INTERNATIONAL: German PR firm rises to Libya's challenge

FRANKFURT: A consortium of Libyan businessmen is staging a PR pitch to improve the country's tarnished image when controversial leader Muammar Gadaffi's rule ends.

FRANKFURT: A consortium of Libyan businessmen is staging a PR pitch to improve the country's tarnished image when controversial leader Muammar Gadaffi's rule ends.

One of the agencies involved in the pitch, German PR firm Hunzinger Information, confirmed that a team of advisers has created a detailed strategy to help market Libya to tourists and businessmen.

Moritz Hunzinger, chairman of the board of the Frankfurt-based company, said that talks with Tripoli had reached an advanced stage, but a firm deal has not yet been struck.

Hunzinger criticised media reports, which have intimately linked the negotiations with Libyan leader Gadaffi.

'We are not talking to the Government, we are dealing with well-reared Libyan businessmen who live in London and New York, who are also talking to other agencies about PR for Libya when Gadaffi is not in office,' Hunzinger explained.

He added that Gadaffi's rogue past has most likely damaged his image beyond repair.

According to Hunzinger, the PR campaign will focus on boosting Libyan tourism. The German airline Lufthansa currently has direct flights from Frankfurt to Tripoli.

Hunzinger said he would not sign a contract until he received approval from the German Government.

Last month, the Gadaffi International Charity Foundation helped broker the release of six western hostages from the Philippine island of Jolo.

Libya is not Hunzinger's first controversial client. It also advises Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, whose government was until last week under EU sanction for including the far-right Freedom Party in the ruling coalition.



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