WEDNESDAY 4 APR 2012 10:02 AM


The PRCA has rejected a complaint, based on allegations published by The Independent, against Bell Pottinger Public Affairs.

At a hearing on 27 March, the PRCA’s Professional Practices Committee’s disciplinary panel deemed there was no credible evidence of misconduct by Bell Pottinger Public Affairs.

The Independent suggested in its article on 6 December that the lack of regulation in the PR industry lead to “repressive regimes,” and used the example of Bell Pottinger’s presentation to the fake client “Azimov Group,” which was conjured up by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

The PRCA’s PPC panel found the presentation to the counterfeit client was fully compliant with the PRCA’s Code of Conduct and best practice guidelines.

Francis Ingham, PRCA CEO, said afterwards that the BIJ/Independent ‘sting’ had failed in its ostensible purpose but had nevertheless raised points which the PRCA and its members should consider carefully.

“Whether or not a prospective client is real or fraudulent, and whether or not a camera has been concealed in someone’s handbag, PRCA members should think hard before using language which is vulnerable to willful or accidental misinterpretation,” he says.