Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bell Pottinger Takes Fight to Its PR Rivals; IN THE AIR

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bell Pottinger Takes Fight to Its PR Rivals; IN THE AIR

Article excerpt

Byline: by GIDEON SPANIER

MUCH chatter about Bell Pottinger chief executive James Henderson's decision to take out a four-page press advert to celebrate the public relations firm's first anniversary since it went private in a management buyout. It is unusual for any corporate PR firm to advertise itself in the mainstream media as most prefer to keep a low profile. Indeed, most PR agencies don't believe in advertising precisely because it means using paid-for media, rather than earning a reputation through PR. But what was most notable about Bell Pottinger's boast in its ad about being "the second biggest independent public relations company in the UK" was that it name-checked 17 other rivals which "we are already bigger than". However, the PR agencies that might have been smarting were those like Tulchan and FTI that are smaller but were not named in the ad. It is clear from the ad that Bell Pottinger feels it needs to send out a confident message, following its sale by Chime Communications last year.

WILL former HarperCollins publishing boss Victoria Barnsley follow other recently-departed ex-Murdoch executives James Harding and Tom Mockridge in going to work for the opposition? Ex-Times editor Harding has gone to run BBC News while former News International boss Mockridge is now heading Virgin Media. Barnsley, who abruptly left Rupert Murdoch's book publishing house last week, is going on an extended period of gardening leave. But during a dignified leaving speech she gave at the HarperCollins summer party, she gave the impression that she is no mood to retire. Barnsley, 59, recalled her entrepreneurial roots in setting up independent imprint Fourth Estate 29 years ago, before a 13-year spell as UK and international chief exeuctive at HarperCollins, and she joked that the question everyone was asking her is: "Fifth Estate, perchance? …

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