APPC lets Edelman, Burson-Marsteller off the hook

The Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) has given Edelman and Burson-Marsteller a clean bill of health following claims they had breached the APPC code.

The APPC’s management committee met with representatives of the two member agencies this week to discuss what action to take over allegations that they failed to register public affairs clients. The claims were made in The Sunday Times and The ­Observer on the eve of the Labour Party conference.

A statement put out by APPC chair Gill Morris on Tuesday makes it clear neither of the two agencies will be thrown out of the APPC.

It says: ‘The APPC management committee listened to B-M’s account of the report in The Observer and concluded that, at the time in question, the client was not a public affairs client and thus did not have to be reported in the APPC register. The management committee advised B-M to always err on the side of caution when declaring ­clients on the register and to embrace the spirit of transparency required by the ­APPC code of conduct.

The statement continues: ‘Edelman admitted it had failed to register the client with APPC and repeated its apology for this oversight. Edelman outlined the remedial actions it had taken to improve its internal procedures and to ensure such a failure did not re-occur in the future. Given the remedial action taken, the APPC was satisfied… but agreed to review the effectiveness of Edelman’s new procedures in six months’ time.’

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