Crosby Textor Group

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The Crosby Textor Group (‘the C|T Group’) is an Australian campaign consultancy, founded in 2002 by Lynton Crosby and Mark Textor.[1][2]

In 2010, the firm opened a branch in London, United Kingdom (UK), known as Crosby Textor Fullbrook Partners (‘C|T|F Partners’), managed by Mark Fullbrook.[1]

Background

Lynton Crosby has a long history of consulting for the Australian Liberal Party and the UK Conservative Party.

In June 2016, he led the unsuccessful campaign to replace outgoing UK Prime Minister David Cameron with Boris Johnson.[3] Earlier that year, amid strong criticism, Crosby received a knighthood “for his service to politics”.[4]

Mark Fullbrook ran Boris Johnson’s successful re-election campaign for Mayor of London in 2012.[5] Fullbrook previously worked as Head of Campaigns for the UK Conservative Party, and in 1993 established PLS, a Conservative campaigns and communications consultancy.[5]

Fullbrook’s wife, Lorraine Fullbrook, is a former Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for South Ribble (2010-2015).[6]

Relationship with the Tobacco Industry

Both the Australian and UK branches of C|T Group have reportedly worked for tobacco companies, including British American Tobacco and Philip Morris.[7][8]

The C|G Group founders have also had previous relationships with tobacco companies.

Crosby, on behalf of the Australian Liberal Party, actively sought out and accepted tobacco industry funding when he was the Party’s Federal Director.[9] “These [cigarette manufacturers] are legal companies which employ thousands of Australians. If they want to make a contribution…they are entitled to do so”, Crosby was quoted.[9]

Textor has listed Philip Morris as a past client of his.[10] In 1998, Textor (working for Australasian Research Strategies) prepared an environmental tobacco smoke survey for Philip Morris.[11][12] He also spoke at a Philip Morris Australia’s 1998 Corporate Affairs Conference, where the risk of the introduction of plain packaging was discussed.[13][14]

Lobbying Against Plain Packaging in UK

In 2013, the UK Government abandoned plans to introduce plain tobacco packaging. Conservative MPs attributed the move to the appointment of Crosby as the Government’s campaign strategist.[15]

  • For more information on how Crosby lobbied the UK Government and Lord Marland over plain packaging, see Lynton Crosby.

Lobbying Against Plain Packaging in Ireland

Leaked correspondence revealed that Sir Robert Atkins, a Conservative Member of European Parliament (MEP) and former MP, was asked by Mark Fullbrook – whose wife occupied the same parliamentary seat as Atkins once had - to provide internal government information about Ireland’s plans to introduce plain packaging.[16]

On 21 September 2014, Fullbrook emailed Atkins with the subject title “A job I need your urgent help with”, writing:

“Hi Robert,
Lovely to see you and Dulcie [Atkins’s wife] last night
Can you try urgently to help with finding some info
It is in the public domain that the UK Govt has issued comments on the Irish Govt’s notification process of plain packaging (tobacco) to the EU….Can you help identify which Department issued these comments and what these comments are?
On this one time is critical”

Further leaked correspondence indicated that Atkins sought the help of Philip Bradbourn, another Conservative MEP.[17] Atkins writes:

“I bumped into Mark Fullbrook on Friday- husband of my successor as South Ribble MP- and he raised a problem with me…
Is there anything that you can do to elicit the information that he requires from the relevant Commissioner’s office? I gather that it is a bit urgent!”

Above correspondence raises concerns about the extent of tobacco industry influence over the UK Government’s position on plain packaging through C|T|F partners and its founders.

Relationship with the Alcohol Industry

In 2013, the UK Government also abandoned plans to introduce minimum alcohol pricing. The government came under further fire when it was revealed that Crosby had links with the alcohol industry in addition to the tobacco industry.[18]

The Daily Mirror newspaper reported in May 2013 that the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia (DSICA) was listed on C|T Group’s client list in the New South Wales (NSW) register of lobbyists.[18] This Australian trade association has lobbied against the introduction of minimum alcohol pricing.[19]

The NSW Lobby Register further revealed that transnational alcohol company Diageo was a client of C|T Group in 2015, 2016, and 2017.[20]

TobaccoTactics Resources

Relevant Link

C|T Group website

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 C|T Group, Expertise, C|T Group Website, 2017, accessed March 2017
  2. Linkedin, C|T Group Profile, undated, accessed March 2017
  3. E. Casalicchio, Sir Lynton Crosby to advise Boris Johnson campaign to be PM as top Tories back ex-mayor, 28 June 2016, PoliticsHome, accessed March 2017
  4. A. Cowburn, Lynton Crosby knighted for ‘service to politics’ amid controversy over Goldsmith mayoral campaign, 6 May 2016, The Independent , accessed March 2017
  5. 5.0 5.1 C|T Group, Mark Fullbrook, C|T Group Website, 2017, accessed March 2017
  6. UK Parliament, Lorraine Fullbrook, undated, accessed March 2017
  7. D.Abbott, Cameron’s friends in big business hold back progress on public health, "Left Foot Forward", 29 May 2013, accessed March 2017
  8. J. Doward, Campaigners raise alarm over tobacco giants’ lobbying against plain packaging, 2 December 2012, The Guardian , accessed March 2017
  9. 9.0 9.1 M. Metherell, Parties push tobacco firms for funds, "Sydney Morning Herald", 1 March 2000, Truth Tobacco Industry Documents, Bates No: 2083524080/4122, accessed March 2017
  10. Crosby Textor Group, Mark Textor: Managing Director and Co-Founder of Crosby Textor, website archive 19 October 2004, accessed July 2013
  11. S. Jagger, Fax ETS Survey for Philip Morris, 19 May 1998, Truth Tobacco Industry Documents, Bates no: 2065260913, accessed March 2017
  12. Australasian Research Strategies, Philip Morris ETS Survey, 4 March 1998, Truth Tobacco Industry Documents, Bates no: 2065233908-2065233942, accessed March 2017
  13. Philip Morris, Corporate Affairs conference, Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove, August 1998, Truth Tobacco Industry Documents, Bates No:2072523095/3102, accessed July 2013
  14. Philip Morris, Anti Smoking Agenda, Corporate Affairs Conference Presentation, 1998, Truth Tobacco Industry Documents, Bates No: 2072523055/3075, accessed March 2017
  15. G. Eaton, Questions for Cameron over Lynton Crosby’s links to alcohol and tobacco firms, The Newstatesman, 8 May 2013, accessed March 2017
  16. Mark Fullbrook, Email to Sir Atkins, 21 September 2014
  17. Sir Robert Atkins, Email to Philip Bradbourn, 21 September 2014
  18. 18.0 18.1 J. Lyons, Lynton Crosby: David Cameron’s top aide’s links to the alcohol industry revealed, 8 May 2013, The Daily Mirror, accessed March 2017
  19. DSICA, Submission to the Australian National Preventative health Agency. Exploring the Public Interest Case for a Minimum (Floor) Price for Alcohol, August 2012, accessed March 2017
  20. The Register of Third-Party Lobbyists, Crosby Textor Research Strategies Results Pty Ltd, Electoral Commission New South Wales website, accessed March 2017