What is Burson-Marsteller? And why should we be concerned?
WPP a company originally called Wire and Plastic Products, famously used to make supermarket trolleys. Today it owns hundreds of firms engaged in deceptive spin and putting corporate wishes into action. Among the largest and most well known are Burson-Marsteller and Hill and Knowlton, both famous for their deceptive campaigns on behalf of the world’s worst corporations, torturers and dictators.
Burson-Marsteller is the company that governments with poor human rights records and corporations in trouble with environmentalists have turned to when in crisis.
The world’s biggest PR company was employed by the Nigerian government to discredit reports of genocide during the Biafran war, the Argentinian junta after the disappearance of 35,000 civilians, and the Indonesian government after the massacres in East Timor. It also worked to improve the image of the late Romanian president Nicolae Ceausescu and the Saudi royal family.
Its corporate clients have included the Three Mile Island nuclear plant, which suffered a partial meltdown in 1979, Union Carbide after the Bhopal gas leak killed up to 15,000 people in India, BP after the sinking of the Torrey Canyon oil tanker in 1967 and the British government after BSE emerged.
Rachel Maddow Show: March 5, 2009