Diary: Toxic Sludge packs a punch at PROs

Poor Burson-Marsteller is set to take the brunt of the blame for the PR industry's devil's advocacy role yet again.

Just one week after The Guardian named the WPP shop alongside George W Bush, Coca-Cola and cocaine as unethical bad guys that deserve to be boycotted, PRWeek has got its paws on an advance copy of Toxic Sludge Is Good For You, which promises to expose PROs as back-room puppet masters.

Comedian and novelist Robert Newman's UK introduction to the US book, which hits the shops on 5 August, finds B-M's fingerprints all over Argentina's junta in the 1970s, the nuclear industry's Three Mile Island meltdown and the Exxon Valdez oil slick.

What follows is an unrelenting and detailed attack on the machinations of the world's largest PR firms in representing the evil forces of the tobacco, oil and world-destruction industries.

If you want some indications of the authors' intentions, take note of this snippet: 'We know this book doesn't tell the "whole story" about public relations... But the positive uses of PR do not in any way mitigate the undemocratic power of the multi-billion-dollar PR industry to manipulate and propagandise.'

You have been warned.

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