Thursday, November 22, 2007

Is This A Front for Tony Blair?

Below is the top half of a political advertisement that appeared in today's Haaretz (the bottom half appears at the end of this blog post).

The subject is an attempt by a group, supposedly students and young people, which is seeking the division of Jerusalem. It's main slogan reads:

Olmert, There Must be a Compromise in Jerusalem!

But what interests me is that, if you will please look carefully at the left upper section, you will see that the advert was prepared by "McCann PRess".

Funny, that. Who/What is McCann PRess? Stay with me.


McCann PRess Weber Shandwick is one of the leading communications agenices in Israel. The company provides media and public relations consultancy to businesses and organisations, with a strong specialism in crisis management.

The highly-experienced team, including the deputy spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Justice, has worked with leading companies in Israel and beyond. McCann PRess has expertise in managing crises and issues in the media, including for organisations in the legal, public, economic, criminal, and work relations sectors.

The office offers a full range of services, including media training, media messaging, and press releases. For clients visiting Israel, the team at McCann Press can act as spokespeople, co-ordinate interviews with officials, arrange photo calls, and work with the media teams of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Chairman of the Opposition to publicise the visit.

Current clients include the Atomic Energy Commission, the Four Seasons hotel chain, Markstone Capital Group, Excellence Nessuah Investment House, Yellow Pages, Manpower, NeoPharm, Agrexco, and the Jerusalem Development Authority.


McCann PRess Weber Shandwick
Raul Walenberg st. 2a
T: 972 3 7686444

Amir Dan
Joint managing director
T: 972 3 7686444

Einat Oren
Joint managing director
T: 972 3 7686444

Hmm. "and the Chairman of the Opposition". Neat, that.

But I'm interested in something more.

According to this,

...Weber Shandwick specialises in media, business and government; providing marketing communications, media and web relations, public affairs, and issues management, and offers corporate communications counselling services. It has 81 offices in 39 markets. Chaired by Jack Leslie, its global CEO is Harris Diamond. Its president is Andy Polansky. UK CEO Colin Byrne was hired by Peter Mandelson to advise UK Prime Minister Tony Blair during the 1997 and 2001 general elections.

In 2006, Weber Shandwick was named Large PR Firm of the Year (PR News U.S.), European Consultancy of the Year (The Holmes Report) and Network of the Year (Asia Pacific PR Awards). The firm also won the United Nations Grand Award for outstanding achievement in public relations. In the Holmes Report's Best Agency to Work For study, Weber Shandwick scored the highest marks of any of the large, publicly-traded, full-service agencies. In 2007, Weber Shandwick received the highest client-satisfaction honors in the 2007 Agency Excellence Survey by PRWeek U.S. Weber Shandwick's clients include many Global Fortune 500 companies.

So, it's a big firm (which means that someone is coughing up a lot of money) and it has links to...EU Special Middle Easy Envoy, Tony Blair.

If Ron Weber is the Weber in this firm's name, well I recall him from maybe 20 years ago. He was an American Habonim member, lefty, travelled with Yossi Beilin, Shimon Peres, then got rich and branched out.

But why would students and young people go to this PR firm? Have they the money, or the contacts? Or..

Is it Tony Blair somehow pushing the division of Jerusalem?


And by the way, if you try visiting the website included there at the bottom of the advert, here, you get nowhere but to a dead-end. Very odd, that.


Oops. Here's their site. And it strenghtens my case. It's a poor unimpressive site. As if they have no money. But they did have tens of thousands of NIS for the advert and to employ an expensive PR firm. So, is this a pro bono thing by McCann PRess? If so, why? Do they identify politically with Jerusalem's redivision or are they sucking up to Blair?

1 comment:

Suzanne Pomeranz said...

About the link - sorry, but you copied it wrong - try the same thing but, "" at the end (instead of ""...

You'll get a page with pics and links, all in Hebrew.

If you have a look, please let those of us with difficulty reading Hebrew know generally what it says (though I suppose I do have some idea).