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Things you need to know about the latest Bell Pottinger developments
07 September 2017, 02:03 | Kara Nash
5 Things you need to know about the latest Bell Pottinger developments
Bell Pottinger investor Chime, co-owned by United States investment firm Providence Equity Partners and Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP group, has given up trying to sell its 27 per cent holding in the wake of the scandal.
Worldwide law firm Herbert Smith Freehills published its findings on Monday, 4 September and concluded that Bell Pottinger's South African campaign was "potentially racially divisive" and breached ethical principles.
Lydia Christie, an employment lawyer at Howard Kennedy, said Bell Pottinger can expect more senior staff to leave: "During times of severe reputational damage like this it is extremely hard to hold onto key personnel".
In the statement containing the apology, Bell Pottinger said law firm law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, has been hired to review the Gupta account and the work done for companies associated with the family. The DA alleged that Bell Pottinger had "exploited racial divisions on behalf of the Gupta family". Richard Edelman yesterday describedBell Pottinger's expulsion from the PRCA as a "proud moment for the industry", while many senior PR figures have publicly applauded the decision.
TalkTalk, one of the UK's biggest broadband operators, had a contract with Bell Pottinger which ended earlier this year. It is understood that the stake was returned without compensation two weeks ago. The firm's largest shareholder, Henderson quit on Sunday.
In addition to HSBC, Clydesdale Bank, the construction company Carillion, and United Kingdom broadband operator TalkTalk all revealed on Tuesday that they had stopped working with Bell Pottinger. Despite being expelled, the firm will follow the PRCA code voluntarily, while employees may seek individual membership of the organisation.
"The view of the PRCA board was that Bell Pottinger's actions were deliberately meant to create exactly the result they did - stirring up racial hatred in a very sensitive area of the world", Francis Ingham, PRCA director general, said. "If they think it's a back-route in then they'll be disappointed". In Asia, the business is led by Singapore-based chairman Piers Pottinger and CEO Ang Shih-Huei, while the Middle East is overseen by partner/MD Tim Falconer.
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