News from Freud PR, Bell Pottinger, and Burson-Marsteller’s Sunil John

Branson and Virgin Products Face Backlash with Help from Freud’s

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Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin Group is pushing to keep Britain in the EU – fighting against Brexit by offering to pay for a campaign to accomplish that goal. But the many of the public in the U.K. are not happy about his plans. An email was leaked that showed Branson has already offered at least £25,000, though people working with Branson say no money has been paid so far.

Former Cabinet ministers from Tony Blair’s administration seem to also back the “secret” Brexit block, and as the news was leaked, Freud PR group is advising them for the social media and crisis communications issues. Of course, calls to boycott the Branson brands flooded social media almost immediately. The good news for Freud’s and those wanting to block Brexit is that they already have more than £1 million in pledged donations for the cause. Alan Milburn, ex-health secretary, and Blair supporter said: “We have been beavering away over the last few months to get a Europe campaign up and running. I’m pleased to say that substantial progress has been made.

Further Evidence Found in Mayor de Blasio’s Emails of his Extensive Use of Outside “Agents”

Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement just before Thanksgiving regarding yet another (the third) batch of over 1500 emails between his office and outside advisers that he’s called “agents of the city.” The emails were obtained in response to a request using the Freedom of Information laws and the correspondence covers between early 2014 up to April 2015. If these outside PR experts were working pro bono, or there wasn’t already an extensive staff for PR work employed by the City, it might not be such a bit issue.

But the emails show that high-priced outside PR firms were consulted on even the most mundane matters such as getting a better backdrop for a Harlem event by removing a fence, or how to make the city look good by discrediting other cities in their efforts to become the host city for the Democratic National Convention. Jonathan Rosen, co-founder and principal at Berlin Rosen, said: “A little worried that he will unintentionally go off message. He is somewhat constitutionally unable not to screw up that kind of thing.” Rosen was speaking about the Democratic NY State Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver. That’s just a sampling of the services being paid for with taxpayer dollars.

Stephen Grootes Tells How Ajay Gupta Duped him in a Video Interview

It’s not really a good idea to “lie” or manipulate a journalist. By their nature, journalists love to chase down information, so telling them something that isn’t true and expecting them to just trust it’s true … Well, not so likely to happen.

That’s the real story behind the recent report from Stephen Grootes’, a journalist and radio presenter, interview earlier in the year with Ajay Gupta. During the interview, Gupta said he hardly knew David Des van Rooyen, who served as finance minister. The truth is that Des van Royen, Mosebenzi Zwane, minerals minister, and the Gupta family repeatedly flew to Switzerland while negotiating the acquisition of the Optimum coal mine with the CEO of Glencore, Ivan Glasenberg. Then the research found that Bell Pottinger’s PR team set up Grootes. Bell Pottinger is renowned for their take no prisoners approach to PR, as well as their over-the-top fees for the services they provide. Well, Gupta got his money’s worth, but were the results worth it? Probably not, since Grootes is equally well-known for his brutal honesty in his journalistic approach. Let’s just say, the two sides don’t play so well together.

ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller’s CEO Sunil John Honored with The Chairman’s Award

The individual honor presented at the Middle East PR Awards 2016, one of the biggest PR events in the region, was given to Sunil John. The presenter was MEPRA’s Chairman, Brian Lott. John is the CEO and founder of the ASDA’A B/M office and was recognized in November at the Awards ceremony held at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. The award is presented for the overall contribution to the profession in the Middle East to an individual.

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