“We are pleased that the UK’s Public Relations Communication Association (PRCA) has taken steps to expel Bell Pottinger from its ranks, as a result of the complaint raised by the DA,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s Chairperson. “This is a clear indication that the South African society at large was right to express outrage and disgust at the conduct of both the Gupta family and Bell Pottinger, about their carefully and purposefully planned social media strategy to inflame racial discord in South Africa.”
OUTA believes that it is all too easy for senior management to sit back and blame lower ranking colleagues for the mess and turmoil they have caused not only their firm, but the people of a foreign country. We find it inconceivable that an entire nation learned of how Bell Pottinger was able to engineer a misleading and deceitful PR campaign that would further the aims of a private family (the Guptas) to benefit from state capture, whilst senior leadership was seemingly oblivious to this conduct for as long as they were. In doing so, Bell Pottinger’s adoption of despicable tactics which included fake news and social media accounts allowed the people of South Africa to be worse off, whilst its client – the Gupta family – was able to manipulate the state for personal gain.
“We trust that the loss of many lucrative customers, its tarnished reputation, the resignation of its key staff and its expulsion from the industry body will be the ultimate lesson for the Bell Pottinger board,” says Duvenage. “What makes this outcome more rewarding is that this woeful outcome for Bell Pottinger has been wrought without the need for society to introduce expensive litigation action, in order for the transgressor to suffer the consequences of its unwarranted conduct.”
OUTA is a proudly South African non-profit civil action organisation, comprising of and supported by people who are passionate about holding government accountable and improving the prosperity of South Africa.