Accountants turn to spin doctors for help

First, Andersen brought on board Financial Dynamics to help fight the Enron fires – one of the FD consultants on the case is set to become president of the institute of public relations this year. The Andersen public relations ‘fightback’ has included appearances on BBC 2’s Newsnight and Radio 4’s Today programme.

Then KPMG appointed Bell Pottinger, the PR firm set up by Lord Bell, a previous adviser to the Tories, to help plan its communications strategy, though implementation will remain with the in-house team. The company has had a relationship with the big five firm for some years, though previously there were a number of other agencies working for the firm.

Now the ICAEW has re-appointed Hill & Knowlton, its longstanding government affairs consultant, but this time with a wider remit to give its views on PR strategy. In pitching for the business, PR agencies were asked to demonstrate ‘what they could do for the auditor’.

The Accountancy Foundation has also recently appointed an external PR agency, Lansons, more usually known for its work for personal finance clients, has been retained to handle public relations for fledgling watchdog for the profession.

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