Public Relations For Terrorists & PR Report On Working in PR For Dictators

Corporate Europe Observatory

A leading Brussels based think-tank, Corporate Europe Observatory just released a fascinating new report, entitled “Spin doctors to the autocrats: how European PR firms whitewash repressive regimes.” The full report dictates how European Public Relations companies work to protect and white-wash the work of nations throughout the world.

Some of the more telling quotes:
“Mother Teresa doesn’t need our services. She isn’t going to come to us as a client. It’s always the difficult issues. If someone is willing to spend money on media relations, it’s because they have a problem.” Ivo Ilic Gabara of PR firm BGR Gabara, 2011

“When Peter Bingle, former Public Affairs chair for Bell Pottinger, was grilled by a committee of British MPs who asked him, “You’ve worked for mass murders, racists, people who’ve oppressed their own people…. Doesn’t the public have a right to know who your clients are?” Bingle replied: “The public has no right to know.”

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.


  1. Dan Siegel says

    Yikes, these quotes are stomach churning. I’m the founder of Spokepoint, and most of our customers are PR agencies and corp comm teams. Call it what you want, but there’s a big difference between crafting and distributing a story (“spin”) and hiding some evil deed you’ve committed. The best folks we’ve met with who do crisis communications start by finding out the facts, and making sure the client owns up to them publicly. Long term, it’s a losing strategy to be anything other than genuine.

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