Feb 14, 2011

#BDS: Five Norwegian PR Firms Reject Lucrative Offers to Improve Israel’s Global Image

"Israel is attempting to widen its global public relations campaign by hiring foreign PR firm to improve its reputation abroad. With the increasing threat being posed by the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and the publicity surrounding Israelis human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian Territory, Israel has contacted public relations specialists in Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Norway for help.

The project, for which each firm would be paid around 3.5 million USD annually, is to help Israel promote its vision in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as prevent the international boycott, amongst other things.

“Israel is an highly controversial project,” Sigurd Grytten, the PR firm Burson-Marsteller’s Managing Director, told the paper.

Statements by heads of the public relations agencies Geelmuyden.Keise, Gambit H&K, Apeland Informasjon, and First House range from “difficult”, to “no comment”. Only one agency, Kreab, has said it might consider the assignment.

In response, Aviad Ivri, Counselor at the Israeli embassy in Oslo, said, “It’s no secret that Israel has a reputation problem.”

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