EDITORIAL: Reputations are built on trust

Brunswick's position as the City's pre-eminent PR firm is not

likely to be undermined by a few days of headlines over a missing file

of papers detailing a series of mergers and acquisitions.

But financial PR firms need to remain vigilant in order to protect the

reputation of the sector in the face of a business media unremittingly

hostile to the idea of being spun, and only too willing to stick the

boot in when the chance arises.

They have spent many years gaining the trust of major corporations and

the analyst community. City PR sources recall with regret that 15 years

ago most listed companies regarded letting the PR firm in on the details

of a deal as tantamount to making it public. PR agencies were

deliberately kept out of the loop until the last minute.

Gaining the trust of CEOs and chairmen, and therefore access to

important corporate information, carries with it a responsibility to

treat such information with care. It is not entirely clear whether

Brunswick failed in this respect, but it is an aspect of practice that

all operators in the Square Mile would do well to keep an eye on.

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