Top lobbying firm Bell Pottinger prepared a presentation for Bureau undercover reporters, believing they were representatives of the Uzbekistan government seeking to promote the Uzbek cotton industry.
The slide show on ‘Changing Perceptions of Uzbekistan’ shows how the company would run a £1m plus campaign to drown out negative content.
The presentation claims Bell Pottinger:
* has long-term formal and informal links with the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, Minister for Afghanistan, Alistair Burt, Special Adviser Arminka Helic and Chief of Staff for the Prime Minister, Ed Llewellyn
* would build relationships with ‘opinion formers and academics who influence the media and can be independent voices on behalf of Uzbekistan’
* has worked with Belarus and government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, among many others
Bell Pottinger changed ownership after a management buyout in 2012, the year after this story was published.