How Bell Pottinger, P.R. Firm for Despots and Rogues, Met Its End in South Africa
If an autopsy could have been performed on Bell Pottinger, Britain’s most audacious public relations firm, the cause of death may have been summarized as “acute embarrassment.”
This is ironic because Bell Pottinger always seemed defiantly beyond shame. During its 30 years in the upper echelons of Britain’s spin doctoring game, it sought to polish the image of dictators (Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus), repressive regimes (Bahrain and Egypt, to name two) and celebrities accused of despicable crimes (the Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius after he was charged with murder).
But in early 2016, Bell Pottinger signed a client that ultimately buried it in disgrace.