The expert at the centre of the row over the Government’s warning about
contraceptive pills turned to a UK PR consultancy for advice, it emerged
Professor Walter Spitzer of the Potsdam Institute in Montreal, the man
behind one of three reports on which the Department of Health based its
warning, hired the healthcare division of Manning Selvage and Lee to
handle his side of the story.
Furious at what he described as Government misinterpretation of his
research, he hired the agency over the phone from Montreal last Thursday
evening, briefing the team to organise a national press conference for
7.30am the following morning at Heathrow’s terminal four.
He then took an immediate flight across the Atlantic, arriving at
Terminal Three at 6.45am, held the press conference at 7.30am, gave
around 50 one-to-one interviews, then returned to Montreal.
Manning Selvage and Lee was recommended to Spitzer by a former client
and its fee paid out of his pill research budget, funded by the
pharmaceutical company Schering Plough.