Tuesday, May 17, 2011...10:31 am

Tales from the trade press: publicity-shy tobacco suppliers

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It’s funny how the idea that all publicity is good publicity sometimes doesn’t filter through to the people you’re writing about in business features.
My latest thrilling trade press feature is about the tobacco industry. Yes, I know – I’m evil for even taking that brief. Hey, my dog has to eat.
So what sort of responses have I got from companies involved in supplying said evil industry?

Company spokesperson:I did put your email below to my client and received a response earlier today – unfortunately it is not something they feel they can comment on at the moment


Company spokesperson: “I have forwarded your request to our Tobacco […] business but unfortunately the relevant contact will not be available to help in this instance as they will be unable to meet the deadline.”

Hapless trade press journalist:
“We have some flexibility on the deadline – does that help?”

Company spokesperson:
“Unfortunately our contact will not be available for the next couple of weeks (I think you mean years – ed) to make any comment”


Company spokesperson: I’ve just been informed by someone that unfortunately it’s company rule not to comment on anything tobacco-related. (Though it’s not a rule, clearly, not to work on anything tobacco-related)

So – there you have it. You’re all quite happy to take the tobacco companies’ money, but you’d rather we didn’t know about it…

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