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Posts Tagged ‘David Cameron’

Judge in Phone Hacking Case Smacks Down Cameron’s Apology

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Yesterday we posted on Prime Minister David Cameron’s attempts to distance himself from former comms director Andy Coulson after a court convicted the latter of conspiring to hack into the cell phone of a dead teenager.

Today, the judge in the case responded with what we would call a big rebuke or, more accurately, a rhetorical smack in the face. The judge didn’t just call the apology a bad idea; he said it “could have led to the collapse of the rest of the trial.

How so?

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David Cameron Apologizes for Former Comms Chief/Convicted Conspirator

Contrary to what Twitter may have told you this morning, the biggest news out of Britain does NOT involve a Queen and a throne.

The long-running News of the World phone hacking trial is nearing its end–and while Rupert Murdoch confidante Rebekah Brooks got off scot-free, top hack-turned-flack Andy Coulson has been found guilty of conspiring to “break into” the phone of a murdered teenager.

Coulson is now best known as Prime Minister David Cameron’s former head of communications. Cameron’s response to the verdict? Apologize. Immediately.

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Fracking Debate Hits Close to Home for British PR Firm

Here’s something you don’t see every day. Protesters opposed to the process of “fracking”, or extracting natural gas and oil from shale via hydraulic water-powered fracturing, super-glued themselves to the walls of British firm Bell Pottinger‘s office while calling them “fracking liars.”

These activists believe that the British government should invest in renewable resources rather than expanding upon its fracking practices, and they’ve targeted the large, privately owned energy company Cuadrilla as a recipient of prime minister David Cameron‘s largesse. In addition to the aforementioned appearance at Bell Pottinger, protestors also chained themselves together to block entrance to the company’s rural production center.

Lord Browne (his real name), former BP chief and current head of Cuadrilla, defended his company’s practices to reporters at The Sunday Telegraph by insisting that fracking is “in the UK’s interest” when performed safely.

Something tells us the protesters weren’t listening.

Mitt Romney’s London PR Gaffe gets Funnier

(Jason Reed/AP)

There has been no shortage of Olympics-related PR gaffes leading up to the start of the games, which are set to kick off with the opening ceremonies in London tonight. Recent headlines have included everything from the backlash over foreign-made Team USA uniforms, to the dismissal of a Greek athlete due to an insensitive tweet. And now presidential candidate Mitt Romney has joined the ranks of those scrambling to clean up self-made PR messes before the games begin.

According to The Huffington Post, Romney, while in London earlier this week, offended British leaders and citizens alike by questioning the city’s preparedness during an NBC News interview that aired on Wednesday evening. “The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials — that obviously is not something which is encouraging,” he said. He also called some of the potential issues “disconcerting.”

On Thursday, in what some believe was a jab at Romney’s leadership of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, British Prime Minister David Cameron responded to Romney’s remarks by saying, “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”

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British PM Cameron Threatens to Shut Down Social Media

Photo: PA

In response to this week’s London riots, British Prime Minister David Cameron has proposed a shutdown of social media services including Twitter and BlackBerry Messenger. In a statement, Cameron said, “…[W]hen people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. So we are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.”

It’s a page out of the playbook of leaders like former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who interrupted Internet and social media service when faced with the protests in January that eventually forced him from power. Not exactly the company you want to keep.

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News Corp. Hires Edelman

Photo: Getty

News Corp. has brought on Edelman to help it manage the crisis related to the ongoing phone-hacking scandal and investigation. Edelman EMEA CEO Robert Phillips told The Holmes Report that the firm was hired by News International’s management and standards committee, which is handling the response.

“Edelman is working with the management and standards group of News Corp on general comms support and public affairs counsel,” Phillips said.

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News Corp. Ends BSkyB Bid, Faces More Intense Pressure

Photo: Getty

News Corp. has ended its bid to acquire 61 percent of British Sky Broadcasting, one more by-product of the phone-hacking scandal that has besieged the media company, with a statement from COO Chase Carey admitting that “it is too difficult to progress.” But even with this news, the company is facing increased pressures from all sides.

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News About the Egyptian Revolution Came from Across the Media Spectrum

Egyptians celebrating news that President Mubarak is stepping down. Photo: Dylan Martinez, Reuters

Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak finally stepped down from power after 18 days of nonstop protest by the Egyptian people. With cheers still coming from Tahrir Square, Wolf Blitzer was already asking Wael Ghonim where the next revolution would take place. (Video after the jump.) Ghonim is the Google exec who was held by Egyptian authorities and revealed to be behind an influential Facebook page, “We are All Khaled Said.”

“Ask Facebook,” Ghonim responded.

As the revolution in Egypt unfolded, the media discussed the impact social media was having. But when social networks and mobile connections were interrupted, the Egyptian people used traditional communications methods to get their message out too. Together, the old and new spread news of what was happening around the world.

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Report: Here is Why BP is Working With Brunswick Group

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BP has engaged with a number of agencies to provide communications counsel in the wake of the oil spill that continues to wreak havoc on the Gulf Coast.

One of the firms, Brunswick Group, is known more for their connections in the UK then they are in the U.S. And while some publications have reported Brunswick managing director Hilary Rosen — who has worked with the Recording Industry Association of America and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) — is leading the BP efforts, others have noted that agency partner Michele Davis [pictured] is leading the account.

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A reader sent in this article on the Brunswick and BP engagement from the German magazine Manager:

…since the start of the oil spill a team headed by Washington-based partner Michele Davis has been handling crisis communication, in the Gulf of Mexico region but primarily in Washington. “That is where you both win and lose the races,” says a PR manager.

The report also notes that the ties between Brunswick and BP run deep:

British public relations man Alan Parker, 54, founder of the PR agency Brunswick, used to assist Tony Hayward‘s predecessor Lord Browne, 62, on communication matters. Parker, a sort of Roland Berger of the UK, has close personal ties to the British establishment: Former prime minister Gordon Brown is godfather to his son William, and Brown’s wife Sarah used to work at Brunswick. The new prime minister David Cameron attended, like Brown, Parker’s wedding. And Parker has also taken his holidays with Cameron. Brunswick only became become big at BP under the oil firm’s new CEO Tony Hayward and his head of PR Andrew Gowers.

RELATED: Ogilvy PR Handling Social Media for BP

Former PR Executive David Cameron Is Britain’s New Prime Minister

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Former PR executive David Cameron has already begun work as Britain’s new prime minister, where he will lead a coalition government of his right-wing Conservative Party and the leftist Liberal Democrats.

Cameron spent seven years as a PR executive for Carlton Television, now part of ITV, the oldest commercial television network in the UK.

Not surprisingly, some journalists don’t have fond memories of working with Cameron during his PR days. From a February 2010 Guardian story on Cameron’s PR background:

One senior business journalist who dealt with Cameron extensively describes him as ‘thoroughly unpleasant’ and not a very efficient press officer: ‘A good PR man will tell you stuff and give you insights and he never did that – which is why Carlton had rings run round it.

[Image: New British Prime Minister David Cameron greets leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg. Via AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis]