NEWS

For The #Countryduty Movement, The Bell Pottinger Ruling Is Also For You

The Bell Pottinger movement did a series of targeted campaigns against all remaining clients.

06/09/2017 10:27 SAST | Updated 06/09/2017 10:41 SAST
Tumi Sole / Supplied

Bell Pottinger's expulsion from the UK's Public Relations and Communications Association is not just a win for the DA, but for social media movement #Countryduty activism who has been rallying for justice since 2016, its founder Tumi Sole said.

"I think I need to point out that this Bell Pottinger's expulsion is a win for everyone in South Africa, and is one initiative that South Africans are unanimously supporting, and getting involved in. But the Bell Pottinger ruling isn't just a win for the DA, it's another victory for everyone who got on board the Country Duty mission." Sole told HuffPost on Tuesday.

The Country Duty hashtag has mobilised thousands on Twitter against Bell Pottinger since 2016, when news of the relationship to Oakbay's racially divisive social media campaign first became public. The movement has since organised behind #Bellpottingermustfall which escalated into a series of targeted campaigns against all Bell Pottinger's remaining clients.

"These were big multinationals, who later responded saying they had cancelled their relations with Bell Pottinger. Various Tiwtter users would even mail them. The outcome was really positive, after they realized what Bell Pottinger were doing and decided to pull out of their relationships with them." Sole said.

Some of their targets included Anton Rupert-owned holding group Richemont, Virgin Active, Virgin Mobile, major banks and luxury car manufacturer Rolls Royce. They also have their sights set on Waitrose and Uber, who are apparently still using Bell Pottinger's services.

"We would identify them overnight, then each person would have a responsibility, and tick a client off our list," said Sole.

The 33-year old corporate attorney (who is currently completing his masters at Wits University) said he can't take all the glory for everyone who supported #Countryduty.

"This race war needs to be dealt with, and everyone in #Countryduty starting this thing knowing that we to come together and raise our voices."

"With Bell Pottinger getting kicked out, it says that even though our authorities are slow, they will get there if we apply the right amount of pressure."