CIPR attacks The Observer over 'sweeping' article

Fight-back Chief executive Jane Wilson sends letter to paper after columnist calls PR industry a 'racket'.

In its most recent defence of the PR industry, the CIPR has criticised a leading Observer columnist for what it calls 'sweeping portrayals'.

In a letter sent earlier this month, CIPR chief executive Jane Wilson spoke out against Nick Cohen's article entitled 'Beware PR men bearing dictators' gifts'.

The column looked at comms work done for the Hungarian government. The piece also raised concerns over the influence of PR on journalists, calling the industry 'a racket' and UK PROs 'world leaders in manipulating money and information'.

Wilson criticised these terms as 'a sweeping portrayal of a profession' in her letter. She argued that any member of the CIPR that misrepresents their organisation or client 'can be held to account'.

Wilson said she shared Cohen's concerns over the dwindling investment in serious journalism, adding 'it is wrong to infer we benefit from it'.

The correspondence follows another CIPR letter that was sent to The Times over its 'Cash for Access' leading article on 26 March.

In it, Wilson attacked the conflation between what The Times called 'the murky world of party funding and the even murkier world of lobbying' as being 'unfairly sweeping'.

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