PR firms in line for a kicking over Russia?
Fine work from The Guardian today, which splashes “$17bn worth of global assets linked to 35 Russians with alleged ties to Putin”.
The paper can do its own victory lap here, and probably will, but there’s some notable PR elements from the piece.
For a start, the PR involvement is strikingly less smooth than you might expect.
Almost as if the high-powered City PR with the macrobiotic diet and the £3000 Zegna suit is no longer talking for these guys.
This is good for the flaks, since they might otherwise have a chance of ending up in prison.
It looks like a loss to the oligarchs, if not to justice.
Here is the response of a spokesperson for Oleg Deripaska to the Guardian story, worth quoting in full.
“It is unclear how publishing this kind of ‘asset inventory’ might serve the public interest. Unless, of course, by ‘public interest’ you mean encouraging squatters to occupy private property, like they did with a London house belonging to Mr Deripaska’s relatives. All of the property and assets he owns were acquired by fair means. The media frenzy, regrettable as it is, certainly doesn’t give anyone the right to call Mr Deripaska a kleptocrat. The Russia witch-hunt of which Mr Deripaska has become a victim is driven by political motives.”
Witch-hunt? Victim? Christ, they even used the word kleptocrat. This is not a message that would have been approved for release by a big City PR firm.
What happens next? Well, here is my bet: that Fleet Street increasingly turns its guns on the enablers of bad behaviour, which probably includes at least some of those same PR firms.
Sales of NFT’s (non-fungible token’s, do keep up) are up 8500% in the last year, says this from the NFT club.
There is a timeline of “historic” moments and the naming of some of the most expensive NFTs ever.
This all looks like a disaster in waiting, but plainly we are going to have to get our heads around it…