Portland Communications Ltd is a consultant and public relations agency set up in 2001 by Tim Allan , [1] a consultant to Tony Blair [2] and Director of Communications at BSkyB . In Portland was purchased by Omnicom . [3]

Portland provides communications and public affairs advice to brands and high-profile individuals. Portland’s website states that “Our team is recruited from the highest levels of the media, politics and government.”

Staff

As of January 2016, Portland partners include the political editor of The Sun , George Pascoe-Watson , [4] Mark Flanagan [5] and Labor candidate Kevin McKeever . [6]

In January 2012 Portland Communications hired James O’Shaughnessy , Prime Minister David Cameron ‘s Director of Policy, as Chief Policy Advisor. The Independent reported that O’Shaughnessy failed to inform the Whitehall Committee that the appointment of Sir Alistair Graham , the chairman of the Committee of Standards in Public Life , was “serious error of judgment”. [7] Portland also employed Cameron’s former Press Secretary, George Eustice . O’Shaughnessy was elevated to the peerage in 2015. [8]

Clients

Current and previous clients include the British Bankers’ Association , [9] Tullow Oil , [10] BTA Bank and AB InBev on behalf of its Stella Artois brand. [11]

Wikipedia editing

Further information: Conflict-of-interest is editing Wikipedia § Portland Communications

In January 2012, MP Tom Watson discovered that Portland Communication had tried to remove references to a customer’s brand of lager, Stella Artois , from the wife-beater disambiguation page in Wikipedia. [11] [12] The beer is popularly known in Britain as such, in part because of its high alcohol content and perceived connection with aggression and binge drinking. [13] [14]

Qatar

In 2014 it was revealed that Portland had been hired for $ 150,000 by Qatar “for a communications / political push targeted to Congress and federal agencies to improve ties with the US.” [15]

The Qatar World Cup, the Qatar World Cup. [16]

Coup against Jeremy Corbyn

In 2016 It was Portland Alleged That staff were behind the orchestration of a “coup” against the Leader of the Labor Party , Jeremy Corbyn , after-a wave of mass resignations from His Own Party. [17] Len McCluskey of British and Irish Trade Unite said to Andrew Marr that “I am amazed that some of the MPs have fallen into a trap.” Referring to Portland Communications as a “sinister force”, McCluskey said, “This is a PR company with strong links to Tony Blair and right wing Labor MPs who have been involved in this orchestrated blow, and the coup has failed.” Portland Communications denied any allegations as ”

References

  1. Jump up^ ‘Profile: Tim Allan, MD, Portland’, PR Week, 13 May 2009.
  2. Jump up^ Allan, Tim (2010-10-03). “An open letter to Ed Miliband: ‘If you bury the lessons of New Labor you will bury the party ‘ ” . The Guardian . London.
  3. Jump up^ “Tim Allan on explosive growth at Portland | PR Week” . Www.prweek.com . Retrieved 2016-03-22 .
  4. Jump up^ ‘Sun political editor George Pascoe-Watson to join Tim Allan’s PR agency’, The Guardian, 15 October 2009
  5. Jump up^ ‘Mark Flanagan quits for Portland digital job’, PR Week, 18 November 2010
  6. Jump up^ “Portland targets new business units as Oliver Pauley becomes UK MD | PR Week” . Www.prweek.com . Retrieved 2016-03-22 .
  7. Jump up^ Wright, Oliver (2012-01-10). “O’Shaughnessy and Portland” . The Independent . London.
  8. Jump up^ “HM Government” .
  9. Jump up^ “Business Finance Taskforce hands banking brief to Portland”. PR Week.
  10. Jump up^ “Public Affairs: The Week in Lobbying” . PR Week.
  11. ^ Jump up to:b Wright, Oliver (2012-01-04). “Lobbying company tried to wipe out ‘wife beater’ beer references” . London: The Independent.
  12. Jump up^ “Watson’s research into Portland and Bell Pottinger” . tom-watson.co.uk. 2012-01-02 . Retrieved 2012-01-10 .
  13. Jump up^ “Where did it all go wrong for the beer they call ‘wife beater’?”. London: Dailymail.co.uk. 2007-11-15 . Retrieved 2009-06-26 .
  14. Jump up^ “The Argus – Pubs ban Stella Artois” . Archive.theargus.co.uk. 2007-11-18 . Retrieved 2012-01-04 .
  15. Jump up^ http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/09/19/hamas-backing-qatar-contracts-top-flight-public-relations-firm-to-improve-ties-with-us/
  16. Jump up^ http://www.prweek.com/article/1314527/portland-linked-site-attacking-critics-client-qatars-world-cup
  17. Jump up^ http://www.thecanary.co/2016/06/28/truth-behind-labour-coup-really-began-manufactured-exclusive/
  18. Jump up^ McSmith, Andy (3 July 2016). “Union chief says PR company is’ sinister ‘mastermind behind Labor leadership crisis’ . The Independent . Retrieved 28 November 2016 .

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