Partners jump ship in Sri Lanka's US lobby firm

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 March 2011, 00:37 GMT]
More than 30% of the partners at Qorvis, one of Washington's best-known lobby firm, have left the firm in the last two months because of the firm's representation of "despotic dictators" and clients that are listed as human rights violators in US State Department's list, Huffington Post said in an article Friday. Qorvis receives a significant amount business from Bell Potinger, UK, the public relations firm that represents Sri Lanka, and Patton Boggs, LLP, Sri Lanka's PR firm in the US, is an investor in Qorvis, according to Qorvis's website.

Several former Qorvis staffers blamed the firm's current management for cultivating such "black hat" clients, noting that much of that business came about through the firm's partnership with Bell Pottinger, the United Kingdom's largest public relations firm, which took heat for representing Sri Lanka during that South Asian country's brutal crackdown on rebel groups during the last two years. "They have zero conscience in what they do," says the first former insider, referring to Bell Pottinger, according to the Huffington Post story.

"I just have trouble working with despotic dictators killing their own people," a former Qorvis insider tells The Huffington Post. "People don't want to be seen representing all these countries -- you take a look at the State Department's list of human rights violators and some of our clients were on there," the Qorvis insider further said.

The firm's founder and CEO, Michael Petruzzello, says that such complaints are "ridiculous" and disingenuous, asserting that the firm's work with international clients preceded the tenure of departing partners and that no one complained about it, the Huffington story added.

It's not the first time that Qorvis has witnessed a mass exodus due in some part to its unsavory clients, according to the report.

After Qorvis was retained by Saudi Arabia several months after 9/11, the contract attracted controversy and a Justice Department probe of the firm for its involvement in a radio ad campaign that burnished the image of the country, leading three top principals to leave the firm, Huffington Post said.

In one of the methods used by Qorvis and other firms is online reputation management, the firm uses "black arts" by creating fake blogs and websites that link back to positive content, "to make sure that no one online comes across the bad stuff," says the former insider.


Related Articles:
03.12.10   War crime suspect in Rajapaksa entourage plans charted fligh..
28.10.10   Britain reiterates support for independent inquiry into Sri ..
04.08.10   British PR firm whitewashing Sri Lanka’s reputation - report
11.04.09   Fein debunks Patton-Boggs "white paper" on Sri Lanka


External Links:
ST: Diplomatic lapses put SL under world pressure
PB: Patton Boggs LLP
BP: Bell Pottinger Group
QV: Qorvis website
HP: Lobbyists Jump Ship In Wake Of Mideast Unrest

 

Latest 15 Reports
20.07.18 22:09   Photo
New Delhi fails to update Jaffna on Palaali airport plans
19.07.18 23:22   Photo
Skulls with bullet-like holes excavated in Mannaar mass grave, women and children among victims
18.07.18 19:21   Photo
Uprooted Mu'l'lik-ku'lam Tamils adopt Ira'nai-theevu approach, enter their lands seized by SL Navy
17.07.18 21:29   Photo
Colombo steps up shadow war against NPC Chief Minister Wigneswaran
16.07.18 22:48   Photo
SL Forest Department seizes agricultural lands of Eezham Tamils in Paduvaan-karai
15.07.18 19:14   Photo
Families of enforced disappeared vehemently oppose OMP sittings in North
14.07.18 19:35  
SL High Court in Vavuniyaa tricked again into postponing hearings on TPP case
13.07.18 23:20   Photo
NPC CM declines participation in Colombo's unilateral task force for so-called Development
12.07.18 12:22   Photo
Genocidal Sri Lanka seizes ancient coastal hamlet of Tamil-speaking aborigines in Trincomalee
11.07.18 18:20  
Collaborationist sections of TNA lose significance, Wigneswaran holds key to unified Tamil polity
10.07.18 21:53  
SL Military Intelligence recommences recruitment of notorious ex-paramilitary operatives
09.07.18 22:30   Photo
Antiquities Ordinance used to justify Sinhalicisation of 48 locations in Mullaiththeevu
08.07.18 19:06   Photo
TNPF protests against Colombo's move to militarise Jaffna Fort
07.07.18 19:56   Photo
SL Police in Champoor blocks remembrance of Tamils massacred by SL military
06.07.18 23:17  
Jaffna University silent to Colombo's pressure, motives behind Fort excavation questioned
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=33730