Bell Pottinger, one of the City's leading PR firm, whose former clients include the Rajapaksa government has been expelled from its trade association after an investigation into the firm's secret campaign to stir up racial tensions in South Africa found it to be the worst breach of ethics in the association's history.
The Public Relations and Communications Association said Bell Pottinger was unethical and unprofessional, had brought the industry into disrepute and has banned the firm from its membership for at least five years, reports the Guardian.
“Bell Pottinger has brought the PR and communications industry into disrepute with its actions and has received the harshest possible sanctions,” said Francis Ingham, director general of the PRCA. “The PRCA has never before passed down such a damning indictment of an agency’s behaviour.”
The PRCA said the Bell Pottinger campaign was “likely to inflame racial discord in South Africa”.