By Arun Sudhaman
Euro RSCG PR North American president Marian Salzman has clarified reports that her agency has resigned its role on Wyclef Jean’s Haitian presidential campaign, saying that until the bid receives clearance from the Haitian electoral commission, no formal agency decisions can be made.
Salzman’s comments come after the Holmes Report last week revealed
that Euro RSCG PR, together with sister agency Cake Group and political
heavyweights New Partners, had been assembled to handle comms for
Wyclef’s high-profile bid for the Haitian presidency. Salzman did
confirm, though, that Euro had resigned its position as PR agency for
Wyclef’s Yele Haiti NGO, which came in for considerable scrutiny from the New York Times over the weekend.
Wyclef launched his campaign for Haitian presidency amid much fanfare earlier this month, but the country’s electoral commission has yet to confirm whether the hip-hop superstar, along with a number of other candidates, meet the relevant residency criteria.
Salzman said that until this clearance is received, neither Euro RSCG PR nor the other agencies can determine whether to remain involved.
“Officially, there is no campaign right now,” she said. “What we did at the weekend was distance ourselves from the Yele Haiti NGO. It became very clear that the current Yele board needs to go further in cleaning up the past.”
Salzman admitted that she continues to handle press requests on behalf of Wyclef on a pro bono basis. She confirmed that her contact details had been removed from the Wyclef2010.com website, pointing out that this was due to an unwanted level of attention. “You cannot imagine the kinds of people that were phoning.”
If Wyclef’s bid does receive the greenlight, with a decision expected on Friday, Salzman said she is likely to remain involved, even if it is on a purely personal basis.
“I’m not going to say no,” she said. “If there is a campaign I will be a key advisor but I’d probably prefer not to be paid.”
Wyclef is currently in hiding in Haiti after receiving death threats. “I believe he can potentially be a healing force in Haiti,” added Salzman. “Right now I just hope he gets home.”