June 22, 2022

Letter: Boston Globe should stop advertising for Big Tobacco

You may have noticed, the Boston Globe is again running ads from cigarette corporations. What you probably haven’t noticed is that the scientists featured in this ad campaign objected to their inclusion. And what you certainly haven’t read in the Globe is any critical inquiry about why Big Tobacco is waging this new PR offensive and the Globe is obliging. That’s because, in spite of the Globe’s claim to separate editorial from advertising, coverage of this topic has originated instead from nonprofit news sources unencumbered by the same conflicts of interest.

In attempting to shift the conversation from the Globe’s renewed relationship with Big Tobacco, the manipulative nature of so-called “native advertising,” and what’s actually behind Philip Morris International’s big ad buy (hint: it’s not an altruistic interest in uplifting science), it has taken a page from its sponsor: attack the messenger. After apparently being unresponsive to inquiries prior to the publication of CommonWealth’s story, the Globe is now despairing its rival and the story author saying: “We would expect far more of an organization that undoubtedly holds itself to basic journalism standards.”

Well put. Well put, that is, in describing the attitude of Boston Globe readers toward the city’s paper of record.

Daniel Dorado, Tobacco Campaign Director, Corporate Accountability

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