Blue-collar union the GMB is to restart its campaign to halt the
Government's PFI plans.
The campaign had been shelved in the aftermath of the 11 September
terrorist atrocities but the union's PR unit now feels this week is the
right time for a relaunch.
GMB head of communications Daniel Hodges says the campaign, which is
handled in-house, will have a different focus.
Until the terror attacks the campaign, which was to have reached a
crescendo at the Labour Party conference in early October, used media
relations to confront the Government over its policy.
It will now confront the firms involved in PFIs and also PR companies
and marketeers that work for PFI firms.
This will highlight negative stories about existing schemes and attempt
to encourage PR and marketing firms not to work on campaigns supporting
One such firm is Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, which was appointed
during the summer by the PPP Forum, comprised of companies already
involved in PFI schemes (PRWeek, 3 August).
Hodges said: 'A lot of money is being spent by firms on consultants to
promote PPP. We want to highlight this to the public.
'There is an element of war fatigue setting in and now is the
opportunity to concentrate on domestic issues. Before 11 September
private involvement in public service was arguably the number one
domestic political issue. When the attacks happened we halted the
campaign immediately,' he added.
Firms involved in PFIs include Balfour Beatty, Amec, the Royal Bank of
Scotland and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
The pre-11 September GMB campaign against PFI included the promotion of
a Mori poll that Labour would lose a quarter of its voters over the