Carrick Graham, Director of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs for British American Tobacco, poses for a photograph September 9, 2005 in Napier, New Zealand. BAT announced today that it will close its Napier plant with the loss of 170 jobs. The Napier plant, formerly the Rothmans factory, produces up to 2.2 billion cigarettes a year for the New Zealand and Pacific Island markets. September 09, 2005| Credit: John Cowpland

Carrick Graham when he was employed as a flack for British American Tobacco. (click to view at Getty Images)

It’s hard to believe, I know, that such an innocent looking guy (above) could possibly be involved in a protracted, commercially motivated series of smear campaigns, taking advantage of a half-wit and his website to personally and repeatedly demean and attack public health advocates.
But look:


And here it is in the news, citing Carrick Graham’s (and his easily-led accomplice’s) apparent “campaign of deliberate and sustained defamation.”…

click to read at

click to read at

Given what we already know from Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, it seems to me Professor Swinburn, Professor Sellman and Shane Bradbrook should be quickly able to dispense with any ‘honest opinion’ fig leaf/defence offered by the slippery PR flack and his ethically-challenged hireling.

You may recall, Hager’s book (and material publicly released by the [alleged] hacker Rawshark/Whaledump) demonstrated Carrick Graham repeatedly spoon-fed ghostwritten “KR [Katherine Rich] hits” to Slater Jnr to publish under his byline – as if they’d been written by Slater Jnr and were his (cough) opinion. Hahaha.

That approach seems deceitful and in bad faith to me. I can imagine a judge finding the repeated personal attacks published on Carrick Graham’s behalf (or for Carrick Graham’s clients, Mrs Rich?) were motivated by malice or commercial considerations. Certainly Slater Jnr appears to have been paid for publishing the smears, just as he was for the apparently Mark Hotchin-funded campaigns against Adam Feeley and Sean Hughes.

The crude and nasty sock puppetry in the PR attack blog’s comments stream also speaks of dishonesty and ill-motivations.

TweetThis won’t be a quick process (legal matters can be sloooow). Slater Jnr is already (typically) talking big (come in, Judith Collins). He’s barking out threats of more smears; hypocritically complaining Carrick Graham’s targets are trying to silence free speech (!); and using the occasion to get his enabler Pete Belt to issue begging letters (‘Wah! They’re suing us! Send money!’) to his cult-like website readers.

It’s good to see these health advocates and professionals pushing back against the dirty PR slime machine run by Carrick Graham and his glove puppet. I wish them well.

– P

PS: Some of us have seen the Slater PR attack blog and its tactics for what they are for ages. I first posted this mini-guide in 2011:


Update: Of course Carrick Graham dresses that up a bit. Here’s an extract from his (unsuccessful?) pitch for services to Nestlé. Look how he specifically mentions Otago University‘s food science programme, and (lol) offers to provide “communications” “countering efforts to demonise Nestlé” and “countering negative commentary”.  So smooth.


Facts are stated to the best of my knowledge and commentary is my honest opinion. Corrections or clarifications are always welcome by email. Comments are open, but may be moderated.
– Best wishes, Peter Aranyi