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PRCA: Bell Pottinger campaign a most awful piece of PR malpractice

Bell Pottinger has been stripped of its UK PRCA membership, only the second agency ever to be slapped with such a sanction.

Picture: @BellPottinger/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - A UK regulator has described a campaign run by Bell Pottinger for a Gupta company as “the worst piece of PR it has ever seen.”

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has berated the PR agency over the campaign which it said fuelled racial tensions in South Africa.

The Democratic Alliance lodged a formal complaint with the body in July, accusing Bell Pottinger of deliberately fanning racial tensions in South Africa, at the behest of the Guptas.

Bell Pottinger has been stripped of its PRCA membership, only the second agency ever to be slapped with such a sanction.

The regulator’s Francis Ingham says: “It’s the most awful piece of PR malpractice I’ve seen in my 10 years as the director general of the PRCA.”

In its defence, Bell Pottinger has argued the racial discord around the campaign was unintentional, a claim the association has found implausible.

In a strongly worded statement, the regulator has fingered senior management saying it failed to monitor the campaign in what it calls a sensitive social and political environment.

Findings of Herbert Smith Freehills Review by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)