BAT’s Big Wheeze – major new report into BAT
Embargo: 00:01hrs Wednesday 21st April 2004
MPs ATTEND BAT AGM
As FOE, Christian Aid, ASH Launch Alternative Report
Norman Baker MP (Lib Dem) and David Taylor MP (Labour and Chair of the All-Party Group on Smoking and Health) will be attending the BAT AGM today, with campaigners from Action on Smoking and Health, Christian Aid and Friends of the Earth,
The three NGOs have published a new report on the company – “BAT’s Big Wheeze” – which is also backed by NGOs from countries damaged by BAT’s bad business behaviour. (A full copy of the report can be downloaded from http://www.ash.org.uk/html/conduct/pdfs/batbigwheeze.pdf)
The report looks at BAT’s record in Britain, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia and Uganda. BAT has reported operating profits for 2003 of £2.8 billion. BAT directors are paid huge sums for their activities: Chief Executive Officer Martin Broughton receives £2.4 million a year, and top Tory politician Kenneth Clarke MP is paid £125,000 a year for chairing the company’s committee on Corporate Social Responsibility, and for other duties including helping to develop new markets in countries such as Vietnam.
The report quotes experts and campaigners from around the world, who condemn BAT for its business practices.
Commenting, Friends of the Earth campaigner Craig Bennett said:
“We’re delighted that Norman Baker MP and David Taylor MP will be attending the BAT AGM and helping to show up the company’s dreadful health, environmental and social record around the world. We will be giving all BAT’s directors, including Mr Broughton and Mr Clarke, a copy of our report – maybe they still have a sense of shame about their activities.”
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The BAT AGM takes place at 11.30am at the Porter Tun Room, The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London EC1. MPs and campaigners will be present from about 11am onwards
CONTACT: Ian Willmore (ASH) 020 7739 5902 (w) 07887 641344 (m)
Andrew Pendleton (CA) 020 7620 4444 (w) 07720 813865 (m)
Craig Bennett (FOE) 020 7566 1667 (w) 07720 147280 (m)
Contact details also available for: FOE Nigeria, Journalist Action for Tobacco Control (Nigeria), Department of Rural Socioeconomic Studies (Curitiba-PR, Brazil), SocialNEEDS Network (Kenya), the Network for Consumer Protection (Pakistan) and the Russian Cancer Research Center.
– ISDN line available –