LONDON—Iraq’s Coalition Provisional Authority has selected British public relations firm Bell Pottinger Communications to promote the establishment of democracy as the country recovers from war. The firm has been commissioned to work on a large-scale public relations drive that will precede the handing over of power to an Iraqi government in June.
In a statement, the Coalition Provisional Authority said the campaign was aimed at “informing the Iraqi people about the democratic process that will see sovereignty returned to an interim Iraqi administration, the conduct of democratic elections, and the establishment of a new constitution for Iraq.”
Last week, Iraq’s Governing Council signed an interim constitution, a key step toward handing over sovereignty to an Iraqi government on June 30. Full democratic elections are due next year. But the signing was accompanied by criticism from Iraq’s most powerful Shi’ite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who objects to an unelected Iraqi body being given the power to make legislative decisions.
Bell Pottinger will lead a consortium that includes the Dubai-based advertising agency Bates PanGulf and the media services company Balloch & Roe, which already has offices in Baghdad.
The effort will be led by Bell Pottinger’s founder, Lord Tim Bell, who told British newspapers, “We will be using all media: television, print, outdoor posters, leaflets and town hall meetings.”