1. Nigeria Strikes Back at British American Tobacco

1. New Participatory Project: Updating Profiles on Think Tanks

1. WWF Greenwashes Coca-Cola
2. Indonesia’s Years of Lobbying Furiously
3. Unilever: “Viva Marketing!”
4. Foreign Lobbyist Watchdogs, Rejoice!
5. Shell’s Broadwater Gathers ACORN’s Support
6. Hogging the Picture
7. Congresspedia Managing Editor’s In These Times Cover Story
8. FDA Rejects Sunlight


by Anne Landman
       If you think the U.S. tobacco industry is bad, you’ll find
  the behavior of many of the same companies overseas to be truly
       Happily, the industry is beginning to be held accountable for
  its operations in the Global South. Nigeria’s two largest states are
  following the lead of U.S. states, in suing British American Tobacco
  (BAT) of Nigeria, its U.K. parent company and Philip Morris
  International for the health care costs of treating sick smokers,
  The Times of London reported this week.
       The new lawsuits demonstrate the importance of the online
  public databases of previously secret tobacco industry documents.
  The 1998 U.S. Master Settlement Agreement required major tobacco
  companies to reveal millions of pages documenting unethical — and
  even illegal — marketing, public relations and lobbying campaigns.
  A lesser-known treasure trove is the British American Tobacco
  Documents Archive, which has made some seven million pages of BAT
  documents freely available. These documents are of particular
  importance to countries like Nigeria.
To read the rest of this item, visit:

  Some of the highest traffic pages in SourceWatch are those on the
  proliferating number of think tanks scattered around the world.
  Keeping track of what their latest projects are, their finances and
  key personnel is a challenge. That’s where you come in. The profiles
  on think tanks that are in our top 100 most visited pages, in order
  of page views over the last week, are those on  Oregon Institute of
  Science and Medicine, the American Enterprise Institute, the
  Heritage Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations, the
  Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Heartland Institute. With a
  little bit of effort from a handful of citizen editors we could make
  sure the profiles are right up to date. Or, if you’d prefer to pick
  one of the other think tanks, go right ahead. What we need to check
  is that listed staff and office bearers are current, funding
  information is as up to date as possible, contact addresses are
  correct and current priorities are included on the page. Most of
  this information will be on each think tank’s website. (Though note,
  some think tanks don’t publish their annual reports on their
  website). If this is your first time editing, you can register as a
  SourceWatch volunteer editor here, and learn more about adding
  information to the site here and here. HAVE FUN, AND THANKS FOR YOUR
SOURCE: SourceWatch

  As Ronald Reagan loved to remark, “There they go again.”  WWF, the
  corporate-funded environmental giant often accused of taking
  greenbacks in return for greenwashing its corporate benefactors,
  strikes again.  WWF and  the  Coca-Cola Company today proclaimed a
  “bold partnership” that has Coke paying WWF $20 million US dollars.
  WWF touts the deal on its website.  A full page New York Times
  advertisement announcing the deal is headlined “This is our drop,” a
  trademarked phrase of the Coca-Cola company.  Indeed, $20 million
  dollars is just a drop in the bucket, a cheap fee for the PR image
  bonanza from its partnership with WWF.  Other companies giving money
  to and receiving the blessings of WWF include Alcoa,  Altria Group,
  Walt Disney Company, and dozens more listed on the WWF website.  For
  a run-down on Coke’s current global controversies, read our
  SourceWatch article on Coca-Cola.
SOURCE: Environmental News Service, June 5, 2007

  Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, has had a
  complicated relationship with the U.S., especially during the
  Indonesian military’s occupation of neighboring East Timor. After
  9/11, however, the U.S. has increasingly dismissed human rights
  concerns to provide Indonesia with military aid. Andreas Harsono
  details two major lobbying contracts that helped Indonesia grease
  the skids. From 2003 to 2004, the firm Alston & Bird had a $200,000
  per month contract with Indonesia, which stipulated that former U.S.
  Senator Bob Dole would “actively participate in and supervise”
  lobbying for military aid, increased trade and business benefits for
  Indonesia. In 2005, the firm Richard L. Collins & Co. was hired on a
  $30,000 a month contract to lobby to “remove legislative and policy
  restrictions on security cooperation with Indonesia.” This contract
  was with Indonesia’s intelligence agency, BIN, which has “long been
  linked to human rights violations, including the 2004 assassination
  of human rights campaigner Munir Thalib.” BIN officials sometimes
  accompanied Collins lobbyists on visits to U.S. Congressional
  offices. In November 2005, the U.S. lifted human rights restrictions
  on foreign military financing for Indonesia — “and Indonesia’s
  contract with Collins & Co. came to an end.”
SOURCE: International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, May 31, 2007

  The multinational consumer product company Unilever “has launched
  ViveMejor, a multimedia marketing initiative that targets the
  Hispanic community” in the U.S. The PR firm Edelman’s multicultural
  practice is heading communications for the campaign. The campaign
  includes a magazine, “distributed for free at grocery stores and
  online … grassroots events, and two sub-platforms focusing on
  beauty and food – Pasa Las Belleza (Spread the Beauty) and Desafio
  del Sabor (The Flavor Challenge). Television segments created for
  these sub-platforms, featuring celebrity stylists and a chef, will
  appear on the popular Spanish morning show Despierta America (Wake
  Up America).” Unilever’s Ivette Alvarez Santoro said, “The idea is
  to offer simple, yet relevant tips on everything [the Hispanic
  mother] is looking for … with the idea that she will share what
  she has learned with her close family and friends.” Unilever
  research found that “Hispanic women are more likely to make large
  shopping trips … plan for meals, and be aware of advertised
  specials than the general population,” and are “more open to recipes
  and tips delivered in Spanish.”
SOURCE: PR Week, May 29, 2007

  Good news, everybody! The U.S. Department of Justice has posted
  its near-final, revamped foreign lobbyist database online, at
  www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fara/links/search.html. While it is still
  “undergoing final testing,” the site links “to substantial
  documents, such as contracts between lobbyists and foreign
  governments as well as advocates’ reports listing contacts between
  them and policymakers,” reports The Hill. The data is collected
  under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which was “passed in 1938
  to register propaganda by German Nazi agents before World War II.”
SOURCE: The Hill, May 30, 2007

  Newsday reports on a successful cooptation of the activist group
  ACORN by Shell Oil’s natural gas venture: “Amid its ongoing effort
  to garner community support for its controversial offshore natural
  gas terminal, Broadwater Energy yesterday announced a 10-year,
  $10-million initiative to fund the weatherizing of more than 2,000
  houses in low-income parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties [in New
  York]. Critics of the proposed offshore terminal blasted the idea as
  a naked attempt to buy friends for a project about which they have
  raised a host of environmental and economic objections. … The
  program would be administered by the Association of Community
  Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. … Outspoken Broadwater
  critic Adrienne Esposito  …  called the program ‘a bribe to bring
  good public relations points.  A lot of money doesn’t make
  Broadwater a better project.’ … Partnerships with third parties
  who have some community credibility is a common strategy in
  advancing controversial projects, according to [CMD’s] Sheldon
  Rampton … ‘I think the community ought to look carefully at what
  they’re getting themselves into. Would [Broadwater parent] Shell Oil
  be doing this project if they weren’t planning to build the natural
  gas terminal?'” ACORN also receives funding from the Democracy
  Alliance, a network of Democratic Party millionaires. Shell, long
  advised by activist-busting PR firms including Mongoven, Biscoe and
  Duchin, has an infamous history of targeting, dividing and
  conquering activists.
SOURCE: Newsday, June 1, 2007

  The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company has arranged a deal with
  the film school at the University of California-Santa Barbara that
  recruits students as cheap labor to make Harley ads in the form of
  “short sponsored videos for online media or for downloading to other
  digital media platforms such as cell phones, iPods, and PDAs.” Under
  the terms of the “partnership,” students submit proposals to
  Harley-Davidson, describing the type of video they plan to make. If
  approved, the company pays a stipend of up to $1,200 for each
  proposal, and a prize of $5,000 to the winner. Harley then owns all
  rights to the videos. The university’s website explains the project
  as follows: “This class will also address the significance of direct
  internet sales on sites such as eBay, and the role of the
  blogosphere, webcasting, podcasting, new user nets such as Craig’s
  List, among many others on the way young people both consume and
  produce media content. Today the YouTube ‘viral video’ phenomenon is
  challenging the dominant model of top-down, organization-driven
  approaches to getting messages communicated in favor of more
  spontaneous, organic and bottom-up strategies driven by consumers
SOURCE: UCSB website

  CMD’s Congresspedia Managing Editor Conor Kenny authored the cover
  story for the May issue of In These Times. Titled “Hello, I’m a
  Democrat,” the article addresses the phenomenon of the netroots, or
  internet-based activists. “While they are engaged to one degree or
  another in the national-level actions and organizations, many of the
  most committed and involved activists are busy transforming the
  Democratic Party from the ground up.” Conor also covers the
  commitment of the netroots to not assume that traditionally
  Republican areas are outside of the reach of this newly envisioned
  Democratic Party. “Whether inspired by Dean or the other way around,
  one of the activists’ central tenets is the need to build the party
  in red areas abandoned by the state parties and, in the case of the
  DNC, entire states.” The article also includes four profiles of
  netroots activists.
SOURCE: In These Times, May 21, 2007

  In the wake of the latest study showing heart attack risk in an
  FDA-approved drug, there have been increased calls for greater
  transparency of clinical trial results. What does the U.S. Food and
  Drug Administration think about requiring companies to publicly
  release all of their trial results? “I would be very concerned about
  wholesale posting of thousands of clinical trials leading to mass
  confusion,” said Steve Galso, who directs the FDA’s Drug Evaluation
  and Research division. But Merrill Goozner, who directs the
  Integrity in Science project of the Center for Science in the Public
  Interest, doubts that consumers would “be any more confused than
  they now are from the information they get from  direct-to-consumer
  (DTC) advertising. …  Let’s not forget that a provision in the FDA
  reform bill calling for a two-year moratorium on DTC ads on some new
  drugs was rejected because it limited commercial freedom of speech.
  In 21st century America, the right to misinform consumers is
  protected, but consumers’ right to information is denied because
  they might misinform themselves.”
SOURCE: GoozNews, March 23, 2007



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