Anorak | The Fake Azimov Group Powerpoint Presentation To Bell Pottinger: Sockpuppets And Agendas

The Fake Azimov Group Powerpoint Presentation To Bell Pottinger: Sockpuppets And Agendas

by | 6th, December 2011

THIS is the powerpoint presentation Changing perceptions of Uzbekistan: A Bell Pottinger presentation created by Iain Overton’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism and  presented to PR Firm Bell Pottinger.

Lord Bell, a former communications adviser to Margaret Thatcher, says the story is an attempt by unethical, underhand deception to manufacture a story where none exists “.

Is the BoIJ even handed? It says :

In March 2011, Uzbekistan expelled Human Rights Watch. The US think-tank Freedom House included it in the ‘Worst of the Worst‘ list of repressive regimes in 2011. A number of years earlier, the regime had gained a reputation after allegedly boiling a religious prisoner to death, and is frequently accused of torturing people to obtain confessions.

The fake Azimov group would deal in cotton:

Uzbekistan’s cotton is the subject of an international boycott by several clothing manufacturers because the country still allegedly uses forced labour, including child labour, in its harvest.

The group adds:

The Bureau approached 10 London PR firms. Two – Morris International Associates and Ogilvy PR – declined to pitch for the business, several others never replied, while five including Bell Pottinger appeared to be prepared to accept the fictitious account.

Bell has links to the Tories. It got the meeting.

And somewhat buried in the slides is the news that Bell Pottinger said they would represent Uzbekistan if the place reformed:

If, however, the government is committed to real and lasting reform then there are many things that Bell Pottinger could do”

“… change is essential in order to change international attitudes.”

“But we must be able to show our target audiences that change has begun, that long term goals have been defined…”

“Once we have the assurance that genuine, verifiable reform is being introduced, we can put in place a communication and media strategy that tells the story of how Uzbekistan is changing for the better.”

So. Was the story presented fairly?

Iain Overton was hired

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Posted: 6th, December 2011 | In: Politicians Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink