Ricardo Oberlander

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Ricardo Oberlander has been a member of the British American Tobacco (BAT) management team since 2013.[1]

On 31 December 2017 Oberlander took up the position of President and CEO of Reynolds American (RAI).[2] BAT has owned RAI since July 2017.

Career with British American Tobacco

Oberlander joined BAT’s Brazilian subsidiary Souza Cruz in 1989, and has since held several leadership positions in the tobacco company including:[3][4]

  • Regional Director Americas and Sub-Saharan Africa (October 2017)
  • Chairman of the Board Souza Cruz (2013)
  • Regional Director for the Americas (2013)
  • Global Consumer Director (2012)
  • General Manager and President BAT France (2010)
  • Regional Head of Marketing Americas- including Canada (2009)
  • Regional Head of Marketing Latin America (2007)

Affiliations

In 2016, Oberlander became a member of the Advisory Board of the Latin America arm of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council[1], a global network of over 45,000 marketing executives.

Controversy: Found Guilty of Illegal Tobacco Advertising

When in charge of BAT France, Oberlander and BAT France were sued by the French Non-Smokers’ Rights Association (Les Droits Des Non Fumeurs) for violating French tobacco advertising laws.[5] The case centred around two activities which the complainant argued were acts of unlawful direct publicity or tobacco advertising:[5]

1. A BAT France press release titled “British American Tobacco (BAT) France launches a national campaign to raise consumer awareness of counterfeit cigarettes at 28,000 tobacco shops”, published on the company’s website on 23 July 2010.
2. BAT France’s distribution of a coloured poster titled “False cigarette, true risk” at 28,000 points of sale.

Oberlander and BAT France were both found guilty. Click here for an unofficial translation of the Court’s decision dated 5 October 2012.[6]

In a summary of the case by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, it was reported that the judges ruled that BAT’s actions had denounced the incidence of smuggling and counterfeiting of tobacco products, underscored the risk of counterfeit products to misleadingly reassure consumers of the lesser danger of legal tobacco products, encouraged consumers to consume legal BAT tobacco products, and finally, enhanced the value of the company’s brand, by making people think of their tobacco products.[5]

BAT and Oberlander were jointly fined €200,000.

TobaccoTactics Resources

Relevant Link

British American Tobacco homepage

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 British American Tobacco, Management Board: Our leadership team, undated, accessed September 2017
  2. British American Tobacco, News Release: British American Tobacco announces Management Board changes, 28 November 2017, accessed November 2017
  3. CMO Council, Profile: Ricardo Oberlander, CMO Council website, undated, accessed September 2017
  4. British American Tobacco, Management Board Changes, News Release, 31 August 2017, accessed September 2017
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Smokers’ Rights Association v. British American Tobacco, undated, accessed September 2017
  6. Les Droits Des Non Fumeurs vs British American Tobacco France and Ricardo De Almeida Oberlander. Criminal Court Judgment: Extract of the Minutes of the Clerk of the Court of First Instance of the Judicial District of Nanterre [Unofficial Translation], 5 October 2012