The Red Consultancy’s ability to keep the sunny side up in the face of
inclement weather is an inspiration to us all.
This resilience is reflected nowhere better than in its work for
Colombia. As the UK cog in a European PR network, the agency tries to
balance Colombia’s drugs, death and mayhem-based press coverage with
news of the country’s finer points. Creditably honest releases outlining
police fatalities and rumours of government links with drug dealers, run
alongside tales of flower-producing prowess and vaccine development.
Investigations into the roles of three ministers in covering up a pounds
4 million donation from the Cali drug cartel to President Ernesto
Samper’s 1994 election campaign are the latest excitement. Red director
Lesley Brend stresses, presumably to emphasise Red’s remoteness from
nasty goings-on, that the agency did, after all, work for the foreign
That’s the spirit. After all, only one of those being investigated,
foreign minister Rodrigo Pardo is from that particular department.