Goddard Global is an international public relations (PR) firm and advocacy agency with offices in London, Brussels, Washington D.C. and Cairo. The company describes itself as “a leading issues advocacy agency with a unique and proven approach.” The company specialises in “multi-discipline campaigns that mobilise support and affect policy outcomes.”
Its website states that Goddard Global has over four decades of experience in more than 40 countries campaigning for policy change. Its services include research, campaign development, creative production, digital architecture, public affairs, social media, grassroots activation and public relations.
Ben Goddard, Founder and Chairman of the firm, worked on former American President Jimmy Carter’s election campaign. Some of the firm’s current clients include automotive company General Motors, Nuclear Threat Initiative, pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, and website developer Mozilla Firefox.
Secretariat for the Common Sense Alliance
The Common Sense Alliance is a group that describes itself as a “growing community who question excessive regulation.” Although it claims it is not a political group, the Alliance and its team have lobbied against many regulatory measures since its creation in 2012, including plain packaging of tobacco products in the UK. British American Tobacco (BAT) is one of the Alliance’s five funders.
In February 2013, a letter from two founding members of the Alliance, Roy Ramm and Peter Sheridan, was presented to Lord Hannay regarding the EU Tobacco Products Directive Revision (TPD). Lord Hannay was the Chair of the House of Lords EU Sub Committee F overseeing the review of the TPD. The letter stressed the potential negative impacts to the illicit trade of tobacco products and the promotion of terrorism as a result of the TPD. In the letter, the authors did not disclose their association with The Common Sense Alliance nor BAT.
A letter from the Tobacco Programme Manager of the UK Department for Health to Goddard Global on 3 April 2013 stated that Global Goddard “acted as an intermediary and sent the letter on behalf of Messrs Sheridan and Ramm.” In April 2013, BAT’s Press Relations Manager confirmed Goddard Global serves as the secretariat for The Common Sense Alliance. In a letter to the UK Department of Health dated 25 March 2013, Malcolm Evans, Director of UK Public Affairs at Goddard Global, again confirmed this relationship:
- “I am an employee of Goddard Global. We are engaged to manage the secretariat of The Common Sense Alliance. We help with the distribution of communications and manage diaries and engagement requirements for the founder members.”
"Engaged" With BAT
Goddard Global is simultaneously employed by BAT, as confirmed in correspondence sent by BAT’s Public Relations Manager in April 2013: “We (BAT) do engage Goddard Global.”
Therefore the agency has links to both the tobacco industry and organisations that are funded by the tobacco industry.
- Goddard Global, Goddard Global Homepage, accessed July 2014
- Goddard Global, About Goddard Global, accessed July 2014
- Goddard Global, Goddard Global Leadership Team, accessed July 2014
- Common Sense Alliance, Common Sense Alliance Homepage, accessed July 2014
- UK Department of Health, Letter from Peter Sheridan to Tobacco Programme Manager, UK Department for Health, 15 April 2013, accessed July 2014
- UK Department of Health, Re: Letter from Tobacco Programme Manager, UK Department for Health to Mr. M. Evans, Director UK Puplic Affairs, Goddard Global, 3 April 2013, accessed July 2014
- British American Tobacco, correspondence from BAT press relations manager regarding Global Goddard, BAT, and Common Sense Alliance, 26 April 2013, accessed July 2014
- UK Department of Health, Re: Letter from Roy Ramm and Peter Sheridan, 25 March 2013, accessed July 2014