Diary: Choosing PR representation for Al Fayed proves to be no easy task

It seems Harrods public affairs director Laurie Mayer was a little unlucky in the PR agencies he chose to approach for help during his employer’s court case with Josie Rowland last week.

It seems Harrods public affairs director Laurie Mayer was a little

unlucky in the PR agencies he chose to approach for help during his

employer’s court case with Josie Rowland last week.



First he went to Cardew and Co. Unfortunately, the agency has been

handling financial PR for Lonrho, the company founded by Mrs Rowland’s

late husband, since 1995.



Ludgate Public Affairs, which handled PR for the Manoukian family while

they were in court with the Sultan of Brunei’s brother Jefri, were also

approached and also had a conflict of interest. The Manoukian family are

not exactly best friends with Mohamed Al Fayed, and anyway Ludgate

represents retailer House of Fraser.



Mayer was also referred to Luther Pendragon. But the agency is run by

George Pitcher, a former industrial editor of the Observer, which when

owned by Lonrho tirelessly investigated Al Fayed’s business

dealings.



Until earlier this year the agency also employed Melvyn Marckus, former

city editor at the Observer, and a key man in the paper’s Al Fayed

coverage.



In the end Mayer chose Pat Lay, former business editor of the Sunday

Express to handle the PR. He seems to have found the only person in the

world without either a client conflict or grudge against Al Fayed.



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