Friday, 7 October 2011

Bahrain and Bad PR: The Latest Revelations

Earlier this year, Bell-Pottinger, Britain's largest PR agency and still the agency probably with the murkiest reputation, suspended a key contract with Bahrain, because of the violent repression there. This action was taken under pressure from us at The Really Ethical PR Agency, among others: http://ethicalpr.blogspot.com/2011/04/first-victory-for-really-ethical-pr.html

Sadly, however, it appears likely that Bell-Pottinger in effect remains in business in Bahrain, albeit at arms-length: principally, via some kind of sub-contracting relationship with the very unpopular US PR firm, Qorvis. This is what research undertaken by The Really Ethical PR Agency has revealed:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/24/lobbyist-mideast-unrest-departures_n_840231.html
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bahrain-ministry-of-health-responds-to-medecins-sans-frontieres-statement-126732828.html
http://hurryupharry.org/2011/05/04/bell-pottinger-qorvis-communications-and-the-arab-spring"
http://www.imt.ie/opinion/2011/09/unjust-treatment-of-bahraini-medics.html

Meanwhile, the terrible repression in Bahrain continues. The question now is: How low can the Bahraini authorities go? For it is clear that they have tortured and judicially-punished doctors simply for treating protesters against their violent dictatorial regime:

Bahrain doctor jailed for treating activists injured during protests says police tortured her and threatened rape”, Guardian, 30 Sept.

We are ashamed to be from a country whose corporations continue in any way whatsoever to service a despicable regime like that of Bahrain.
It is perhaps encouraging to see that Bell-Pottinger has been working recently for the TNC in Libya and for the Palestinian Authority; we long for the day when every British PR firm is looking to work for at least minimally ethical clients, and refusing to do business with repressive murderous regimes such as Bahrain's.

How low do the Bahraini authorities have to go, before Bell-Pottinger (and Qorvis!) breaks all links with them, closes its Bahrain office, and declares publicly that they agree with us: That continuing to have dealings with violent repressive dictators is just bad PR…

Finally, here is a link showing in useful detail what is known about the PR agencies working for Bahrain, including B-P.

An Apology...

Sorry that The Really Ethical PR Agency has been so quiet over the summer; unfortunately we've been occupied with other projects. However, in the last few days we have started to get busy again so watch this space for updates!

Continued public interest in us has been encouraging: for instance, we have been invited to give talks to university students on the ethics (or otherwise) of PR; these will be happening later this term.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of nice little media hits we scored over the last few months:

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/lifestyle/article-23936088-reputation-launderers.do
http://www.powerbase.info/index.php/Brown_Lloyd_James

Monday, 11 April 2011

First Victory For The Really Ethical PR Agency!



Bell Pottinger, heavily under fire from a small group of protesters for its work in Bahrain, has finally bowed to pressure and suspended it's controversial work on behalf of the Economic Development Board of Bahrain

Rupert Read of The Really Ethical PR Agency commented:

"We're proud of what we appear to have helped to achieve here. This is great news.

"We congratulate B-P and we urge them to cancel all remaining accounts that they have with Bahrain. If they do that, they will earn our genuine goodwill and that of all supporters of the rights of democratic protesters in Bahrain and across the MiddleEast.

"The tide is clearly turning against the age of purely-profit-seeking-PR. Because PR agencies are starting to realise that, for them, representing violent dictators and their countries and their economies is just really bad PR."

Check out are article archives for the full story of how The Really Ethical PR Agency helped to bring about this change in policy from Bell Pottinger.


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

From Libya, With Love


A reporter from Mother Jones, the legendary U.S. periodical, phoned us at The Really Ethical PR Agency last week to inquire about our recent and planned future activities.

Mother Jones are particularly interested in the Libya-BLJ connection, because of their recent work in the area of Libya's PR - check out this excellent article on their website - From Libya, With Love.