Bell Pottinger responds to PRCA expulsion

Following a complaint lodged by the DA, the PRCA ruled Bell Pottinger exploited racial tensions in SA through some of its campaigns for Oakbay.

FILE: Picture: @BellPottinger/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - In response to its expulsion from a UK regulatory body, Bell Pottinger says although it acknowledges the outcome it disputes the basis of the ruling.

The PR firm was slapped with the harshest possible punishment by the Public Relations And Communications Association (PRCA) earlier on Tuesday.

Following a complaint lodged by the Democratic Alliance, the PRCA ruled that Bell Pottinger exploited racial tensions in South Africa through some of its campaigns for Gupta-owned Oakbay.

PRCA director general Francis Ingham says the campaign by Bell Pottinger for Oakbay was one of the worst PR malpractices he has ever seen.

“Our board was unanimous in expelling them… as the harshest possible sanction we could impose on Bell Pottinger. And it’s the harshest sanction we had ever impose on any PRCA member.”

In a statement, the PR firm says while it disputes the basis of the ruling it will take it as a hard lesson learned.

Nevertheless, Bell Pottinger says it has decided to continue to adhere to the PRCA's code of ethics on a voluntary basis.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)