Bell Pottinger

Bell Pottinger scandal comes full circle. The notorious British PR firm collapsed in September 2017 following the scandal of running a racist campaign in South Africa on behalf of the Gupta brothers, a pair of India-born businessmen.

That effort branded opponents of the Guptas and president Jacob Zuma as agents of “white monopoly capital.”

Bell Pottinger tried to stave off its collapse by issuing “a full and unequivocal and absolute apology” for its work.

CEO James Henderson said the effort carried out in “South Africa which has become an international beacon of hope for its progress toward racial reconciliation is a matter of profound regret and in no way reflects the values of Bell Pottinger.”

He fired the lead partner of the account and suspended others.

Bell Pottinger also tried to sell itself. There were no takers for the tainted firm.

South Africa, which filed corruption charges against Atul and Rajesh Gupta, announced June 6 that the pair was arrested in Dubai.

Interpol in February filed a "red notice" for the Guptas, which is a request for them to be detained pending extradition.

The brothers fled South Africa four years ago due to an intense law enforcement investigation and public outrage.

Discussions are underway to extradite the Guptas to South Africa.

A trial there will be a huge media event and showcase the sleazy side of public relations.

Ukrainian Neptune missiles, not loose lips, sink Russian ships. Vladimir Putin’s paranoid Kremlin is cracking down on the families of sailors—killed in the sinking of the cruiser Moskva—from discussing their loss.

The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet sank April 14 after being hit by a pair of anti-ship missiles, according to US intelligence officials. It had a crew of 500.

The Kremlin has assigned lawyers and psychologists to convince families of personnel on the ship not to disclose any information about the deaths of sailors in an effort to crush rising social tensions, according to the invaluable Institute for the Study of War website.

Moscow also has threatened to stop the financial compensation to families of crew members if they discuss the sinking.

Putin’s “special military operation” on the truth is destined to do him in.

$440M can buy a lot of positive PR for alleged human rights violator Qatar. Amnesty International has proposed that energy-rich Qatar shell out that sum to compensate the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who suffered human rights abuses while constructing facilities for the 2022 World Cup, which kicks off in November.

Amnesty says those alleged abuses began in 2010 once FIFA made the controversial decision to stage the games in Qatar.

The $440M equals the expected World Cup prize money and is chump change for Qatar, which boasts the highest per-capita GNP in the Middle East.

Money for migrant labor is a much better PR investment for Qatar than the $277M it is paying former British soccer ace David Beckham for serving as an ambassador for the World Cup.