Q4’s Irish voting win triggers row

DUBLIN: PR consultancy Q4 is embroiled in a political row after winning a six-way pitch to advise on a £3.4m marcoms campaign to promote electronic voting in 2004’s European and local elections.

Q4 was appointed alongside the advertising division of McConnells after a joint pitch (PRWeek, 24 October), but Fine Gael, Ireland’s opposition party, has expressed concern over Q4’s links with government ministers.

Q4 was set up six months ago by Martin Mackin, a former general-secretary of Fianna Fail, Ireland’s main governing party, and Jackie Gallagher, once an adviser to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Fine Gael frontbencher Bernard Allen asked environment minister Martin Cullen to outline the procurement procedure, referring to ‘a suspicion that these consultancy jobs are for friends of Fianna Fail’. Cullen denied any partiality in the pitch process.

Q4 partner Angie Kinane declined to comment on the exchange, saying only that ‘the account was awarded to us following a public procurement process and we are delighted to get it’.

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