British tech firm ends relationship with Bell Pottinger

11 September 2017 - 14:46 By Nico Gous
An office building containing the London headquarters of the PR company Bell Pottinger is seen behind an entrance to an underground train station in London, September 5, 2017.
An office building containing the London headquarters of the PR company Bell Pottinger is seen behind an entrance to an underground train station in London, September 5, 2017.
Image: REUTERS/Toby Melville

The British technology company mporium has ended its relationship with the controversial public relations firm Bell Pottinger.

mporium CEO Nelius de Groot said in an email on Monday: “I can confirm that we are aware of the controversy and that we have ended our relationship with Bell Pottinger.”

Bell Pottinger has been slammed for its controversial handling of the Gupta family account.

The Democratic Alliance complained to the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) that Bell Pottinger’s campaign was trying to “divide and conquer” the South African public to keep President Jacob Zuma and the ANC in power. The PRCA expelled Bell Pottinger for a minimum of five years.

Imperial Brands Media Manager Simon Evans said they are reviewing their “long-standing” relationship with the Bell Pottinger team in the UK “none of whom were ever involved with the Oakbay account”.

“Having said that‚ Bell Pottinger’s conduct in South Africa was clearly unacceptable.”

European cinema operator and Bell Pottinger client Cineworld said: “We do not discuss the details of our contracts.”

The Financial Times reported on Friday that Bell Pottinger’s Asia unit will separate from the parent company to form Klareco Communications.

British High Commissioner Nigel Casey said Bell Pottinger’s work in South Africa had damaged the United Kingdom’s reputation in the country. Lord George Young revealed this in the House of Lords where Bell Pottinger’s conduct was discussed.

Bell Pottinger said on Wednesday it had hired accountancy firm BDO to advise on a possible sale after its work in South Africa.

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