The IPR City and Financial Group’s proposals for regulating financial
communication, which bear a striking resemblance to those advocated in
this column over the past few months, deserve the full support of the PR
industry. In fact the scheme cannot succeed without that support.
The co-operation of clients will also be crucial.
Unless clients consent to using only PR advisers who are on the
register, the prospect of expulsion from it will be an empty threat.
There is one key omission from the IPR statement, however. There is no
indication of the mechanism that will be used to police this new code of
This task would be difficult for any of the existing industry bodies to
carry out alone. Non-members are unlikely to submit willingly to being
judged by a group to which they do not belong. The code has to be
administered by a body set up specifically for the purpose, similar in
scope and authority to the Press Complaints Commission. Its membership
should include PR practitioners, City regulators, clients and possibly
even financial journalists.
Only then will the code and register have the necessary credibility in
all quarters to succeed.