THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Is Diana, Princess of Wales a help or hindrance to her pet causes?

Diana pulled out of a Red Cross meeting on landmines amid claims she was playing politics

Diana pulled out of a Red Cross meeting on landmines amid claims

she was playing politics

Tom Lawson

The Terrence Higgins Trust

’It really depends on the charity she is allied with. She’s done an

awful lot to help remove the stigma that has surrounded AIDS and HIV and

helped to create a broad base of support for the cause, without ever

being specifically linked with us. Her contribution has aided in the

battle against bigotry and homophobia and earned us some surprising

supporters from areas we wouldn’t have expected. She generates attention

because of who she is which, on balance, tends to be a benefit.’

Peter Jennings

Marie Curie Cancer Care

’I think you have to accept that Royals cannot get involved with

politics. But given that, she is so high profile that she has generated

a huge amount of publicity for the Red Cross’s landmines campaign which

they probably wouldn’t have had otherwise. All those TV crews following

her to Angola was dream PR.’

Max Clifford

Max Clifford Associates

’She’s a tremendous help to charities. Look at the amount of coverage

the landmines issue is generating now. It’s a subject of wide debate,

which is all down to Diana. It’s far better to be centre stage, in a

position to get your message across, and then have the choice how to

deal with the publicity afterwards.’

John Williams

Fishburn Hedges

’You have to be careful when using a celebrity with the publicity that

is generated. Specifically, with Diana, as long as her involvement is

seen to be logical and doesn’t compromise her position then it is

probably positive. People know that her interest in the landmines issue

comes from her long standing attachment with the Red Cross so it is a

natural connection.’

Bill Jones

Lexis PR

’She’s been a big benefit, without a doubt. There are so few truly world

figures that could have made the landmines issue so high profile so

quickly. Her contribution has ensured that the subject has been brought

before a wide range of policy makers which the Red Cross can now follow

up on. The test of how useful she is to charities is easily demonstrated

by looking at how all those causes were hit when she stopped being their


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