The UK PR industry has been ‘shamefully and conspicuously unresponsive’
to the threat of tough EU legislation on cross-border PR campaigns,
according to the president of the IPR, Rosemary Brook.
At a conference on Friday, Brook called for greater involvement from the
UK PR industry in shaping the final version of the EU’s Green Paper on
‘Commercial communications in the internal market’.
‘Let us at least correct their misunderstandings,’ said Brook, citing
the following areas as examples of existing cross-border PR problems
that could be alleviated by sympathetic EU legislation: competitions,
free gift prizes, promotional offers, the use of celebrities, satellite
TV sponsorship and product comparisons.
Brook called on companies to contact the IPR with examples of problems
they may have had in implementing cross-border PR programmes. ‘Our
industry doesn’t yet have a body of knowledge which can pinpoint
problems,’ she said.
The EU currently has a ridiculously incomplete view of PR, defined too
much by more limited PR services offered on the Continent, said Brook.
These tend to be far more fragmented and a world away from the kind of
integrated, full-service management and marketing discipline that is
standard PR in the UK.
The PRCA has joined the IPR in its bid to influence Brussels. This week
it is sending its members a questionnaire designed to gauge cross-border
difficulties experienced by UK PR consultancies. The results will be
included in the PRCA’s official response to the Green Paper, which will
be delivered to the EU by the middle of next month.