David Kelly, the scientist whose suicide marked a tragic twist in the unfolding controversy over British intelligence dossiers that supported the war in Iraq, was "ripped apart in the middle" of a "war of spin," said an editor at the British Broadcasting Corporation. The BBC has come under intense criticism for its reports alleging that top British officials "sexed up" the dossiers, and now it is being criticized on grounds that its reports may have contributed to Kelly's suicide. "Yes, we had a role in it," the editor said.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair is under pressure following the apparent suicide of Iraq weapons expert David Kelly.
Image consultants are praising Martha Stewart's bid to get public opinion on her side and to influence potential jurors, reports the Associated Press. The campaign includes a national newspaper advertisement and a new website, marthatalks.com, that went up the day Stewart was indicted in federal court for securities fraud and lying to authorities.
Responding to an in-depth Washington Post expose, The Nature Conservancy has hired Edelman PR Worldwide for damage control. The Post's multi-part article portrayed the environmental non-profit, which has $3 billion in assets, as a willing dealmaker for the benefit of its corporate supporters and trustees. According to O'Dwyer's PR Daily, the Arlington, Va.-based group is desperate to avoid Congressional inquiry into its activities.
Fearing the Indian Point nuclear plant is an appealing target for terrorists, neighbors, activists and local officials are demanding that parent company Entergy shut down the facility, which is located 35 miles upstream from New York City. The New Orleans-based energy company, which owns nine other nuclear power plants, hired former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's PR firm to help out with security and crisis management issues. O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports that Entergy enlisted Giuliani Partners for its "real-world public safety experience" earned following the Sept.
"Chemical industry trade association the American Chemistry Council said it selected WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, New York, and its public relations unit Ogilvy PR for its $50 million advertising account," Advertising Age writes. "The trade group is looking to its agency to develop a more positive image for the chemical industry, which is battling negative views that have been stoked in part by war talk of chemical weapons and bioterrorism. The council wants the ad campaign to improve the public's perception of the contribution of chemicals to improve consumers everyday lives."
"France's Sodexho Alliance is fending off Congressional bids to strip it of its $880 million food service contract with the U.S. Marines because of the French snub of President Bush's invasion of Iraq," O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports. "Edelman is our corporate agency of record, and we use it for crisis work," Bonnie Goldstein, a PR staffer at Sodexho's North American headquarters in Gaithersburg, Md., told O'Dwyer's. "Rep. Jack Kingman (R-Ga.) wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld asking him to consider transferring the Marines contract to a U.S.-based firm.
"Clear Channel Communications ... finds itself fending off a new set of
accusations: that the company is using its considerable
market power to drum up support for the war in Iraq, while
muzzling musicians who oppose it. ... The critics ... cite an unusual series of pro-military rallies drummed up
by Glenn Beck, whose talk show is syndicated by Premiere
Radio Networks, a Clear Channel subsidiary. ... Thirteen of those rallies were
co-sponsored and promoted by local Clear Channel stations,
" Exxon Mobil ... issued a call to arms on Monday, asking other
energy firms to work harder to help it combat Big Oil's dirty
reputation. The oil giant's vice president of public affairs, Kenneth Cohen, told attendees at the annual National Petrochemical and Refiners Association
conference in San Antonio that ... 'In truth our industry has not done nearly enough to communicate the
essential role we play and how we go about providing energy and products
that contribute to economic growth ... and help improve the lives of millions of people around the
PR Watch has reported previously on the dietary supplement industry's successful campaign to evade federal safety regulations.