Leveson Report a warning to PR 'not to become the next scandal'

The Leveson Report is a warning to the PR industry 'not to become the next scandal', it has been claimed.

Following the release of Lord Justice Leveson’s report into media practice and ethics, on PRWeek TV Cicero Consulting's Mike Robb said that the industry needed to take stock.

Robb, head of corporate comms at the agency, pointed to Leveson’s demands for fuller disclosure around lobbying and the judge’s observation that such crises of reputation are often cyclical.

‘The debate around whether or not transparency is a good thing is over, whether you like it or not,’ he said.

PRWeek revealed strong backing for the proposals from the comms industry.

However, Robb identified PR activity online as likely to be the area of most potential damage to the industry’s reputation in the future, adding:  ‘We need to be careful not to become the next scandal… it’s really important the industry as a whole gets behind Leveson’s recommendations.’

In response to a slew of proposals in the report around regulating the media, a number of senior newspaper editors met this week amid efforts to offer a unified response.

But though it is understood that 40 of the 47 proposals – including the creation of a new regulator – had been accepted, there was still strong resistance to statutory regulation.

Robb welcomed the quick response by senior media figures, calling it ‘the essential first step’ towards rebuilding the image of the press.

However, he warned that such a process could take a decade, adding: ‘This is going to be a long term process to rebuild the reputation. It’s not going to happen overnight.’

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