NEWS

Bell Pottinger Falls Into Administration After 'Racially Divisive' South Africa Campaign

PR firm on brink of collapse.

12/09/2017 19:10 SAST | Updated 12/09/2017 19:11 SAST

Disgraced PR firm Bell Pottinger is on the brink of collapse after falling into administration amid the controversy over its racially-charged campaign in South Africa.

Administrators BDO have been called in to effectively run the company and attempt to save it after failing to find a buyer, and had already made redundancies. Bell Pottinger's CEO James Henderson resigned following a UK PR body finding that the company was in breach of the industry's code of conduct.

The PR firm's work on a campaign for Oakbay Capital, a South African company owned by the wealthy Gupta family, was accused of stoking racial hatred by the country's opposition, Democratic Alliance.

The firm was accused of provocation over using the phrases "white monopoly capital" and "economic apartheid" on social media.

Soon after, it was expelled from the UK's leading PR trade body for its controversial contract, the first time such a prominent member had been kicked out off the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA).

According to City AM, a BDO spokesman said:

"Following an immediate assessment of the financial position, the administrators have made a number of redundancies.

"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.

"We have taken appropriate steps to preserve the rights Bell Pottinger may have in relation to the failure of the business."

This is a breaking news story.