P.R companies have to be open and transparent. But thanks to a barrage of tweets from riled-up South Africans, the once Gupta-employed company were forced to change their approach to public relations… By shutting the public out.
The UK-based firm was used by the Guptas to manage their Oakbay business and it’s image. However, in April, they stepped away from their deal with the Indian billionaires.
The dust had initially settled on this eventful chapter for Bell Pottinger, but recent evidence from #GuptaLeaks suggests that they were involved in deflecting state capture allegations by pushing the ‘white monopoly capital’ narrative.
It suggests that the Guptas are merely victims of a rigged, pro-white economy that are unhappy with any minorities influencing the market. However, investigative journalists from amaBhungane and Daily Maverick’s Scorpio have proved that WMC is a complete fabrication.
They have also revealed that Bell Pottinger helped the MK Military Veterans Association and the ANC Youth League in their campaigns to discredit Gupta critics and those of President Jacob Zuma.
In fact, Zuma has gone as far as to support the cheap propaganda trick, further implicating himself in the state capture scandal.
Bell Pottinger have manipulated fake Twitter accounts and websites to spread the racially divisive campaign, and thanks to the fury of South African Twitter, they’ve been forced into a humiliating defensive move:
A whole global PR firm hiding behind a protected account. We just want to talk, @BellPottinger. pic.twitter.com/w8oC54JARp
— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) June 22, 2017
It seems @BellPottinger needs a PR and reputation management firm.
— Nomboniso Gasa (@nombonisogasa) June 23, 2017
Dear South Africa#BellPottinger declared racial war on us. Let us give them their own medicine w sustained effort at them & their clients.
— Mauritz Preller (@MauritzPreller) June 25, 2017
In a further slap-to-the-face for the P.R gurus, BP’s managing director James Thomlinson has also locked his account. But he didn’t change his bio… A bio which simply encourages people to ‘engage’ with him.
Not even Imran Tahir could put a good spin on this disaster.