Bell Pottinger rebranded: look out for ‘BPP Communications’ in 2013
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In December 2011, this site covered the Independent’s publication of a Bureau investigation into Bell Pottinger (‘Shock, horror’? Bell-Pottinger’s influence over government is in the news . . .) – which filmed the way in which these lobbyists boasted of access to leading politicians.
Bell Pottinger complained to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), but the PCC announced that there was indeed a ‘broad public interest in exploring the relationship between lobbying and politics’ and that it would not have been possible to obtain details of the techniques used to represent tainted regimes through other means.
The investigation added weight to calls for a robust and complete register, which would include who the lobbyist is, who they work for, the area of policy they are hoping to influence and which government department or agency they are trying to influence. As the Bureau’s representative added:
“When you consider this in light of the human rights abuses of the governments Bell Pottinger has represented (Sri Lanka, Belarus, Qatar to name just three) it reinforces the real need for a legal and public register of clients – as practiced in the US”.
A year later
In December 2012 PRWeek’s Top 150 PR Consultancies, reported that when still owned by Chime Communications plc, Bell Pottinger suffered a 7% drop in fee income in 2011, ostensibly (more respectably) as a result of losing US government work.
Lord Bell and other senior executives have agreed to buy out the Bell Pottinger branded PR businesses from Chime Communications’ for £19.6m (Guardian: £20m), though Chime has retained a 25% stake in Bell Pottinger.
Bell and Chime deputy chairman Piers Pottinger will combine the businesses into a new company: BPP Communications. A rose by any other name . . .
Posted on February 5, 2013, in Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Government, Lobbying, Parliamentary failure, Vested interests and tagged Bell Pottinger, BPP Communications, PRWeek, Register of lobbyists. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.