A lousy office building at Bulevardul Republicii number 1, a suburban street in Baia Mare, in Maramureș, more isolated and wilder than Transylvania … 100,000 souls 30 km from Ukraine and 45 km from Hungary, but more 600 km from Bucharest: SC Strategic Communications Laboratories Srl was born there on September 27, 2011, where no one should have ever looked for it. A company in which many different forces come together: the executives of Cambridge Analytica – the company that operates Facebook and produces millions of “fake news” and which deeply influenced the election of Donald Trump; the heads of the United Arab Emirates army; the leaders of the multinational Philip Morris and its allies, a far-right lobbying firm called ALEC. In this miserable apartment, a lot is decided today about the fate of the world. And that’s probably not good for anyone.

This project brings together the ambitions and interests of a complex environment which was beaten three times in their greatest adventure and which is now quite disappointed: a) the Trump presidency, which the far right Americans believed it would bring them forever to power ; b) the sheikhs of the emirates, willing to win their war against Qatar, Turkey and Iran; c) Philip Morris, hoping to reverse the unstoppable trend of increasingly restricting rooms where smoking is allowed – and continue to promote tobacco: A billion dollar colossus hanging over the past 20 years has avoided colossal losses only thanks to the rise in consumer prices.

Fortunately, Trump failed and was able to give only one last gift to his loyal sponsors: he freed from prison all the loyal allies of his presidency who, for various reasons (electoral fraud, tax evasion, espionage, perjury, conspiracy against the nation, cocaine trafficking) had found themselves there over the past few months[1] – a shameful episode unprecedented in the history of the United States of America.

Global renaissance plan kicks off in Romania

The headquarters of the offices of SC Strategic Communication Laboratories Srl Baia Mare in Romania


Trump’s move is the very last fight signal from someone who still doesn’t believe they’ve lost and may be preparing to apply again in four years – so he needs all his old friends, and he needs them. hide, so that they can prepare themselves quietly, between themselves, until the moment when public opinion is ready to forget its previous faults. Romania is a brilliant idea: no tax havens where every curious person can poke their nose. Much better a poor and peripheral country which does not interest anyone and where it is difficult for anyone to ask questions.

The idea came from the Mercer family and the Oakes family, who are among the founders, major shareholders and managers of Cambridge Analytica and its holding company, the SCL Group[2]. Alexander Oakes founds SC Strategic Communication Laboratories Srl Baia Mare (SC Baia Mare), whose aim is to prepare and support political and industrial projects in Romania, and appoints Dan Avram Sabin Mureșan[3], the son of the former Romanian minister of the Agriculture Ioan Avram Mureșan, as Managing Director – a few weeks after the founding of SC Baia Mare, when Mureșan’s father was sentenced to seven years in prison and a few years later to three further years in prison[4].

The young Muresan is sent on a mission to Africa, where he works on the presidential campaign of Uhuru Kenyatta, son of the first great president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta. Uhuru came to the polls after changing sides several times to maintain the post of prime minister[5]. His main opponent is controversial former cabinet minister George Saitoti (a man of former President Daniel Arap Moi[6] who has been embroiled in numerous political and financial scandals[7]), who appears to have an advantage in the polls a year before the vote.

Officially, Mark Turnbull is the head of the Cambridge Analytica delegation in Nairobi, but Kenyans soon realize that the two men have different roles and methods[8]. As a documentary by the English TV Channel 4 shows, Muresan and SC Baia Mare do not limit themselves to corruption and propaganda on social media, but also use extortion, espionage and physical threats[9]. Ultimately, Uhuru Kenyatta will win the 2013 election[10].

Saitoti and Muresan will not see the election for several reasons. On June 10, 2012, the Kenyan police Eurocopter AS350 helicopter, in which Saitoti and all of his key associates were traveling from Nairobi to Ratang’a (a village where a campaign rally was to take place), fell into the jungle and exploded[11]. Police have good reason to suspect it was an attack and are launching an investigation, which was suspended after Kenyatta’s appointment[12]. A few days later, Muresan was found dead in his hotel room. Apart from the extreme embarrassment of the Kenyan authorities, nothing official will be known of this death[13].

Muresan’s place at the head of SC Baia Mare will be taken over by Petre Ludovic Imre, who has spent the last 20 years at the head of Philip Morris Romania as an adviser on SME lobbying campaigns in the Romanian Parliament[14]. SC Baia Mare and Imre have founded a joint consultancy company, Compania de Soluţii Impala Srl, whose main client is of course PMI, which guarantees orders to CS Impala of around 250,000 euros per year[15].

Imre is only a manager at SC Baia Mare: the sole shareholder of SC Baia Mare is SC Strategic Communication Laboratories Ltd. Tunbridge Wells[16], renamed SCL Group Ltd. Tunbridge Wells[17] after the Cambridge Analytica scandal exploded in August 2015. The company will go into liquidation in April 2019[18], while its subsidiaries will be transferred to Emerdata Ltd. West Malling[19]. Imre is not left out and creates a multitude of companies operating in the fields of communication, radio and television production, management of commercial and political advice and a printing house – all subsidiaries of SC Baia Mare[20].

Philip Morris International’s factory in Otopeni, a suburb north of Bucharest – a factory that invested 490 million euros [21]

In March 2017, SC Baia Mare signed a US $ 60,000 per year lobbying agreement with Andrae & Associates Inc. Washington[22] asking to “provide government relations, communications advice and public services on behalf of SCL Social in the part of its anti-corruption efforts in Romania[23]. The company in question is SCL Social Ltd. Tunbridge Wells, a unit of the SCL / Cambridge Analytica group that has signed a cooperation agreement with the government of the United Arab Emirates on propaganda, espionage and military campaigns against Qatar[24].

The contract also reads as follows: “Activities may include communicating with members of the United States Congress and their staff and / or members of the executive about anti-corruption efforts in Romania and possibly the participation in meetings organized by SCL. Social activities may include communicating with representatives of various organizations (…) on behalf of SCL Social[25]. We do not know who the Romanian clients were, who are looking to hire SCL. In this regard, the name of the Social Democratic Party has been in the press, which surprisingly won the last elections, but the PSD categorically and officially denied ever having worked with Cambridge Analytica or any of its affiliates[26].

It is important to know that by the time of the signing of the contract, the Cambridge Analytica scandal had already exploded in all major global and international media, so that SCL Social was liquidated in the months that followed[27]. The current contracts went to SCL Analytics Ltd. Tunbridge Wells, which after its liquidation transferred all of its assets to Emerdata Ltd. West Malling[28].

The president of Andrae & Associates is the Romanian-American Charles N. Andrae III, who worked on Capitol Hill for 13 years, including four years on the Special Senate Committee on Intelligence and five years as chief of staff of the Republican Senator from Indiana Richard Lugar[29] – one of the most influential politicians of the Reagan era, continuously elected to Congress from 1976 to 2012, was a White House candidate in the 1996 presidential election, an expert on international policy, strictly conservative against abortion, but in favor of the agreements with Cuba, the agreement between the United States and the USSR on the mutual dismantling of nuclear missiles, supporters of the military alliance with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and fierce opponent of apartheid in South Africa[30].

Charles N. Andrae III actively participates in Lugar’s campaign to support the development of the multi-party system in Bulgaria, Romania and South Africa. From 2004 to 2008, he was part of a Department of Defense program that is still considered a “state secret” with respect to US military policy in the Middle East[31].

Not even this secret, because Andrae works for Lapis Communications Ltd. Dubai commissioned the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation[32] in the media campaign titled “Qatar: A Dangerous Alliance[33] involving Andrae & Associates, which produced a documentary demonstrating Qatar’s links to UAE-sponsored terrorism[34].

Lapis Communications is a lobbying and advertising campaign company[35] controlled by the Kabul-based Moby Media Group[36], the first and largest radio and television group in the new Afghanistan, owned by the Mohseni family and linked by close friendship with the American magnate Rupert Murdoch[37]. Among the various joint activities of Lapis, Moby Group and the USAID program for Afghanistan are promoting a business alliance with Habib Gulzar International Llc Kabul for the distribution of Philip Morris and Kraft Foods products in Afghanistan[38].

The whole SCL Social project is different from that associated with Cambridge Analytica: it is applied in poor regions of the world or in countries controlled by a monarchy, a dictatorship, a theocracy starting with India[39], Kenya[40], Malta[41], Mexico, Romania[42], Nigeria[43], Czech Republic[44], Trinidad[45] and Argentina[46]. In the rest of this dossier, we read how the strategy differs greatly between rich and poor countries: in countries with an established democratic system, the SCL project uses lobbying and attempts to influence public opinion through the use of social networks and information[47].

Elsewhere, however, SCL allies with an internal force and continues to gain control of the military and retail[48] – and therefore appears to be a growing market for multinational companies like Philip Morris who are not thirsty for appetizing political power but economic success. The involvement of this company in the activities of Cambridge Analytica is so new and strange that it needs to be explained up front.

A story of great worldwide success

The store at 22 Bond Street, London, where the adventure of Philip Morris, the world’s largest cigarette manufacturer, began in 1847

Bond Street was a mid-19th century commercial street at the end of central Oxford Street which turned left onto Piccadilly and was built on the site of the Duke of Albemarle in the early 18th century. He had lived in the huge Clarendon House a century earlier under Edward Hyde, King Charles II’s chief political adviser[49]. The King, who had been supported by Hyde during the Civil War which led to the restoration of the monarchy, granted the Duke much of the land which made this family very wealthy[50] and allowed them to build the Mayfair Quarter – which is still the true center of the English capital[51].

There, in the spring of 1847, a tobacconist, Philip Morris, who was closely associated with the East India Company, opened an imported cigar and cigarette store[52] which became so famous in fifty years that he was chosen as official supplier to British royalty – and although Philip Morris is in a very tough competition with one of the stores nearby, Benson & Hedges (whose brands have been owned by the Philip Morris Group since 2008[53]). The business continued to grow, forcing the Morris family at the turn of the century to sell the business to an American businessman, William Curtis Thomson, who decided to keep the business in London but relocate the center. manufacturing and trading in New York[54].

A store on Bond Street is necessary if you want to be part of the cream of international commerce: even then, this is a street known for its stores that offer products from around the world and of exclusive quality and which still have an invaluable reputation: Sotheby’s, Bonhams, Fenwick, Tiffany’s and others ensure that Bond Street remains the most expensive and busiest shopping street in Europe today[55].

Through exclusivity and quality, Philip Morris has grown into a giant in a hundred years: a multinational corporation that to avoid problems with US and EU antitrust rules[56] and prevent billions of civil lawsuits from clients around the world – the courts had started to take responsibility for recognizing tobacco manufacturers among smokers with cancer and compensating them economically[57]. Between 2003 and 2007, the group split into three multinational companies: Altria, PMI and Mondelēz.

The first, Altria, is in the United States ($ 25 billion in revenue and 7,300 employees in 2019[58]). The second company is called Philip Morris International (PMI) and is officially headquartered in Lausanne ($ 29.8 billion in revenue and 73,500 employees in 2019[59]), although it continues to be managed from one headquarters. At New York[60]. The division is so incomprehensible that after the change of political wind in Washington, management is now considering a possible reunification of the two groups[61], given that new proceedings are now pending simultaneously against Altria and PMI[62]. The third, bought in 1988 and sold in 2007[63], is currently one of the five largest agri-food groups in the world[64]: Kraft Foods (80,000 employees and 25.9 billion dollars turnover in 2018[65]), which is called Mondelēz International since 2012[66].

It’s easy to calculate the sum: it’s over $ 80 billion a year in total – not bad when you consider that wealthy Luxembourg does not exceed an annual turnover of $ 63 billion[67]. If you can imagine an industrial group that could be part of a gigantic global conspiracy, the circle that unites these three companies is certainly one of the most attractive candidates – also because, as mentioned, it does not grow as fast, especially in these sensitive commodity sectors, without being wiped out by legal issues.

Toxic waste, deforestation, carcinogens: a multinational nightmare

The Mondelēz Group’s cocoa industry secretly cultivates in the national parks of Ghana and the Ivory Coast and then destroys thousands of plants each year, wiping out elephants and chimpanzees where they should have been protected[68]

These legal problems are of a different nature. Kraft Foods, for example, has been condemned for its factories in Ontario that dump phosphorus and other toxic liquids into water[69]. He was then forced to change his packaging system after Greenpeace proves Kraft was involved in massive deforestation in Asia[70]; but most of the problems were with chemical ingredients added to food – a long and disturbing list[71]. Many of the protests ended in court because the various Kraft products were found guilty of serious cardiovascular disease, even diabetes, cancer, or other very serious illnesses[72].

As for Mondelēz, the environmental damage claims are quite serious. In 2017, Washington-based NGO Mighty Earth[73] revealed that the cocoa used in several of the group’s products harvested in Ghana and Ivory Coast is secretly and illegally produced and collected in national parks[74] – a modus operandi this has led to a very serious depletion of protected forests and the extermination of elephants and chimpanzees by starvation, which in theory should be strictly protected in these national parks[75].

According to other studies, palm oil producers who work exclusively for Mondelēz around the world destroyed 70,000 hectares of virgin forest in just three years, between 2015 and 2017[76] – an area of ​​more than half of the municipality of Rome, Paris or Madrid. Additionally, in 2015, Kraft Foods purchased multi-million dollars flour with the intention not to sell it but to take it off the market, thus illegally raising consumer prices[77].

The list of sanctions imposed on Philip Morris is also impressive: in Australia, PMI was fined $ 50 million after a ten-year legal fight (in 2017)[78]. A similar battle was lost in the UK in 2014[79]. In the European Union, PMI was fined 1.25 billion euros for smuggling cigarettes for circumventing tax rules[80]. Philip Morris cigarettes are banned in Norway and the company has lost a lengthy and costly lawsuit in trying to lift the ban[81]. The same thing happened in Uruguay in 2016[82].

The main sanction that fundamentally changed the approach of the three multinationals to politics, law enforcement and market strategy was that of Judge Gladys Kessler, who praised Altria and PMI in August 2006 for extortion, fraud and counterfeiting in the social field. The communication was doomed – based on a strategic decision taken in 1953, when scientists at Philip Morris had already documented the fact that smoking is seriously harmful to health and decided to remain silent and, on the contrary, to spend billions on propaganda to do so. To assert the contrary[83].

Millions of dollars between lobbying and corruption

The annual meeting of the ALEC, an organization that loves secrecy and receives tens of millions of dollars each year to pass racist, discriminatory and anti-democratic laws against consumer rights and in favor of arms factories, banks and multinationals[84]

This decision has immediate effects. Between 2008 and 2014, Altria spent $ 101 million on a lobbying campaign with American politicians in order to minimize anti-smoking laws in public[85]. Altria’s payroll includes historic parties as well as dozens of congressmen, commissions of inquiry and civic organizations[86] – for a sum that exceeded $ 10.4 million in 2019 alone[87]. Altria and PMI founded an association in 1993 (and still sponsor, with various steel and oil industries) called TASSC (The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition), which opposes all measures to protect health, safety and of labor protection and the environment before Congress proposed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency[88].

One of the leaders of Altria, Daniel Smith, is a member of the Private Enterprise Board of an organization of conservative fundamentalists, almost all members of the Republican Party[89]: the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In 2011, Smith took over from Toby Spangler, head of Altria’s lobbying office at ALEC[90], who left the company to take a better position at Diageo[91], a Scottish spirits maker[92].

Another director of Altria, Amanda Klump, was a member of the ALEC tax policy working group until a year ago[93]. Brandie Davis, chief lobbyist for Altria, also heads the ALEC International Relations Working Group, which deals with ALEC clients outside of the United States[94]. Members of the ALEC board of directors included Scott Walker, former director of government affairs for the PMI group, and W. Preston Baldwin III, who now heads US Tobacco Inc. South Bend, Indiana, an Altria group company[95].

It was not Philip Morris who was looking for ALEC, but the opposite. In 1979, when ALEC was reestablished, CEO Kathleen Teague wrote to all executives of multinational tobacco companies to explain what ALEC could have done for them – and two years later Samuel Chilcote, then chairman of the lobby of TI Tobacco Industry, was seated with a confidential ALEC senior management meeting with President Ronald Reagan[96].

In the following years, one of the ALEC academics, Victor Schwarz, who had been an influential contributor to the ALI American Law Institute since the days of Reagan – one of the oldest lobbying firms and the most effective in America – worked primarily for the interests of Philip Morris, so intensely that he is still considered the keynote speaker for this multinational tobacco company within the ALEC[97].

The same is true of two other leaders of ALEC: Ohio Senator Bill Seitz[98] and Pennsylvania Senator Seth Grove[99] – both Republicans. Another board member, Prof. Richard Kent Vedder, has worked in the tobacco industry for over 35 years and heads another association, the Buckeye Institute, a type of “right-hand” that ALEC[100], Philip Morris and Kraft Foods often sustain with money for some of the projects that were organized by Professor Vedder[101].

From that point on, the Philip Morris Group began to work actively with the association, often through the leading lobbying and law firm Burson-Marsteller: “ALEC used its prestige and authority to increase Philip Morris’s political views to the head of government. In 1995, Jim Ramsay, speechwriter for PMI, wrote (…) a letter to then-President Bill Clinton expressing the ACLA’s opposition to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) tobacco regulation) the United States“.

An internal Philip Morris presentation in 2001 titled “Legislators, Policy Makers and Allies 2001 Planning” discussed the company’s need to forge alliances with political parties, and ALEC was specifically mentioned as the ally that could help PMI to take the initiative vis-à-vis politics (instead of consumers and health associations) and e reshape the debate on the health risks of passive smoking, shifting the focus from health to a debate on “informed choice[102].

Within the ALEC, the leaders of Altria and PMI launched a political advocacy campaign entitled “Can Tobacco Cure Smoking?” conceived and launched ten years ago and funded with money mainly coming from anti-tobacco associations – associations which support ALEC for reasons clearly different from those of this campaign[103]. The main goal of multinational tobacco companies is to endorse a series of programs grouped together under the lobbying umbrella called the YSP Youth Smoking Prevention Programs[104], which, despite their name, are only aimed at preventing the ban. to smoke for young people under the age of 21[105].

Ronald Reagan and his first wife Jean Wyman, before being elected president, were still actors and witnesses of the Philip Morris group[106]

Even Mark Bordas, director of Juul, the Altria Group’s electronic cigarette brand, has become a frequent visitor to ALEC meetings where strategies are discussed[107]. The official spokesperson for the ALEC, Tim Jones, was the vice president of TV-sales Mondelēz until 2017[108]. It’s not an exclusive club: the membership roster includes major US corporations and members of Parliament from all states of the United States – sometimes enough for a majority in the local parliament[109].

ALEC is known to promote the law against immigration, against union protection of workers, against environmental regulations, against the introduction of a ban on buying weapons without control, in favor of the death penalty, against homosexual rights, against laws that give access to the poor to allow their medical protection, protection of hospitals and pensions, against racial integration, against the regulation of commercial cartels, against laws on banking transparency, against no-smoking laws[110] – and finally, this powerful lobby lines their pockets with millions of dollars to implement the suggestions of those with enough money to legislate[111].

The organization has been a political point of reference for LegaNord leader Matteo Salvini for years, who likes to quote Arthur Betz Laffer, former economic adviser to old Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former Treasury Secretary George Shultz and the Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Donald Trump[112]; one of the most influential members of the ALEC for a quarter of a century as a mentor on issues of economic policy[113]. Another ALEC board member, Virginia Congresswoman Kathy Byron[114], chaired the research and development committee of the Tobacco Community Revitalization Commission, which works on behalf of Virginia growers and in partnership with Altria and PMI (among others) for over twenty years to fight until the end of smoking bans in America[115].

ALEC has a real price for access not to the services but to the sessions in which the services are offered. Altria pays an annual membership fee of $ 50,000 per year for access to ACLEC meetings. However, payment for campaigns is then paid separately[116]. The ALEC operates as a highly confidential organization: the list of clients, politicians on its payroll, their advisers and its financiers is not disclosed[117], although over the years the number of legal initiatives attempting to Forcing them to introduce transparency measures has increased[118].

The PMI group, meanwhile, is primarily active in Europe and spends (officially) 1.5 million euros and 4.7 million dollars per year[119] (in 2019 a total of 5.2 million dollars[120]) on donations. Most go to political associations in Eastern Europe, to certain German political parties (Social Democrats, Christian Democrats, Liberals and Christian Socialists[121]) and to non-profit organizations (such as Caritas in Switzerland or Antoniano Onlus of Bologna: the association which “Festival dello Zecchino d’Oro” – (it’s strange that a multinational tobacco company finances a singing event for preschool children)[122]. In Brussels, PMI has a lobby manager, Kristof Doms, who has a budget of 1.5 million euros[123].

Unsurprisingly, we qualify the figures invested by Altria and PMI as “official”: for years, the European Union’s supervisory authorities have been investigating possible secret references that are much more important (and therefore illegal) than those declared publicly[124]. We talk about it in other articles of this dossier: there are many other issues that are paid to parties or political figures in Italy and France[125]. And yet: even calculating only publicly approved figures, the European Union’s PMI is the first and most generous lobbyist in the market[126]. The aim of this generosity[127] is to boycott European laws on the prohibition of smoking and their regular revision[128].

As for Mondelēz, the calculation is more difficult because the company recognizes various contributions for lobbying purposes[129]. However, these are listed on the official pages of the congress, broken down by individual group company: in 2019, we are talking about $ 1.35 million for Kraft Heinz Company[130], $ 680,000 for Mondelēz International and Mondelēz Global[131]. In Brussels, Mondelēz has a lobbying officer, Francesco Tramontin, whose annual budget is just over 200,000 euros[132]. The budget available to Kraft Heinz lobbying boss Nigel Dickie is lower: only 25,000 euros in 2019[133]. Almost nothing compared to the expenses of Altria and PMI. The official political recipients of contributions are only correctly indicated by Mondelēz in a special annual publication[134].

The great fight against smoking and harmful foods

A worldwide no smoking map: countries in white, yellow and pink are almost without restrictions. Those in orange are prohibited in public but are allowed to smoke in bars, restaurants and dance halls; those in red and brown are those who generally or absolutely prohibit smoking in public[135]

These expenditures were necessary because, especially after World War II, the global political awareness of the damage caused by smoking (from 1962[136]) and the adulteration of processed foods led to a growing series of bans and controls[137]. The history of the fight against smoking was born with the commercialization of tobacco in Europe, starting with Pope Urban VII in 1590 (excommunication of those who smoke or chew tobacco in the church[138]), then in German-speaking countries and in England in 1604 with an edict from King James I[139], followed by the publication (1623) of a treatise (1623) by the English philosopher Francis Bacon, which first analyzed the harmful effects of smoking on health and social life[140].

This struggle has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of cigars and cigarettes sold around the world during this century. Between 1990 and 2004, approximately 5.6 trillion cigarettes were still sold[141]. That number rose to 6,320 billion in 2012, then fell to a negative record of 5,426 billion cigarettes in 2020 – in a situation where major domestic markets, both Chinese and US, continue to grow steadily regardles[142]s.

The average number of cigarettes smoked per capita has increased from 825 (2012) to 678 (2020), and the incomes of multinational tobacco companies have only been able to maintain the level of twenty years ago because the average price of ‘a cigarette of 30 cents per capita The dollar (2012) has increased to 43 cents (2020). Between 2012 and 2020, global cigarette market sales grew from $ 647 billion to $ 767 billion, aided by sales of $ 234 billion in China (30.5% of total sales) – a market that was completely inaccessible to consumers. multinational tobacco companies 25 years ago[143].

This means that in the western world in the twenty-first century, per capita consumption has dropped from 825 cigarettes to just 471 … that’s a staggering 57% drop, and the trend for the next few years is only positive for them. China and United States[144]. If you look at the evolution of consumer tastes, the result for Altria and PMI is terrifying. In 2002, Marlboro (the main brand of the group) controlled 38% of the global market[145] – today the whole Altria + group Philip Morris does not even reach 14%[146] and the only region of the world where consumption has really increased is Asia, with China at the top[147].

It doesn’t look better for Mondelēz. While Nestlé ranked first among global food companies with sales of $ 93.2 billion in 2019, Kraft Heinz was in tenth place ($ 26.2 billion) and Mondelēz in eleventh place ($ 25.9 billion)[148]. For Mondelēz, it is “only” a loss of 0.3% year-on-year, thanks to the purchase of several competitors and the success of speculative financial transactions[149]. According to initial calculations, Kraft Heinz suffered a debacle in 2020 and fell from 126 to 548 in the Forbes ranking of large companies[150]. Just five years ago, in 2015, Kraft and Altria were the most popular targets for managers around the world[151].

Thousands upon thousands of chickens are kept alive and slaughtered in appalling “forced moulting” conditions[152]

The history of controls in the food chain is as old as the world, but over the past twenty years regulations have been harmonized in almost every country on the planet and have become more difficult to circumvent. In Mesopotamia, the Hammurabi dynasty ruled between 2000 and 1600 BC[153], over the region of present-day Iraq, and published the first major legislative body in the capital Babylon around 1750: a Cyclopean work in which, among the thousand editions, the production, storage and sale of wheat, oil, beer and animal meat was regulated, with very severe penalties for those who sold without a license or without complying with the law – for example, those who had diluted the beer received the death penalty – by hanging[154].

In the Roman Empire, the greatest attention was paid to the serious consequences for the health of the population of poor hygiene in the slaughter and sale of fish and meat[155] – attention and severity which increased in the Middle Age, increasing the consumption of meat and vegetables, and the geographical distance between the producer and the consumer has increased. The first guilds were born in Italy around 1200 – a form of self-regulation by a professional association (called Beccai) that oversees the control of the slaughter, storage, quality and preservation of food[156]. Controls, especially in slaughterhouses, from Italy were extended to all of Europe in the 19th century: Austria, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Poland, United Kingdom, Greece, Egypt, Persia, Turkey, Scandinavia, Spain and Russia[157].

After World War II, the birth and expansion of multinational food companies made them the richest company in the world. As a result, it became necessary to harmonize hygiene laws and guarantees at the international level – this was also developed in Europe in the 1960s and only later elsewhere – and this has historically been the legal provisions of the Common Market. European Union and later the European Union, which develop regulations in greater detail down to the smallest detail[158].

It is a discipline in which multinationals find leeway to exert political pressure in critical areas such as genetic modification, battery breeding, intensive agriculture, synthesis and genetic modification of manufactured foods[159]. Legislation around the world has become extremely complex and evolving. The sign of the influence of multinational companies is evident not only in EU legislation, but also in the establishment and confirmation of private certification bodies around the world – and therefore they are not subject to any independent scrutiny[160].

The impact of multinationals on daily life

Two of the most famous advertising ideas in history: Marlboro cigarettes as a symbol of masculinity, savagery and freedom[161] and as a sponsor of Formula 1 with Ferrari and McLaren[162]

The Marlboro brand, the one with the pretty cowboys, was originally launched in 1924 and was a filtered cigarette (which was then considered a feminine product[163]), offered as the ‘real’ status symbol for emancipated and concerned girls. of fashion. It wasn’t until 1954 that Leo Burnett created the ad that launched the Man on Horseback campaign which became the most successful and socially penetrating campaign in the world after Coca-Cola[164]. During these years, the legislative field was quite free from rules, and the advertising was free to suggest any mental association, lying if necessary.

The strategies of multinational companies, especially food and tobacco, which have always been at the forefront, were already no longer focused on the main need (Buy it, because we have it need to survive), but on the link between consumption and happiness (Buy it, because it gives you a winning image and a success)[165]. In this context, one of the most effective strategies is to successfully sponsor products from other segments – and in this area too, Marlboro has always been a leading brand thanks to the decision to sponsor Ferrari and McLaren[166].

The Kraft Group took a different path: turning advertising into a media event that for years (1947-1955 as the Kraft Television Theater[167], 1956-1965 as the Kraft Suspense Theater[168]) produced a series of successful national television, which have been realized from the best directors and the most famous actors of Hollywood.

In the opulent society in which we Westerners live (and which also has a huge influence on consumption in developing countries), it is more than the quality of products that is almost exclusively concerned with the sublimation of psychological needs by the purchase – but not the fact that it is more or less urgent. This can be seen in the spread of very expensive modern communication devices that have to be replaced almost every year. This creates growing problems of frustration, depression and anti-social behavior, which for 50 years have persuaded governments to use increasingly stringent rules to limit the effects of advertising, preceded by the smoking ban introduced in United States in 1970[169].

This ban has been followed by others, notably within the European Union[170] and at the initiative of the WHO (World Health Organization)[171]: one for sports sponsorship, one for misleading advertising and one for smoke in public. Yet Altria and Philip Morris remain totally avant-garde as they increasingly sponsor theaters, museums, art exhibitions, and film events[172]. It’s not enough. As we have seen, sales go down, legal fees go up. It is not enough to influence those who buy. You have to influence those who decide what to buy.

The neo-lobbyism of the American right

Steve Bannon, leader of the fundamentalist right and world national populist, former political adviser to Donald Trump, founder of Cambridge Analytica, alongside Kellyanne Fitzpatrick Conway, former campaign official and later press spokesman for Donald Trump, inventor of so-called “alternative truths”, shareholder of PMI Philip Morris International and Kraft Heinz[173]

The corruption of political figures is as old as the world. It has a serious aftertaste: the population suffers from an affront, violence, humiliation, severe oppression. The explosion of social networks and the globalization of political debate offer a new way of influencing both citizens and their political and military representatives. A generation of technologically capable entrepreneurs is growing up in the United States: mercenaries, bodyguards, spy technology, data organization systems that can divide the population according to tastes, opinions, passions and inclinations to form a daily feeling: a politics of opportunism and extremes A cynicism which takes no account of any ideology, serves only to create a consensus managed for the benefit of its own customers.

The first manager of this new generation is Erik Prince, a former US Navy officer and firefighter[174] who worked for George Bush’s speechwriter and Ronald Reagan, California Senator Dana Rohrabacher, before being selected to join. of a suicide squad in several theaters of war (as he claims in his autobiography) – an experience brought to him by the idea of ​​a modern business of spies, mercenaries and bodyguards, operating alongside the regular army and secret service, or perhaps just for private use[175].

This company will be called Blackwater Worldwide and will have a secret training ground that will train thousands of highly specialized technologically and physically mercenaries[176] that Prince worked with between 1997 (the year of Blackwater’s birth) and 2010 (the year the US government launched the business (court withdrew its cooperation and banned it) will earn more than $ 2 billion in military contracts, plus $ 600 million from the CIA, plus other money that will never be known as they are classified as highly confidential transactions be classified[177].

Blackwater is spiraling out of the regular army’s control. Prince takes pride in assassinations in the most dangerous places on earth[178]. This will lead to a crisis and force Prince to sell the business. The US government will block all withdrawals and convince the new owners to change the name from Blackwater to Academi[179]: On September 16, 2007, Blackwater mercenaries shoot at Nisour Square in Baghdad, which is full of people like every market day – they kill 17 unarmed civilians and injure 20 others difficult[180]. The massacre makes no sense, also because the Iraqis are allies of the United States after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime and the Blackwater mercenaries are there to support and train the new national police force[181].

Those responsible for the massacre are convicted by an American court, then pardoned by Donald Trump[182]. Prince is rescued by UAE Defense Minister and Regent Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan for calling on him to train R2[183]: an army of mercenaries capable of carrying out military operations in enemy territory if necessary without formal declaration of war; or it can eliminate political opponents and critics, or perhaps just industrial competitors[184].

With the money earned in Dubai, Prince grows as an entrepreneur around the world, ending up in Kenya, among others, where his new Frontier Service Group (FSG) buys two private airlines, Kijipwa Aviation and Phoenix Aviation, but President Kenyatta refuses to license companies – Prince’s purchase is not based on a civil aviation project, but rather on an oil export service from warring South Sudan[185].

But Erik Prince is someone who, when cornered, immediately has a new idea. Instead of changing his position to return to the good graces of the American government, he decides to participate in a radical transformation of this government to adapt it to him. Over the past 15 years, a strange and unprecedented alliance has emerged of converging interests – likely due to the fact that Philip Morris law firms have defended Prince and his mercenaries in grueling investigations and humiliating trials – like David Boies, lawyer for many Hollywood stars and for years a close friend of Prince and lawyer of PMI[186]; and the Burson-Marsteller law firm, whose lawyer Robert Tappan first worked for the US State Department in Baghdad, then headed Blackwater in Iraq and became a member of one of the largest law firms in the country. Tappan brings with him two main clients: Blackwater and Philip Morris[187]. Besides Tappan, Mark Penn, member of the board of directors of Burson-Marsteller, takes care of these clients. He was Bill Clinton’s campaign strategist before joining the law firm[188].

Something essential that unites many of the people named here is their membership in organizations of white supremacism and Christian fundamentalism[189] – the reason for the birth of the friendship and collaboration between Erik Prince and Steve Bannon[190], the great strategist of Donald Trump and the election campaign. Co-founder of the SCL group and Cambridge Analytica[191]. Besides Philip Morris, Rebekah Mercer, daughter of the founder of Cambridge Analytica (Robert Mercer) and majority shareholder of the SCL group, is one of the main financial supporters of Donald Trump’s election campaign[192]. Following his election as president, their alliance prompted Trump to appoint Betsy Prince DeVos, Erik’s sister, to head a program to Christianize America’s public schools[193].

An alliance that led banker Gary Cohn to the White House as President Trump’s economic adviser. Cohn is the former CEO of Goldman Sachs: a man who reports an annual profit of $ 675 million. At the President’s staff meetings, Cohn was in good company with Steve Bannon (political adviser) and Kellyanne Conway (spokesperson and press secretary)[194]. An alliance that was formed long ago when Cohn and Conway became major shareholders in several companies: Philip Morris[195], Altria, Mondelēz and Kraft Heinz[196].

Ms. Conway is a partner in the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, whose principal clients have been Philip Morris International for a quarter of a century and which is frequently represented by Ms. Conway personally[197]. Conway herself, who led Trump’s election campaign, received $ 1.1 million from the campaign itself, but also $ 325,000 from the Make America Number One Association, whose main sponsor is Robert Mercer, founder of Cambridge Analytica and the SCL Group[198].

Not all ties are limited to the United States: Among the financial backers of the British election campaign in 2015, David Cameron received donations from Alexander Nix, executive director of Cambridge Analytica, and Philip Morris International[199]. Posting these links can harm this group of people and in some cases even be a burden in criminal investigations.

After court rulings against Blackwater, against Philip Morris, against Cambridge Analytica, against key personnel and lobbyists for Donald Trump, against Steve Bannon and the other Theocon extremists (the theory of theocratic and undemocratic capitalism[200]), it all took start over – and also begin to appreciate the lesson of defeat. Maybe to start all over again with an ugly office in a miserable apartment building on the outskirts of a small town on the border between Romania and Ukraine – where no one will ever dream of looking.



[2] 2008.07.21 SCL Group Ltd. Tunbridge Wells

[3] 2011.09.27 SC Strategic Communication Laboratories Srl Baia Mare, pages 19-21


[4] ;



[7] B. Badejo, “Raila Odinga: An Enigma in Kenyan Politics”, Yintab Books, Lagos / Nairobi 2006;



[10] ; ;


[12] ;

[13] 2018.03.21 Daily Nation on Kenya



[16] 2011.09.27 SC Strategic Communication Laboratories Srl Baia Mare, pages 9-11

[17] 2015.08.19 SCL Group Ltd. Tunbridge Wells

[18] 2019.04.17 SCL Group Ltd. Tunbridge Wells, pages 3-6

[19] 2018.08.31 Emerdata Ltd. West Malling, page 7

[20] SC My Coffee Distribution Line Srl, SC Adevărul Holding Srl, SC Adevărul Digital Media Srl, SC Satiricon Srl, SC Adevărul Distribuţie Srl, SC Foto Adevărul Srl, SC Historia Srl, SC Garamond Tipografie Srl, SC Adevărul SA, SC Standard Press Distribution Srl, SC Mediatim Srl, West Tipo International SA, Tipomedia Prod Srl, SC Radio City FM Bucureşti Srl, East Europe Media Distribution Srl, East Europe Media NV Amsterdam, SC Media Promovalores Srl, SC Adevărul Shop Srl, SC Adevărul Multimedia Srl, SC Cărțile Adevărul Srl, SC News & More Srl. Peter Imre è il genero del ministro degli affari esteri rumeno Teodor Meleşcanu, ex amministratore del gruppo Rompetrol, guidato da Dinu Patriciu, socio di Imre – see also

[21] ;





[26] ;

[27] 2017.03.06 SCL Social Ltd. Tunbridge Wells; 2018.05.03 SCL Social Ltd. Tunbridge Wells

[28] 2020.06.15 SCL Analytics Ltd. Tunbridge Wells, pages 8, 10 and 19


[30] ; ; ; ; ;



[33] ;




[37] ;

[38], page 6 ;, page 6

[39] ; ; ; ; ;

[40] ; ;

[41] ; ; ;

[42] ; ;







[49] Tim Moore, “Do not pass, go”, Penguin / Yellow Jersey, London 2002, pages 263-268

[50] Richard Ollard, “Clarendon and his friends”, Macmillans, London 1987, pages 266-276

[51] Tim Moore, “Do not pass, go”, Penguin / Yellow Jersey, London 2002, pages 269-287

[52] ;

[53] ;–Hedges-20080731-0129.html


[55] ;

[56] ; ; ; ;

[57] ; ; ;

[58] ;

[59] ;




[63] ; ; ; ; ;

[64] https://www.Mondelēzēz Corporate/Uploads/downloads/Mondelēz _intl_fact_sheet.pdf

[65] https://www.Mondelēz

[66]ēz -international ; ; https://www.Mondelēz ;



[69] Tom Spears, “The Dirty Dozen Millions of gallons of poisonous muck daily pollute one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. Here’s what 12 of Ontario’s worst offenders are trying to do about it”, in “The Toronto Star” of the 11th of March 1989 – see 1989.03.11 Tom Spears

[70] ;

[71] ; ; ; ;

[72] ; ; ; ; ; ;


[74] ;

[75] ; ;







[82] ; ;

[83] ;



[86] ;


[88] ; ;









[97] ;

[98] ;

[99] ;

[100] ; ;




[104] Lev L. Mandel, Stella Aguinaga Bialous, Stanton A. Glantz, “Avoiding “Truth”: Tobacco Industry Promotion of Life Skills Training”, in “Journal of Adolescent Health” Volume 39, Issue 6, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco 2006, pages 868-879




[108] ;


[110] ; ; ; ; ;

[111] ;

[112] ; ; ;

[113] ;




[117] ; ; ; ;

[118] ; ; ; ;

[119] ;



[122] ;






[128] EU Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) (TPD), in ;








[136] Royal College of Physicians, “Smoking and Health. Summary and report of the Royal College of Physicians of London on smoking in relation to cancer of the lung and other diseases“, Paperback, London 1962; Dr. Luther Leonidas Terry, “Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States”, US Department of Health, Washington 1963


[138] Jack E. Henningfield, ”Nicotine: An old-fashioned addiction”, Chelsea House, London 1985, pages 96-98

[139] ; ; ;

[140] Sir Francis Bacon, “Historia vitae et mortis”, Ravenstein, Amsterdam/London 1623-1636





[145] 2016.01.01 BMJ – Anushree Sharma, Brian V. Fix, Cristine Delnevo, K. Michael Cummings, Richard J. O’Connor, “Trends in market share of leading cigarette brands in the USA: National survey on drug use and health 2002-2013”, BMJ Open Publishing Group, London 2016, page 2 – see also in

[146] ;








[154] Federica Maria Sessa, “L’evoluzione della nozione di “sicurezza alimentare”: dalla normativa italiana a quella comunitaria”, Università di Pisa, Tesi di laurea della Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Pisa 2015, page 2 – see also in

[155] Tiziana Civera, Milo Julini, “Dal naso alle nanotecnologie: evoluzione millenaria delle metodologie ispettive”, Università di Torino, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Torino 2008, page 1

[156] Federica Maria Sessa, “L’evoluzione della nozione di “sicurezza alimentare”: dalla normativa italiana a quella comunitaria”, Università di Pisa, Tesi di laurea della Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Pisa 2015, pages 5-16 – see also in

[157] Pierre Rouxel, “Etude historique comparative de l’hygiène et des règles religieuses des trois religions monothéistes”, Université Toulouse III, Faculté de médecine générale, Toulouse 2015, pages 52-56 – see also in ; Federica Maria Sessa, “L’evoluzione della nozione di “sicurezza alimentare”: dalla normativa italiana a quella comunitaria”, Università di Pisa, Tesi di laurea della Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Pisa 2015, pages 17-36 – see also in

[158] ;, pages 142-168 ;, pages 112-138

[159], pages 139-158

[160], pages 139-158




[164] ;

[165] ; ; ;


[167] ; ; ;

[168] ;




[172] ; ; ; ; ; ;—celebrating-inclusion-and-diversity ;


[174] ; ; ;

[175] Erik Prince, “Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror”, Portfolio / Penguin, Wilmington (Delaware, USA) 2013; ;

[176] 2007.10.22 Newsweek on Blackwater

[177] ; ; ; ; ;



[180] ;,2933,297719,00.html

[181] ; ;,2933,298152,00.html

[182] ;,2933,299370,00.html ; ; ; ; ;

[183] 2011.05.16 NYT on Erik Prince

[184] 2011.05.15 NYT on Erik Prince

[185] ; ; ;

[186] 2018.10.01 NYM on PMI and David Boies

[187] 2007.10.05 Burson and Prince

[188] 2007.10.05 PMI and Mark Penn

[189] 2007.10.22 Newsweek on Blackwater

[190] PMI and Kellyanne Conway, pages 1, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 42, etc.

[191] 2017.04.01 CNN on PMI and Gary Cohn

[192] 2018.01.19 INS on PMI and Rebekah Mercer

[193] 2016.11.24 Trump and Prince

[194] 2017.04.01 CNN on PMI and Gary Cohn


[196] 2017.04.01 CNN on PMI and Gary Cohn; 2017.04.02 ABC on Conway and PMI and Kraft

[197] PMI and Kellyanne Conway, pages 9, 11, 13, 16, 17, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, etc.

[198] PMI and Robert Mercer, pages 24-25

[199] 2015.04.27 PMI and Alexander Nix – No. 3895 e No. 4629


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