Burson urges industry to tackle poor media image

NEW DELHI: Burson-Marsteller founding chairman Harold Burson has called on the PR industry to counter its 'derogatory' depiction in the media.

Speaking at the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) Global Summit in New Delhi, Burson said licensing PROs may be one method of ­improving public perception of consultants.

The octogenarian also said agencies were losing their status as client partners: ‘Only infrequently nowadays are we regarded as long-term partners; rather we are often positioned as vendors.'

Burson's stance on licensing comes after he opposed such an idea 20 years ago. ‘It would overcome the derogatory manner in which we are depicted in the news media,' he explained.

But he added: ‘There are downsides, though - it would get in the way of how a lot of firms do business.'

In other ICCO news, Lou Capozzi, head of Publicis' PR operations, was named as the umbrella body's next president. He will assume the role in six months from John Saunders,  Fleishman-Hillard regional director of con­tinental Europe and Ireland.

ALSO... Dubai wants to host the 2007 ICCO Global Summit.

Sunil John, managing director of the agency Asda'a, last week made a ­formal pitch to ICCO's ­executive committee in ­India, ­arguing Dubai's case on ­behalf of the Middle East PR Association.

Visit www.prweek.com/us/blogs for PRWeek US reporter Hamilton Nolan's dispatches from New Delhi

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