UK Leveson Report warns PR not to be next scandal

LONDON: The Leveson Report into UK media is a warning to the PR industry "not to become the next scandal," it has been claimed.

LONDON: The Leveson Report into UK media is a warning to the PR industry "not to become the next scandal," it has been claimed.

Following the release of Lord Justice Leveson's report into British media practice and ethics, Cicero Consulting's Mike Robb told PRWeek UK TV the industry needed to take stock.

Robb, head of corporate comms at the agency, pointed to Leveson's demands for fuller disclosure around lobbying and the judge's observation that such crises of reputation are often cyclical.

"The debate around whether or not transparency is a good thing is over, whether you like it or not," he said.

PRWeek UK has already revealed strong backing for the proposals from the UK comms industry.

However, Robb identified PR activity online as likely to be the area of most potential damage to the industry's reputation in the future, adding: "We need to be careful not to become the next scandal… it's really important the industry as a whole gets behind Leveson's recommendations."

In response to a slew of proposals in the report around regulating the media, a number of senior UK newspaper editors met this week amid efforts to offer a unified response.

But though it is understood that 40 of the 47 proposals – including the creation of a new regulator – had been accepted, there was still strong resistance to statutory regulation.

Robb welcomed the quick response by senior media figures, calling it "the essential first step" towards rebuilding the image of the British press.

However, he warned that such a process could take a decade, adding: "This is going to be a long-term process to rebuild reputation. It's not going to happen overnight."

A version of this article originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.

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