Arun Sudhaman 22 Oct 2012 // 11:00PM GMT
LONDON--The global body charged with promoting gold is set to review its multimillion dollar PR business, currently handled by MSLGroup.
The Holmes Report understands that the World Gold Council review is a mandatory one, coming three years after the organisation consolidated global duties with MSLGroup.
The account is led by Capital MSL is London, which has handled the business for several years. Capital is supported by other MSLGroup offices in the US and Asia.
Last year, MSLGroup expanded its World Gold Council business considerably, when it added a seven-figure issues-related brief focusing on the US regulatory crackdown on 'conflict gold'.
Concerns over gold profits being used to finance wars, as in the Democratic Republic of Congo, have prompted the World Gold Council to publish the ‘Conflict-Free Gold Standard’, which its 23 members will implement from the beginning of next year. The standard aims to increase trust and transparency in the gold supply chain.
A source familiar with the situation said that the review includes all aspects of the World Gold Council’s public relations activity, estimated at upwards of $2m, in numerous international markets.
Based in the UK, the World Gold Council aims to boost demand for the metal from industry, consumers and investors, working across the financial, jewellery and technology sectors. The organisation’s mission also includes an active public affairs component.
Global demand for gold has surged over the past decade, from a $29bn in 2001 to $205bn last year, with prices approaching a record $2000 per ounce in 2013. With continued economic malaise forcing central banks to adopt stimulus measures, gold demand has soared as a means to shore up assets.
World Gold Council representatives did not respond to request for comment as this story went live.