RLM Finsbury apologized in the London Times for scrubbing unflattering details from the Wikipedia entry of Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov.
The Times reported Nov. 12 that Usmanov, Russian’s second richest man, hired the WPP PR unit ahead of a large IPO in London for his mobile phone giant MegaFon. The Times said RLM removed mention of a past criminal conviction, later overturned, the disappearance of a former MegaFon shareholder, and Usmanov’s alleged threats to bloggers who called him a “gangster and racketeer.”
“This was not done in the proper manner nor was this approach authorized by Mr. Usmanov,” RLM said in its statement. “We apologize for this and it will not happen again.”
The Telegraph reported that RLM replaced the unflattering facts with text about Usmanov’s philanthropy and art collection.
Citigate Dewe Rogerson is handling PR for the MegaFon IPO.