Bell Pottinger Asia today relaunched as Klareco Communications, formalising its total separation from Bell Pottinger UK, which is close to collapse following the scandal over its involvement in a campaign in South Africa.
A memo from Asia CEO Ang Shih Huei (see below) said that it had been an “extraordinary and difficult time” but that the Asia team was now relaunching as Klareco Communications under a new ownership structure.
“This underlines what we have been reiterating over recent days—that our team in Asia, is and always has been, a separate legal entity from Bell Pottinger in the UK,” the memo read. “While the UK business is expected to go into administration as early as next week, the Asia business is entirely ringfenced and solvent. Our teams are intact, we continue to serve our clients and it is entirely business as usual.”
Klareco means "clarity" in Esperanto, and Huei said the name “underlines the diversity and inclusive values of this team, and our aspirations for the future”.
Bell Pottinger’s rapid demise last week stems from work for South African client Oakbay Investment, which was deemed “likely to inflame racial discord” by the UK Public Relations and Communications Association. The PRCA then expelled the PR agency, and CEO James Henderson resigned. Numerous clients severed ties with the agency following the revelations.