Bell Pottinger Asia to rebrand as Klareco as scandal brings down British parent

One of Asia’s leading public relations networks, Bell Pottinger Asia, has today announced its intention to rebrand as Klareco Communications after its British parent was engulfed by serious allegations about its conduct on behalf of a client in South Africa.

The public memo issued by Bell Pottinger Asia emphasises that the company is a different legal entity to the British agency and will not be directly affected by the company’s fall in the UK.

The new name is a word taken from international language Esperanto, meaning “clarity”.

Bell Pottinger, or Klareco as it will be, has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, KL and Yangon, and clients throughout the region.

Piers Pottinger, the chairman of Bell Pottinger Asia, will continue on in his role at Klareco. In an interview with the Evening Standard, Pottinger accused the ousted chief executive officer James Henderson of sidelining him some time ago.

“Unfortunately James succeeded in marginalising me a long time ago so there was not much I could do. I’m really sad to see the mess he created as chief executive,” he said.

The memo:

Dear Clients, Partners and Friends,

Once again many thanks for your understanding at this extraordinary and difficult time. I am writing to give you the news that our team in Asia is now free to formalise its complete separation from Bell Pottinger. In the coming days, our team in Asia will be relaunching under a new ownership structure with a new name, and a renewed vigour and clarity of purpose.

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.  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.

Moving forward, we will be trading as Klareco Communications, a new name which underlines the diversity and inclusive values of this team, and our aspirations for the future. Klareco means clarity in Esperanto, the international language of hope and harmony.

Of course there will be some logistics to be completed as the formalities are concluded (including a new email address and website as a matter of priority), but our teams will remain completely focused on continuing to provide all our clients with excellent support.

Thank you again for your loyalty and understanding. The management and team are invigorated and excited about our future prospects, and continuing our partnership with you.

We will continue to keep you updated regularly on all next steps.

Sincerely yours, from all the Klareco team.

Ang Shih Huei – CEO

Mark Worthington – Managing Director – Singapore


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