Public relations company Bell Pottinger has dismissed accusations that it had been hired to do public relations work by terrorist group The Islamic state of Iraq (ISIS)
The statement it has issued was sparked by an article in a Dubai-based satirical website the Pan Arabic enquirer, which joked that Bell Pottinger would "oversee and promote the jihadist group’s growing international image in a 36-month deal rumoured by insiders to be worth as much $10 million.”
In the statement the company’s chairman Tim Bell said: “I am surprised that any publication or journalist would think the subject of ISIS, who recently beheaded the American journalist James Foley, was an appropriate subject for humour or satire.”
The website, which openly states “It’s made up. All of it. Yup”, regarding its copy, removed the piece after being contacted by the company saying on its Facebook page.
“Although the article was entirely in jest, we feel we must apologise for any sullying of the name of a company whose standing in the international community is reflected in a client list that has included Augusto Pinochet and the government of Bahrain. Oh, and the government of Sri Lanka. And Rolf Harris.”
The Drum contacted Bell Pottinger for comment but had not received a reply at the time of publication.