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>> Disgraced and now facing a very uncertain future, leading PR firm Bell Pottinger considering all options, including putting itself up for sale after a racism row in South Africa. The group led a campaign in support of President Jacob Zuma and his ruling party, portraying Zuma's opponents as agents of white monopoly capital and featuring slogans evoking economic apartheid.
South Africa's main opposition, the Democratic Alliance, complained to UK trade body the PRCA, accusing Bell Pottinger's campaign of stirring racial tensions. They said it was trying to divide and conquer the South African public. The dispute touching a nerve in a country where the white minority still wields disproportionate economic power two decades after the end of apartheid.
The self-styled reputation management agency now attempting to stitch together its own reputation. It was expelled from the PRCA on Monday.>> It's the worst work I've ever seen. I've been representing the PRCA for ten years, I've seen nothing worse than it. Therefore, we took the ultimate sanction of expelling them immediately, and of saying that if they wish to reapply for membership, they can't do so for at least five years.
>> The effect of the ruling could be catastrophic in an industry that trades on reputation. HSBC severed ties on Tuesday, and UK media saying at least four major clients have ditched its services. Bell Pottinger Chief Executive James Henderson resigned on Monday. The company disputes the basis on which the ruling was made but has apologized for its conduct.