The issues of depoliticisation of Government institutions and
public relations, normally branded as an anathema to one another by the
media, have become aligned this week. The Competition Commission, the
new non-politically-affiliated arbiter which is to replace the Mergers
and Monopolies Commission, is hunting for an independent PR agency as
part of its bid to take the politics out of the policing of mergers.
The Commission is not, as could quite naturally be expected, looking for
a public affairs specialist, or indeed an agency particularly known for
its political nous. Instead, it is looking to hire an astute generalist
with the skills required to convince the media and business alike of the
genuine transparency of the new body.
A new independent competition authority will need to be more than just a
renamed version of the present Monopolies and Mergers Commission. It
will need to set its own agenda as opposed to responding to ministerial
instructions. But equally important to the success of the body will be
the way in which it communicates this shift in responsibility, and the
way in which it builds business confidence in its authority as
Hiring communication expertise is seen as a necessary step in the
depoliticisation of competition policy and shows a refreshing
recognition that for a company or organisation to be considered
transparent it must learn how to establish channels of communications.