Repercussions hit home in light of RJH PR fiasco

The beleaguered staff of RJH are in limbo this week as they await

the outcome of a review of royal business affairs.



The outcome could prove crucial to the role founder Sophie Wessex can

play in the future of her troubled agency.



An NOP survey conducted exclusively for PRWeek shows the public supports

Wessex. The research found almost 70 per cent of the public back

Wessex's right to continue working in PR. Only one in five said she

should stick to the 'traditional work' of royal members.



Meanwhile, the IPR has written to co-founder Murray Harkin to ask him to

explain his actions. Harkin may be expelled from the body after his

alleged comments to an undercover reporter were made public. 'This is a

unique situation,' said spokeswoman Ann Mealor. 'We are responding to

concern from our members.'



The fallout of the RJH affair also saw travel agency Jo Vickers PR

emerge as the likely successor to RJH on the Banyan Tree hotel account.

MD Jo Vickers said there had been contact with Banyan, which dropped RJH

after Harkin's alleged promise to arrange gay sex parties through the

hotel.



Kishan Athalathmudali, the RJH account manager at the centre of the

imbroglio, has had a job offer from Republic Communications withdrawn in

the wake of all the coverage. Agency joint MD Jane Howard said: 'The

perception of Kishan's role in recent events is incompatible with what

we'd expect of any employee.'



Leader, p10.



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