups created by Berman & Co., a public affairs firm owned by lobbyist Rick Berman. Based in Washington, DC, Berman & Co. represents the tobacco industry as well as hotels, beer distributors, taverns, and restaurant chains."

PRWatch provides extensive documentation of tobacco's funding of Berman and Co., obtained from the Philip Morris document archive. For example (from PRWatch):

  "Berman launched the Guest Choice Network in 1995. Its initial funding came entirely from the Philip Morris tobacco company. "I'd like to propose to Philip Morris the establishment of the Guest Choice Network," Berman stated in a December 11, 1995 letter to Barbara Trach, PM's senior program manager for public affairs. "The concept is to unite the restaurant and hospitality industries in a campaign to defend their consumers and marketing programs against attacks from anti-smoking, anti-drinking, anti-meat, etc. activists. ... I would like to solicit Philip Morris for an initial contribution of $600,000." The purpose of the Guest Choice Network, as Berman explained in a separate planning document, would be to enlist operators of "restaurants, hotels, casinos, bowling alleys, taverns, stadiums, and university hospitality educators" to "support mentality of 'smokers rights' by encouraging responsibility to protect 'guest choice.'" According to a year-end 1995 budget, Guest Choice planned to spend $1.5 million during its first 13 months of operation, including $390,000 for "membership marketing/materials development," $430,000 to establish a communication center and newsletter (which Berman promised would have a "60% to 70% smoking focus"), $110,000 to create a "multi-industry advisory council," and $345,000 for "grassroots network development/operation." emphasis added  

Additional details on Berman's funding are available on line at PRWatch.org.

So when Milloy states on his web page, "visit our new website ActivistCash.com," he is explicitly acknowledging his continuing relationship to the tobacco industry.

Ironically, PRWatch's analysis also reveals that ActivistCash.com is full of errors (also). For all the money that it is receiving from tobacco, it is not very effective. Perhaps the tobacco and restaurant industries should re-evaluate their investments in Berman and Co.






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