Carolina Munévar Pérez

I studied Political Science and International Relations in Colombia and I have international work experience in political marketing and communication campaigns in Latin America. In 2008, I moved to the UK to improve my English and continue my education. Currently I am studying an MA in Public Relations at University of Greenwich.

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Concerning Times for Political PR in the UK

The big story in political PR this week has undoubtedly been the alleged claims of being able to influence government policy by Bell Pottinger PR group

A piece of investigative journalism by the Independent newspaper published secretly recorded Tim Collins, managing director of Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, claiming to have access to the prime minister and the Chancellor, George Osborne.  He also reportedly claimed that Bell Pottinger had recently persuaded the prime minister to raise the matter of copyright infringement with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao on behalf of engineering firm Dyson.

While the government categorically deny the claims – the prime minister’s official spokesman said they “totally misrepresent the relationship with Downing Street” – they have raised awkward questions for the government.  The issue has already led to calls from MPs for tighter regulation of lobbyists.

The original Independent investigation also uncovered claims that Bell Pottinger may have given advice to Rebecca Brookes, one of the central figures in the News of the World phone hacking scandal as well as further allegations of manipulation of Wikipedia entries on behalf of its clients.  The news came yesterday that Bell Pottinger’s Wikipedia contribution will be investigated by the online encyclopaedia amid allegations of content manipulation on behalf of its clients. Rory Cellan-Jones writes further on this aspect of the story in his excellent blog.

In the latest turn, Bell Pottinger boss Lord Bell has backed David Cameron and any involvement he may have had in the affair, defending his right to ask the PM to complain to China about copyright infringement on behalf of James Dyson.

The irony is, in this case, PR support from Bell Pottinger might just be the last thing the PM wants.


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