BSMG Worldwide is representing the Movement for Democratic Change, a political party which is trying to oust Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe. The MDC, according to the Aug. 7 New York Times, is the "first party in two decades to pose a serious threat to Mugabe's grip on power." Zimbabwe currently is faced with serious economic problems, which Mugabe blames on the country's 75,000 white farmers and their supposed Western backers. He has supported actions by the National War Veterans Association, whose members have seized and squatted on more than 1,700 white-owned farms.
The Hill and Knowlton PR firm is receiving $500,000 from Hong Kong to persuade skittish Americans and U.S. policymakers that the city retains a "high degree of autonomy" under China's rule.
American coverage of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has almost always been sympathetic to Israel. For most U.S. news organizations, "objective" has long meant "pro-Israeli." This report in TomPaine.com details some of the behind-the-scenes PR aimed at keeping things that way. In the words of one Israeli official, "Engaging in a successful PR campaign is part of winning the conflict."
The government of Ecuador is paying $180,000 to Burson-Marsteller.
Rubenstein Associates, the PR firm that has represented clients such as Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump, Leona Helmsley, Adnan Khashoggi and Kathie Lee Gifford, has been hired to help the state of Israel spruce up its image in the deadly conflict with the Palestinians. His advice so far?
According to SatireWire.com, "The profusion of international news available on the Internet has made it increasingly difficult for the average American to ignore the rest of the world, a trend researchers say threatens Americans' long, proud history of disregarding anything not about them." SatireWire has some other funny news parodies too, such as "Foot-and-mouth Believed to Be First Virus Unable to Spread Through Microsoft Outlook" and "Mad Cows Use Cell Phones."
Burson-Marsteller's Black Kelly Scruggs and Healey lobbying wing has a $180,000 contract to provide strategic advice to the embattled Government of Ecuador. The South American government has faced intense protests by its citizens for imposing "austerity" measures and for a proposed pipeline. O'Dwyer's PR reports that the lobbiests are to make sure that Washington lawmakers understand "the issues facing the Government of Ecuador," according to the Justice Dept. filing. BKS&H also will work to increase trade and financial aid, especially military aid, to Ecuador.
The head of Japan's fisheries agency admitted that his country uses foreign aid to pressure other countries into voting against restrictions on its whaling activities. Masayuki Komatsu added that there is "nothing wrong" with killing whales, comparing them to "cockroaches" and saying, "There are too many." We reported on the PR firms that help greenwash Japanese whaling in the 1st Quarter 2001 issue of PR Watch.
PR behemoth Weber Shandwick Worldwide hopes its successful pitch for China to host the 2008 Olympics will lead to a long and profitable relationship between the two. According to O'Dwyer's Daily, the WSW campaign is the Chinese government's first Western-style global PR effort.
The Government of Chile picked top-dog PR firm Fleishman-Hillard to guide its effort to win a Free Trade Agreement with the US. Rory Davenport, F-H Senior VP in Washington, DC, expects the White House and Chile will iron out negotiations for an FTA by the end of the year. "The Congressional focus will be next year," he said. Also at this link, the most recent Foreign Agents Registration Act filings.