COMMENT: EDITORIAL; Clients must back City regulation

The IPR City and Financial Group’s proposals for regulating financial communication, which bear a striking resemblance to those advocated in this column over the past few months, deserve the full support of the PR industry. In fact the scheme cannot succeed without that support.

The IPR City and Financial Group’s proposals for regulating financial

communication, which bear a striking resemblance to those advocated in

this column over the past few months, deserve the full support of the PR

industry. In fact the scheme cannot succeed without that support.



The co-operation of clients will also be crucial.



Unless clients consent to using only PR advisers who are on the

register, the prospect of expulsion from it will be an empty threat.



There is one key omission from the IPR statement, however. There is no

indication of the mechanism that will be used to police this new code of

conduct.



This task would be difficult for any of the existing industry bodies to

carry out alone. Non-members are unlikely to submit willingly to being

judged by a group to which they do not belong. The code has to be

administered by a body set up specifically for the purpose, similar in

scope and authority to the Press Complaints Commission. Its membership

should include PR practitioners, City regulators, clients and possibly

even financial journalists.



Only then will the code and register have the necessary credibility in

all quarters to succeed.



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