Mocked Kazakhs plan PR fightback

As the eagerly awaited film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan goes on general release today, Kazakhstan has confirmed plans to bring in PR agency support.

The former Soviet country has been thrust into the global media spotlight via Sacha Baron Cohen's film, and has objected to his portrayal of the nation as bigoted and backward-looking.

‘We haven't talked to anyone officially yet but we are planning on speaking to UK agencies to look at promoting Kazakhstan,' head of department Rustem Murvazinov told PRWeek from the country's capital Astana.

‘We do not have a designated PR agency for tourism, or anything else, despite rumours,' said commercial attaché Chingiz Kanapyanov.

Kanapyanov confirmed that a visit from Kazakh­stan's president Nursultan Nazarbayev later this month would be used as a PR opportunity. PR firm MMD, which has an office in Kazakhstan, is thought to be among those in talks with Kazakhstan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs about handling the visit.

The Borat film is being promoted by Freud Communications.

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