Center for Consumer Deception
About the CCF
Meet Rick Berman
  • About Rick Berman
  • Rick Berman's Bio
  • Quotes by Rick Berman and the CCF
  • Quotes About Rick Berman and the CCF
  • Contact Rick Berman
  • Meet a CCF Minion
  • More Information
  • Box Bottom
    The Media Speaks Out Against the CCF

    "While it bills itself as 'devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices,' others describe it variously as a front group, PR agency or tool for the restaurant and alcohol industries."

    —The San Francisco Chronicle

    Find out what others are saying.
    Box Bottom

    Rick Berman's Public Face

    Rick Berman founded and runs a trio of shadowy tax-exempt food, tobacco, and beverage industry front groups. For a hefty fee, these nonprofit organizations hire him as executive director. He then uses his own privately owned public relations company to do work for the nonprofit organizations. In this way, he channels between 49% and 79% of the donations given to these nonprofit groups into his own pocket. In 1998, this amounted to more than $1 million for just one of these groups.

    These are Berman's tax-exempt groups:

    • The Center for Consumer Freedom: The CCF attacks anyone who criticizes smoking, fast-food, or alcohol—including PETA, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    • The American Beverage Institute: The ABI fights laws designed to curb drunk driving—in part by claiming that even a blood alcohol level of 0.08 is within the realms of responsible, social drinking.

    • The Employment Policies Institute: The EPI is opposed to raising the minimum wage, particularly in the labor-intensive restaurant industry. It promotes the specious concept that an increased minimum wage would drive the poor and uneducated out of the job market.

    All three of these industry front groups parade behind the banner of free choice, which really means continued big profits for their clients.