The drug industry is bracing itself for major legislative changes once the new Congress sits. Forbes journalist Matthew Herper notes that, following the mid-term elections, major drug company shares have dropped by over 5%.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) is planning to launch a major "educational advocacy" program in January 2007 to influence the incoming Congress. The API represents 400 major oil and gas producers. According to PR Week, the program will include increased television advertising, speeches by economists and industry executives and tours of oil and gas operations for think tank staff and politicians.
The Philip Morris (PM) tobacco company has announced a brand new advertising campaign aimed at begging the movie industry not to use Marlboro cigarettes in movies.
The Tobacco Manufacturers Association (TMA), a U.K.-based trade association, is lobbying against a European Union proposal to require companies to manufacture cigarettes that reduce the chances of causing a fire if not being smoked.
Corporate sponsorship is all the rage, even with the New South Wales Police. In 2002 a mother of three, Diane Brimble, died on board the P&O cruise ship Pacific Sky from a combination of alcohol and the drug gamma hydroxybutyrate. Her death was investigated by officers from the NSW Water Police. Eighteen months later, P & O was one of five sponsors of the opening of a new headquarters for the water police.
Adriane Fugh-Berman, an Associate Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine, recounts her experience of speaking at a recent medical conference in New Mexico on the topic of drug industry influence in medical education. "Immediately after my talk, one pharmaceutical company representative announced to a conference organiser that her company would no longer support the annual conference. Another packed up his exhibit and walked out," she writes in the British Medical Journal.
When KFC crowed on October 30, 2006, that it was planning to ban transfats in its U.S. fried chicken, the company had a PR machine behind it ready to score a news hit in one of the nation's fast food capitals, New York City.