Operation Rainmaker

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

"Top secret Operation Rainmaker" was a project discussed at March 20, 1990 meeting of Philip Morris executives in 1990 to determine what the tobacco industry should do to reverse the steadily declining social acceptability of smoking. Notes taken at the meeting state,

If we are to truly influence the public policy agenda and the information flow to the populace we must be the media, we must be part of it. The only way to do this is to own a major media outlet... If we are not willing to take this step, then we are not serious about really wanting to change the atmosphere.

Organizations that should be very seriously considered [for acquisition] include:

--Knight Ridder
--Zuckerman's group
--the Copley News Service
--United Press International
--or a major city daily that has access to--and from--all of the major wire services."

To control its ability to spin the science about secondhand smoke to support its position that secondhand smoke wasn't harmful to health, Philip Morris also considered acquiring a popular science magazine "like Omni for the various science (e.g. ETS) issues." [1]

A primary speaker at the meeting is indicated by the initials RWM which most likely stand for R. William "Bill" Murray, who was Vice Chairman of Philip Morris Companies in 1990.

Sourcewatch Resources

Environmental Tobacco Smoke

External Resources

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