This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
Gus Weill was the Vice President of the polling firm Penn + Schoen Associates in 1989. (The company later became known as Penn, Schoen and Berland.)
A biographical note included in a pitch for polling work to the R.J. Reynolds tobacco company stated that Weill:
- "is a graduate of Louisiana State University. He has served as campaign press secretary to Andrew Stein, and as New York press secretary for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. At Penn + Schoen, Mr Weill has worked on a wide range of projects including studies for Texaco, the government of Bermuda, and the New York State Department of Economic Development". 
Tobacco industry work
An August 1989 memo penned by Weill (on behalf of Penn + Schoen) to Elizabeth Veanus of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company described the firm's plans to conduct focus groups in Harlem, New York, on behalf of the tobacco company. Page 4 of the memo stated: 
- Our goal in conducting these focus groups is identical to your goal in entering Harlem: to get smokers' rights groups up and running with utmost speed and effectiveness.
- Gus Weill, "Harlem Focus Groups", Bates Number 507687762, August 18, 1989.
- "Harlem Focus Groups," August 18, 1989 memo, RJ Reynolds collection, via Legacy Tobacco Documents Library.
- Louisiana Tort Project-Update Robinson, B. Report. Philip Morris. July 14, 1993. Bates No. 2062364082/4084
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