Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

Weak tea from the PRCA… UK’s Public Relations and Communications Assn. issued a statement on March 1 warning firms may face expulsion for working with Russian organizations on the sanctions lists. Duh!

It also urged members “to consider the reputational consequences of working for companies which whilst not sanctioned nonetheless have links with the Russian Government.”

That’s pretty rich, coming from an outfit that is based in “Londongrad.”

British firms have earned millions of pounds by laundering the reputations of Russian oligarchs who are friends of Vlad.

A British government report in 2020 found that the country welcomed oligarchs with open arms.

It reported that “PR firms, charities, political interests, academia and cultural institutions were all willing beneficiaries of Russian money” as the oligarchs bought prestige and built influence across the British establishment via a ‘reputation laundering’ process.”

The Report called Russian meddling with British affairs “the new normal.”

That may be coming to an end.

The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on March 3 announced a full asset freeze and travel ban on Alisher Usmanov and Igor Shuvalov, which it described as two of Russia’s leading oligarchs with significant interests in Britain and close links to the Kremlin.

The two control assets of more than $25B.

Usmanov has interests in the Arsenal and Everton Premier League soccer teams, while Shuvalov led Russia’s bid for the 2018 Football World Cup.

The UK government also announced plans to establish an “Oligarch Taskforce” of ministers and officials next week to coordinate cross-government work to sanction oligarchs, helping build cases against the list of oligarchs it has identified as targets.

The invasion of Ukraine is going to bring a day of reckoning for those PR firms that burnished the image of Putin’s corrupt cronies.

That day can’t come soon enough.

Wizz Air earns PR wings… The Budapest airline is offering 100K free flights to all of its Continental European destinations to Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.

At least 1M Ukrainians have fled their land since Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24.

More than half of them are in Poland. Hungary is the next destination of choice (150K people), followed by Slovaka (75K) and Romania (50K).

Wizz has added larger planes and flights in the countries bordering Ukraine to accommodate more people. The airline’s free flight offer will run through March.

Wizz also has a $40 “Euro rescue fare” to fly Ukrainians who wound up in a country that was not their intended destination. elsewhere.

Launched in 2004, Wizz flies 710 routes from 44 countries.

Asleep at the PR switch… The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on February 28 released its 3,700-page report sketching out a doomsday scenario of fires, floods, famines and species extinctions unless immediate steps are taken to combat climate change.

The influential Climate Reality Project dubbed the Report “the gold standard of climate research” and warned that its message offered “the last window to act."

UN Secretary-General António Guterres summed it up simply: “This Report reveals how people and the planet are getting clobbered by climate change.”

Where’s the buzz? The Report unfortunately failed to get much traction as the world’s media were focused laser-like on the invasion of Ukraine that was launched Feb. 24.

Rightly so, the media covered the misery, horror, death and destruction suffered by Ukrainians and the global outrage that is today’s news, rather than the environmental catastrophe of tomorrow—even though that apocalypse is going to happen much sooner than experts had thought.

The Climate Reality Project noted the poor timing of the Report by beginning its analysis of it by acknowledging “the tragedy and suffering now underway in the war in Ukraine” and sending its thoughts “to the Ukrainian people and our brave Ukrainian climate reality leaders while we continue to work for just climate solutions.”

Compiled by 270 researchers from 67 nations, The Report undoubedly was years in the making.

What was the rush in releasing it?

The UN should have used some common sense before going public with its global warming masterpiece.