Dirk Vennix

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Dirk Vennix was appointed Director of Communications at the UK-based Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association (TMA) in 2008. Vennix had a youth marketing background which he said would be useful in the new role: “‘Youth prevention work is a key part of what we’re trying to achieve here,’ he claimed,” PRweek wrote at the time.1
Prior to joining the TMA in May 2008, Vennix worked as the Director of Campaign Operations at Enterprise Insight. A biographical note states that “before joining Enterprise Insight, Dirk worked for Centrica plc, where he fulfilled a range of senior management roles in corporate affairs. He also worked at Liverpool John Moores University as Head of Marketing and Communications. Dirk started his career as a journalist and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (FCIPR).”2
Just under three years later, PublicAffairs announced “Tobacco lobby’s PR chief appointed CEO of Association of British Bookmakers”. Vennix has been actively lobbying for the interest of the gambling industry and high-street bookmakers, or, in his own words: it is his goal “to support and protect the interests of socially responsible betting-shop operators so that they can compete and survive in an austere economic climate”.3

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  1. Matt Cartwell, Youth specialist for tobacco body, PRweek, 23 May 2008, accessed May 2013
  2. Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association, “New Director of Communications at the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association”, Media Release, May 16, 2008.
  3. PublicAffairs, Tobacco lobby’s PR chief appointed CEO of Association of British Bookmakers, 29 March 2011, accessed May 2013