Landmark Europe

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Landmark Europe is a public affairs and strategic communications firm set up by two prominent lobbyists, Jeremy Kane and Rocco Renaldi. Kane is the founder of Ergo Communications and of European Public Policy Advisers while Renaldi is the former head of Food & Consumer practice with Hill & Knowlton.[1] The new firm has two offices, one in London and the other in Brussels. The firm started out with five staff, managing, initially, four clients, one of which is the World Federation of Advertisers.[2] The firm is, however, secretive about its clients and does not disclose them on its website. It has not registered with the European Commission lobby register in Brussels.

Alcohol industry work

The European Forum for Responsible Drinking hired Landmark Europe to write a report to undermine research harmful to the alcohol industry. An ELSA project (Enforcement of national Laws and Self-regulation on advertising and marketing of Alcohol), coordinated by STAP (National Foundation for Alcohol Prevention in the Netherlands) included representatives from 24 European countries. The two year project was intended to provide an assessment of national alcohol policy, their enforcement and how self-regulation of the advertising and marketing of alcoholic beverages in EU-Member States, applicant countries and Norway functions.[3] The report found that alcohol advertising was attractive to under-age drinkers and encourages increased consumption and that the volume of advertisements young people were exposed to also pushed consumption up.
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Landmark Europe claimed that the report did not provide any evidence of the link between advertising and under-age consumption, were critical of the methodology and accused the authors of using a selective literature review and being out of touch with current European research. [4] This information was taken from the Advertising Association's contribution to the consultation launched by the Scottish Government, “Changing Scotland’s relationship with alcohol". Both the Advertising Association and the alcohol industry have much to fear if restrictions are placed on alcohol advertising.

Landmark Europe also worked on the World Federation of Advertisers's (WFA) brief delivered to the very first meeting of the European Alcohol and Health Forum. The WFA defines its priorities in the brief as "WFA is a founding member of the AHF (European Alcohol and Health Forum) and has submitted commitments to the AHF in partnership with members in the alcohol industry, focusing on initiatives to strengthen self-regulatory mechanisms for alcoholic beverage marketing. WFA is also a member of the Task Force on Marketing Communications. [5]

Food industry work

Landmark Europe advises food industry clients on green issues and seems to be involved with the European Food SCP Roundtable, judging by the following account:

Nestle's Pascal Greverath chairs the environment committee of the CIAA, Europe's food and drink industry confederation. At meetings held with the commission before the SCP action plan was adopted, he says, an approach involving the whole food chain was endorsed. 'But when they went with the retail forum idea, we told them we couldn't support it as a sector and were determined to continue our own sustainable food chain activities.'
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This led to the establishment of the European Food SCP Roundtable, which will focus exclusively on greening the food and drink supply chain. Herbert Aichinger admits producers 'felt a bit sidelined' and that some tension may have existed between producers and large retailers, many of whom produce own-brand products. In an effort to reach out to producers, the commission opted to co-chair the roundtable as it does the retail forum.
The main priority for both the food roundtable and the retail forum is to develop a reliable methodology for assessing the environmental impacts of products. 'Initiatives such as ecodesign and labelling aren't possible without first developing life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodologies', explains Rocco Renaldi, the founder of Landmark Europe, an EU consulting firm that advises food sector clients on sustainability issues. 'The LCA method you choose is potentially fundamental in determining which sectors or brands gain a competitive advantage,' he adds.[6]

Nanotechnology

In July 2009 Landmark Europe released a report on nanotechnology, the use of matter in the form of extremely small particles.[7]

Nanotechnology is already used in consumer products such as food packaging and cosmetics. However, regulation is lagging behind the application of the technology, which some scientists say poses unique risks.[8]

According to a Friends of the Earth report of 2008, untested nanotechnology is being used in more than 100 food products and packaging including; nutritional supplements, flavour and colour additives, cling wrap and chemicals used in agriculture. It said existing regulations in the US did not require testing or labelling for nanomaterials when they were created from existing approved chemicals, despite major differences in potential toxicity.[9]

An article for The Ecologist quotes one of the authors of the Friends of the Earth report, Dr Rye Senjen, as saying, "Nanotechnology can be very dangerous when used in food. Early scientific evidence indicates that some nanomaterials produce free radicals which destroy or mutate DNA and can cause damage to the liver and kidneys."[10]

Landmark Europe's report is for sale for the extraordinarily high price of 299 euros for a pdf and 399 euros for a print copy. According to its website, students and academics can ask for "special rates". But the price will make the report off-limits to most concerned citizens and activist groups.[11]

Landmark Europe's press release on its nanotechnology report does, however, imply a focus on the "opportunity" for "stakeholders" to "shape policy" on nanotech and on the importance of businesses communicating with the public. Minimizing risk from the technology and taking on board scientifically documented risks is not emphasized. The press release says:

With the new European Parliament and new Commission, the coming five years will be critical in deciding Europe's future policy and regulatory framework for nanotech. It will also provide a unique opportunity for stakeholders to shape policy that will have far-reaching consequences on manufacturers and users of consumer products. In the context of this debate, organisations will have to manage a broad range of economic and socio-political factors. Businesses will need to understand the risks that may impact their activities, engage effectively with other stakeholders, and address openly and honestly any public concerns.[12]

People

Contact

Brussels
Landmark Europe
Rue du Prince Royal 37, box 31
1050, Brussels
Tel: +32 2 808 0644
Fax: +32 2 502 8870
Email: info@landmarkeurope.eu[14]
London
Landmark Europe
1 Dyers Buildings
Holborn
London, EC1N 2JT
Tel: +44 20 7183 8899
Fax: +44 20 7792 1319
Email: info@landmarkeurope.eu
Website:http://www.landmarkeurope.eu/

References

  1. B-M promotion prompts revamp PR Week UK 05-Sep-07, 18:00
  2. Ian Hall, Public Affairs News Website Kane and Renaldi team up to launch own agency in London and Brussels accessed 5th June 2008
  3. Conclusions and recommendations of the ELSA-project Alcohol Marketing in Europe: Strengthening Regulation to Protect Young People accessed 8th August 2009
  4. Advertising Association Contribution of the Advertising Association to the discussion paper - “Changing Scotland’s relationship with alcohol” accessed 6th August 2009
  5. WFA EU Brief Alcohol advertising: European Alcohol and Health Forum discusses alcohol marketing accessed 8th August 2009
  6. ENDS Europe REPORT, July 14, 2009 Stepping up to the challenge of greening food and drink, SECTION: ENERGY; Pg. 14
  7. Nanotechnology in Consumer Products: Challenges and Opportunities for Europe, Landmark Europe, July 2009
  8. Tom Levitt, Nanotechnology: are we risking too much?, The Ecologist, 23 July 2009, accessed 8 Aug 2009
  9. Georgia Miller and Dr Rye Senjen, Out of the Laboratory and On To Our Plates: Nanotechnology in Food and Agriculture, Friends of the Earth Europe, 2nd edition, April 2008, accessed 8 August 2009
  10. Tom Levitt, Nanotechnology: are we risking too much?, The Ecologist, 23 July 2009, accessed 8 Aug 2009
  11. Nanotechnology in Consumer Products: Challenges and Opportunities for Europe, Landmark Europe, July 2009
  12. Landmark Report: Nanotechnology in Consumer Products: Challenges and Opportunities for Europe, Landmark Europe website, accessed 8 Aug 2009
  13. Landmark Europe Landmark People, accessed 7 August 2009
  14. Landmark Europe Contact, accessed 7 August 2009