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PMI, Vice and me

According to a report in the FT on Thursday:

Tobacco giant Philip Morris International has teamed up with youth-focused Vice Media to promote vaping, in a move that has alarmed health campaigners.

Vice has agreed a deal with PMI to produce sponsored content endorsing ecigarettes, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

One said the deal would cost the tobacco group £5m and that the campaign was due to start in April ...

The latest PMI initiative will be produced by a team of journalists recruited to work for a new online platform on Vice’s UK website.

Full story: Marlboro maker teams up with Vice for vaping push.

A source has since told me the FT article contains “inaccuracies”.

What is not in doubt is that Vice and Philip Morris have worked together before – see Vice Media attacked for making tobacco adverts for Philip Morris (March 2016) – so it's hardly a revelation.

Funnily enough, back in January I was interviewed by a freelance journalist who was writing an article for Vice.

He had been commissioned, he said, to write about the ‘smoking lobbies’.

We met at Boisdale and talked for the best part of two hours.

The article has yet to appear but I’m told it’s due to be published next month.

Update: PMI’s Dr Moira Gilchrist, vice president, Scientific and Public Communications, has tweeted:

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