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.