Nonprofit Global Citizen drops APCO Worldwide over Egypt work

An APCO representative said the firm no longer represents the Egyptian government.

The Giza Necropolis in Egypt. (Image via Wikimedia Commons, by Yasser Nazmi, own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)
The Giza Necropolis in Egypt. (Image via Wikimedia Commons, by Yasser Nazmi, own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)

WASHINGTON: Nonprofit Global Citizen dropped APCO Worldwide on Monday due to the firm’s work for the government of Egypt, a country that has reportedly become increasingly authoritarian towards LGBTQ citizens.

Global Citizen, which aims to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, had APCO on retainer in the U.S. for a project in December 2017 that ended the following month. The nonprofit was also working with a European branch of APCO, but cut those ties Monday morning, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Andrew Kirk, global director of PR and corporate communications for Global Citizen, said in a statement on Monday that Global Citizen "strongly believes in equal rights and a safe, prosperous society for the LGBTQ community. APCO [was retained in the U.S.] by Global Citizen for a limited project. As a result of our internal due diligence, we have since terminated our relationship with APCO in all other markets."

Anthony DeAngelo, a spokesman for APCO, said the firm was proud of its work for Global Citizen and continues to believe in the nonprofit’s mission. He declined to comment on the account loss. 

DeAngelo also said APCO no longer represents Egypt.

"Our work in supporting the U.S. – Egypt partnership was contracted through the recent Egyptian election and we have concluded our work, which will be reflected in our next filings," he said.

The contradiction between APCO’s work for Egypt and its professed support for the rights of LGBTQ community was highlighted in a critical story by The Intercept in December.

APCO took over the account from Weber Shandwick last July after Weber ended its contract with Egypt. Weber had been the subject of a similar critical article in The Atlantic earlier that month.

However, in a December interview with PRWeek, APCO founder and executive chairman Margery Kraus defended her agency’s work for Egypt and said it decided to take the account before The Atlantic story was published.

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