It seems Harrods public affairs director Laurie Mayer was a little
unlucky in the PR agencies he chose to approach for help during his
employer’s court case with Josie Rowland last week.
First he went to Cardew and Co. Unfortunately, the agency has been
handling financial PR for Lonrho, the company founded by Mrs Rowland’s
late husband, since 1995.
Ludgate Public Affairs, which handled PR for the Manoukian family while
they were in court with the Sultan of Brunei’s brother Jefri, were also
approached and also had a conflict of interest. The Manoukian family are
not exactly best friends with Mohamed Al Fayed, and anyway Ludgate
represents retailer House of Fraser.
Mayer was also referred to Luther Pendragon. But the agency is run by
George Pitcher, a former industrial editor of the Observer, which when
owned by Lonrho tirelessly investigated Al Fayed’s business
Until earlier this year the agency also employed Melvyn Marckus, former
city editor at the Observer, and a key man in the paper’s Al Fayed
In the end Mayer chose Pat Lay, former business editor of the Sunday
Express to handle the PR. He seems to have found the only person in the
world without either a client conflict or grudge against Al Fayed.