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Mark Penn’s Firm Drops Pakistani Account

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Politico reports that Burson-Marsteller and Penn, Schoen, Berland & Associates, the market research consultancy of B-M CEO Mark Penn, has resigned the account of a two year client, the Pakistan People’s Party, which is the ruling party of Pakistan.

Writes Eamon Javers, “the details of the Pakistan contract provide a rare and revealing look at the techniques Penn’s firm promised a foreign government to use to legally influence American public opinion and official policy.”

Techniques outlined by Javors, according to contract terms with the Department of Justice’s Foreign Agent Registration Office, include Burson plans to interview, “100 American political journalists and business elites in Washington, DC and New York, as well as elites in the United Kingdom, the European Union and Pakistani expatriates living in the United States.”

Additional techniques included “‘an internal brainstorming session,’” authoring ‘white papers’ by experts and academics, and drafting and seeking placement of op-ed pieces in newspapers. ‘Burson-Marsteller will work with the [Pakistan People's Party] to draft and seek placement of op-ed pieces on the issue and will identify appropriate ‘authors,’ depending on tone and subject…’”

Also, Burson “promised it would promote credible ‘third-party’ supporters of Pakistan, recruiting such backers from the ranks of ‘former U.S. government officials involved with Pakistan during their tenure;’ ‘Academics and think tank experts;’ and ‘Pakistani Americans in influential positions.’”

Javors hints that the account resignation was planned to coincide with Senator Hillary Clinton’s Secretary of State confirmation hearings. Read the full report here.

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