The Sultan of Brunei's group of luxury hotels beset by protests over Brunei's Islamic laws has booked crisis manager Mark Fabiani.
Fabiani, the Clinton administration crisis pro who handled the PR defense of Lance Armstrong, is working with the Dorchester Collection, the hotel group owned by the Brunei Investment Agency.
Protests joined by entertainment figures like Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres have targeted Dorchester's Hotel Bel-Air and Beverly Hills Hotel in US and others abroad in a coordinated, high-profile campaign against Brunei's imposition of Sharia criminal law.
Christopher Cowdray, CEO of the Dorchester group in London, told the New York Times on May 9 that revenues fell by about $2M amid the boycott with half of that amount coming from cancellations at the Beverly Hills Hotel. He stressed that Dorchester is a British corporation and that the hotels follow the laws of countries where they are located.
While the entertainment industry has upped the PR ante for the boycott, politicians are also lining up to denounce the Dorchester properties. The Beverly Hills City Council on May 6 passed a resolution to compel the Brunei entity to sell the Beverly Hills Hotel or denounce the Sharia laws that include punishments like stoning.