Disgraced Bell Pottinger ‘could go into administration next week’

Fri, 08 Sep 2017

Embattled British PR firm has shown signs that it may go into administration as early as next week, according to reports.

The firm, which has been stripped of its membership of the industry's trade association after serious questions over its conduct in South Africa, is due to separate its Asian unit and begin trading under the name Klareco Communications.

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) last week said that Bell Pottinger had “brought the PR and communications industry into disrepute” with a campaign in South Africa that was accused of stirring up racial tensions.

In the past, the company enjoyed business from some of the world's richest individuals, governments and multinational organisations; but the serious and troubling accusations over Bell Pottinger's relationship with Oakbay, a company controlled by the wealthy Gupta family of Indian-born businessmen who are said to exert undue influence over South African president Jacob Zuma, led to a mass migration of clients.

Earlier this week, co-founder Lord Timothy Bell, who left the firm last year, told BBC’s Newsnight programme that he thought the agency would be unlikely to survive.

“It’s probably nearing the end,” he said.

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