Sean Murray

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Sean Murray is a Director of EUK Consulting. He spent a decade with Philip Morris, joining in 1991 and handling media relations, internal communications and lobbying at the Brussels office. He was appointed Director EU Government Relations in 1999 but joined EUK in 2003 to set up its Brussels office. 1

Defends “Defamatory” and “Misleading” Claims on ETS

Documents from the tobacco archive, show that Murray worked on various issues for Philip Morris including advertising bans and second hand smoke, 2 including attacking the US Environmental Protection Agency for its position on environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). 3
In 1996, Philip Morris launched a four-week campaign that cited a series of scientific studies to claim that passive smoking posed no greater health risk than eating biscuits or drinking milk and chlorinated water.
The European Commission and several European government officials attacked the adverts as misleading. The food industry was so outraged it took Philip Morris to court. “The ads are defaming,” said Diderik Elslander, who headed a Belgian subsidiary of French food company, Danone.

Second Hand Smoke “No Risk” to Health

Sean Murray defended the adverts. “Nobody is saying that biscuits or milk or chlorinated water are dangerous. We’re comparing scientific studies, not products,” said Murray. 4
That same month, June 1996, Murray was the contact for a press release by Philip Morris that quoted David Greenberg, Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Philip Morris: “We believe the scientific evidence shows that second-hand tobacco smoke does not present a meaningful health risk to non-smokers,” said Greenberg. 5

“In Need of Message Points”

One Philip Morris memo argues that Murray “is in need of ‘message points’ regarding pending litigation (state/medicare, class actions, ETS, smoking and health)”. 6

“Neutralize” ECOFIN

Murray attended the Philip Morris Corporate Affairs Europe Retreat in late 1992. One of the outcomes of the meeting was to “neutralize ECOFIN”, the committee of Economics and Finance Ministers of the EU Member States, as regards cigarette tax. 7


Lobbyists and PR People:Arguments and Language:Philip Morris International

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  1. EUK Consulting website, Accessed July 2010
  2. Sean Murray, Project Info, 26 May 1993, Accessed July 2011
  3. Helene Lyberopoulos, Media advertising campaign – ETS, 29 June 1994, Accessed July 2011
  4. Martin Du Bois, “Philip Morris Ad Campaign Under Attack by Food Firms”, Wall Street Journal Europe, 25 June 1996, Accessed July 2011
  5. Philip Morris, Philip Morris Shares Evidence On Second-Hand Tobacco Smoke, Brussels, 13th June 1986
  6. Vic Han, Re: Sean Murray/Brussels, 5 September 1995, Accessed July 2011
  7. Philip Morris, Corporate Affairs Europe Retreat November 30/December 1, 1992 Sofitel Hotel, Brussels, Accessed July 2011