RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian public affairs practitioners are battling
for the multi-million pound presidential campaign accounts up for grabs
ahead of next year's election.
Brazil is set to elect the successor to President Fernando Henrique
Cardoso - alongside state governors and congressmen - in October
Candidates are already putting together campaign PR teams and enlisting
external communications advisers.
Industry speculation suggests candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, head
of the left-wing party Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), will sign up
political PR specialist Duda Mendonca.
Mendonca has already produced two 20-minute long TV shows for PT and is
understood to be putting together a team and campaign headquarters in
Mendonca has run several campaigns for former Sao Paulo state governor
Paulo Maluf, a right-wing politician and traditional political rival of
Lula and PT.
'In the past, PT wouldn't hire someone not affiliated to the party's
views. But the party understood the importance of having the best
professional, regardless of his political standing,' said a PT
The most wanted account is the PR campaign for the Government's
presidential candidate, which market insiders estimate could be worth
However, the government coalition must first choose a candidate, a
process which may take as long as four months.
The current leading candidates are health minister Jose Serra, Ceara
state governor Tasso Jereissati and Maranhao state governor Roseana
Communications specialist Nizan Guanaes, who headed President Cardoso's
successful campaigns in 1994 and 1998, is said to be the favourite of
both Jereissati and Sarney.