BXL Consulting

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BXL is a consulting firm that has worked with British American Tobacco (BAT) on its "social reporting process" and CSR initiative in Brussels, including the BATresponsibility.eu website.[1] It was co-founded in 2004 by the former EU commissioner for health and consumer protection, Pavel Telička and provides consultancy in EU affairs, mainly to large companies.

A "PR Achievement"

In its report on BAT's lobbying in Brussels, the EU-lobbying watch-dog, Corporate Europe Observatory, (CEO) pointed out "One of BAT’s greatest PR achievements was recruiting former EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection Pavel Telička as ‘facilitator’ of its so-called “EU social reporting sessions”. Telička is also a former ambassador and head of Czech mission to the EU with 20 years' experience in Brussels. [2]

According to CEO, Telička conducted three “group dialogue sessions” and a number of individual in-depth interviews with EU “stakeholders” on behalf of BAT". The dialogue sessions brought together people to focus on issues such as public place smoking; “harm reduction”; smuggling and counterfeit products in order to “encourage in-depth discussion of each topic and the central dilemmas facing society and tobacco companies like British American Tobacco”. The “stakeholders” identified by BAT were the Commission; the Parliament; the Council (through permanent representations to the EU), public health experts, NGOs, business organisations, think tanks and other bodies. Health groups boycotted the process. [2]

CEO complained to the European Commission that Telička and BXL Consulting were involved in lobbying for BAT in 2006-2007 but did not declare that money in 2007. It said that,

The job Mr Telička accomplished undoubtedly facilitated BAT’s lobbying. His involvement was clearly part of ‘activities carried out with the objective of influencing the policy formulation and decision-making processes of European institutions’...organizing events, meetings or promotional activities (in the offices or in other venues) in support of an objective of interest representation.” [3]

People

  • Pavel Telička - co-founder and later described as partner and director of BXL's Brussels office.[4]

Lobbying and PR Firms

External Resources

Notes

  1. BAT, BATresponsibility.eu, website, last accessible date 23 October 2012, via the web archive.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Corporate Europe Observatory, Obscured by the Smoke - British American Tobacco’s deathly lobbying agenda in the EU, June 2009, Accessed August 2011
  3. Cited in 'The smoke filled room: How big tobacco influences health policy in the UK', Report by ASH, p37 May 2010
  4. British American Tobacco, Social Report 2006/2007, accessed 5 April 2012
  5. PRCA Public Affairs Register to Nov 2011