Indian PR ban spurs trade body into being

Seven Indian agencies will meet next month to inaugurate the Indian Public Relations Consultants Association.

Seven Indian agencies will meet next month to inaugurate the Indian

Public Relations Consultants Association.



Anthony Good, founder of Good Relations (India), will be confirmed as

president of the IPRCA when its first members meet on 2 August.



Increasing pressure on the industry from publishers like the Times of

India Group, which publishes the Economic Times and is one of the

largest publishers in the sub-continent, has spurred agencies into

organising a trade association.



In the last year the publisher has banned agency representatives from

entering its buildings without appointments after journalists complained

of corridors lined with people waving press releases.



Agencies said they were told informally five months ago that journalists

would be by-passing them to speak directly to their clients.



But a senior journalist with the publisher said there was no ban on

accepting material from agencies or talking to public relations

firms.



’We need something to give us legitimacy and remove the association of

sleaze,’ said Nikhil Khanna, head of Good Relations’ New Delhi

office.



The founder members of the association are Corporate Voice, a Shandwick

International affiliate, local agencies Genesis PR and Enterprise PR,

Text 100, Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy and Mather and Good Relations.



Good was named president and Prema Sagar, chief executive of Genesis

Public Relations, was named secretary at a meeting earlier this

month.



At the next meeting members hope to establish professional practices and

membership committees, set out the association’s rules and decide which

other agencies to invite to join.



The idea for an Indian association was first seriously considered two

years ago, when leading practitioners gathered to meet PR Week

journalist Amanda Hall during a visit she made to India.



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