In Kviabryyggja Prison – a correctional facility in Ireland – a certain group of prisoners requested red wine accompany their meals – and when it was denied, their PR firm got involved. And yes, we too took a double-take at the concept of a PR firm representing prisoners wanting wine in jail.
According to the Director of Iceland Prison Service, Pall Winkel, certain prisoners had made requests for red wine to be served during meals. Winkel told Morgunbladid in an interview, “There have been requests from certain prisoners that there be red wine and other alcoholic beverages made available for special occasions. Those requests were of course denied.”
The prisoners, from Kviabryggja, many of whom were serving jail time for offences connected to Iceland’s 2008 economic meltdown, made the request through their PR firm KOM. The PR firm, through CEO Bjorgvin Gudmundsson, refuted the claims.
Winkel said during the interview that KOM chief executive Bjorgvin had called him to request discretion as the group of anonymous prisoners the firm was working for did not fancy media attention. Winkell said, “I was not told who KOM was working for or what prisoners might be paying for their services. I was also told that the unnamed prisoners did not want to start a PR war, or an image war with the prison. But we don’t have a PR person on staff and public relations is still handled by the national prison service. All our resources and time are spent on enforcing sentences. So there is no one to start a PR war with.”
KOM PR was established in 1986 and is the oldest PR firm in Iceland. With a track record spanning over 28 years, the company has provided professional consultancy both inside Iceland and abroad. KOM PR’s first major assignment was the Reagan-Gorbachev Reykjavik Summit held in 1986. Since then, the company has gone to represent international clients such as VISA Europe, Alcoa, Delta, Novo Nordisk, Flugger, Flybe and others.
While their clients are drawn from a diverse pool of industries and sectors, KOM PR maintains tailor made services that get the job done, including having a rich history of experience collaborating with the government. KOM PR works closely with Iceland’s media to run appropriate briefings, interviews and campaigns. It can also advise on a proper plan for discretion where need be.
Rest assured, KOM PR is unique in representing prisoners who want red wine, of that one can be assured.