Death knell tolls for PR firm Bell Pottinger


Public relations firm Bell Pottinger has collapsed, with the announcement that the firm has gone into administration.

The London-based firm, known in the past for taking on controversial clients, met its nemesis when it took on work for the Gupta family which included a racially-divisive social media campaign.

The Democratic Alliance lodged a complaint against the firm with the United Kingdom’s Public Relations and Communications Association board, which found that the company’s actions had “brought the industry into disrepute” and decided to expel it from the body for five years.

The company also earned a strong rebuke from the House of Lords, who condemned its actions as “completely unacceptable”.

As a result, Bell Pottinger lost clients and staff, which also made it impossible to sell, which it initially sought to do.

On Tuesday, Bell Pottinger announced that it had appointed financial adviser BDO to oversee the administration process.

“Following an immediate assessment of the financial position, the administrators have made a number of redundancies,” a spokesperson for BDO said.

“The administrators are now working with the remaining partners and employees to seek an orderly transfer of Bell Pottinger’s clients to other firms in order to protect and realise value for creditors.”

Bell Pottinger reportedly made a profit of £11 million on revenues of  £33 million in 2015 and was founded by an adviser to Margaret Thatcher.

The company counts former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s foundation among its lists of controversial clients.