Bruce Matthews

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Bruce Matthews, was an Australian, like many of Rupert Murdoch's most trusted lieutenants and the top executives at Philip Morris. He also worked with the tobacco industry in running the joint newpaper-tobacco "freedom to advertise" campaigns.

Matthews was an expert in printing technology who made his way in Australian publishing until, by 1971, he was chairman of the magazine and printing division of the Herald and Weekly Times in Melbourne. This was the company that had made the reputation of Rupert's father, and it became the key-stone in Rupert Murdoch's Australian empire,

In 1971 Murdoch recruited him to come to Britain to sort out problems at Bemrose, the printing operation which had been purchased along with the News of the World newpaper, two years earlier.

Matthews then climbed the corporate ladder in the UK until in 1983 he was managing director of News International, the umbrella company of Murdoch's British operations, which by then included the Times and Sunday Times. [2]


Matthews fell from grace only months after engineering the supreme coup of Murdoch's career, the move of his papers to Wapping to escape the stranglehold of the print unions. The irony was that, having masterminded the most ruthless stratagem in modern industrial history, he was not tough enough to survive in the harsh environment he helped to create

He died on the 30th of March 2012.

Documents & Timeline

1983 Apr 26 Bryan Simpson of INFOTAB and Bruce Matthews (MD News International) held a dinner with the Fleet Street Newspaper Groups to set up a Freedom to Advertise coalition. [3]

A later INFOTAB advisory group meeting heard that:

With the assistance of INFOTAB, a meeting between Fleet Street publishers and members of the TAC (Tobacco Action Committee) and all UK tobacco companies was held in London on the evening of April 26. The TAC mounted a very impressive presentation and after dinner a fairly robust open forum was held. It is hoped that a continuing relationship will be established . The host of the evening was News International of the UK.[4]

1983 May 10 Bruce Matthews has run a dinner and forum for Murdoch with British newspaper proprietors and editors and top tobacco industry executives to promote their "right to advertise" campaign.

They have recruited Michael Moore to liaise between the newspaper groups and the tobacco industry. The opinion expressed is that the campaign will later be funded either by the Newspaper Publishers' Association (NPA) or the Advertising Association (AA). [5] [6]

Note that Bryan Simpson (Murdoch's relative, and head of the INFOTAB tobacco lobbying operation) has been ccd.

1990 Nov 6 A Bruce Matthews is Manager, Corporate Treasury Services at the NMB Bank in London. This advice about a Short Term UnCommitteed Money Market Facility of £20 million has been deposited in British-American Tobacco files. [7]