B-M will not sue over HPV article

Brussels/London: Global PR giant Burson-Marsteller has decided not to start legal proceedings against The Observer over criticism of its Brussels bureau’s lobbying tactics to support the introduction of a new NHS screening test for the human papilloma virus (HPV).

The controversy surrounds B-M’s campaigning on behalf of biotech firm Digene via the European Women for HPV Testing group.

B-M solicitors wrote to The Observer on 26 January accusing the paper of publishing a ‘seriously defamatory article’ the previous day (PRWeek, 30 January).

But the Sunday broadsheet has since received a further letter stating that B-M has no plans to issue proceedings.

B-M Brussels declined to comment on The Observer spat but said the HPV campaign was ‘continuing’.

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