PRCA Rejects Complaint against Bell Pottinger Public Affairs

London, 4 April 2012 -At a hearing of the PRCA’s Professional Practices Committee’s disciplinary panel conducted on the 27th March 2012 a complaint against Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, based on allegations published by The Independent on the 6th December 2011, was rejected.

The complaint suggested that BPPA’s conduct, as portrayed by The Independent, brought the PRCA and the profession of political advocacy into disrepute.

The five-person PPC panel found that there was no credible evidence of wrong-doing on the part of BPPA and that the consultancy’s presentation to the fake client conjured up by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) was fully compliant with the PRCA’s Code of Conduct and best practice guidelines.

Francis Ingham, PRCA CEO, said afterwards that the BIJ/Independent ‘sting’ had failed in its ostensible purpose but had nevertheless raised points which the PRCA and its members should consider carefully. ‘Whether or not a prospective client is real or fraudulent, and whether or not a camera has been concealed in someone’s handbag, PRCA members should think hard before using language which is vulnerable to wilful or accidental misinterpretation,’ he said.


Notes to editors

Katharine Barney, PRCA Communications Director
T: 020 7233 6026 ¦ E:

The full judgement is available to download here

About the PRCA

Who we are: Founded in 1969, the PRCA is the professional body that represents UK PR consultancies, in-house communications teams, PR freelancers and individuals. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and internal communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.

What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.

How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry's behalf e.g. fighting the NLA's digital licence.

Who we represent: The PRCA represents many of the major consultancies in the UK, and currently has more than 250 agency members from around the world, including the majority of the top 100 UK consultancies. We also represent over 70 in-house communications teams from multinationals, UK charities and leading UK public sector organisations.

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