A Public Relations Proposal for ACVA Atlantic, Inc.
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
A Public Relations Proposal for ACVA Atlantic, Inc. is a 1986 public relations plan by Fleishman-Hillard that was designed to help the tobacco industry broaden the issue of secondhand tobacco smoke in workplaces into one encompassing total building ventilation. The idea was to take the attention off of tobacco smoke as a problem in the workplace, and instead refocus the public and policymakers on the broader issue of air quality. The plan involved utilizing an existing company specializing in ventilation systems called Air Conditioning Ventilation Associates Atlantic (ACVA Atlantic) to counter the "emerging problem...that business managers and their workers are being lulled into a false sense of complacency about indoor air pollution by intellectually misdirected 'quick fixes,' such as workplace smoking restrictions or even bans."
The plan involved orchestrating multi-market media tours utilizing ACVA Atlantic President Gray Robertson as the principal "expert" spokesperson. Interviews would be conducted with news media that would promote the "poorly understood risk of 'sick building syndrome.'"
In this way, ACVA Atlantic acted as a front for the tobacco industry, helping it deflect policies specifically regulating tobacco smoke as a point-source of indoor air pollution.
Title A Public Relations Proposal for ACVA Atlantic, Inc.
Author Fleishman Hillard
Collection Tobacco Institute
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