Portland Communications

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Portland Communications
Industry Communications
Founded 2001 (2001)
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Services Communications
Number of employees
70 (2011)
Website portland-communications.com

Portland Communications Ltd is a political consultancy and public relations agency set up in 2001 by Tim Allan,[1] a former adviser to Tony Blair[2] and Director of Communications at BSkyB.

Portland provides communications and public affairs advice to brands and high-profile individuals. Portland's website states that "Our team is recruited from the highest levels of the media, politics and government. "

Growing doubt in UK about the extent to which lobbying firms influence government policy on behalf of business clients resulted in a general warning in February 2010 by David Cameron, now Prime Minister, that "lobbying was the next political scandal".[3] Staff and activities of lobbying firms are therefore a matter of public interest in UK. As of 2012, however, there is no sign that the Cameron Administration plans additional legislation or regulation on the matter.

Staff[edit]

As of January 2012, Portland partners include the former political editor of The Sun, George Pascoe-Watson [4] and Mark Flanagan.[5]

In January 2012 Portland Communications hired James O'Shaughnessy, Prime Minister David Cameron's former director of policy, as Chief Policy Advisor. The Independent reported that Mr. O'Shaughnessy failed to inform the Whitehall committee which vets jobs for officials leaving Government, which was described by Sir Alistair Graham, the former chairman of the Committee of Standards in Public Life, as a "serious error of judgement".[6] Portland also employed David Cameron's former Press Secretary, George Eustice.

Clients[edit]

Current and previous clients include the British Bankers' Association,[7] Tullow Oil,[8] BTA Bank and AB InBev on behalf of its Stella Artois brand.[9]

Wikipedia editing[edit]

In January 2012, MP Tom Watson discovered that Portland Communication had tried to remove references to a client's brand of lager, Stella Artois, from the wife-beater disambiguation page in Wikipedia.[9][10] The beer is popularly known in Britain as such, in part because of its high alcohol content and perceived connection with aggression and binge drinking.[11][12]

Qatar[edit]

In 2014 it was revealed that Portland had been hired for $150,000 by Qatar “for a communications/political push targeted at Congress and federal agencies to improve ties with the US.”[13]

The firm admitted to on-line attacks of critics of their client, the government of Qatar who are hositng the Qatar World Cup. [14]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]