Thursday, 6 November 2008

Look out for state funded PR

I've done a piece for Comment is Free today on the eco-towns story.

One of the issues I've mentioned is the tendency for the government to give money to campaigning or "third sector" organisations, which then engage in positive PR in support of their policies.

In this case the Town and Country Planning Association has been very quick to issue a press release supporting a draft policy planning statement on which the department for Communities and Local Government is supposedly consulting. As I say:
There is no suggestion of a conflict of interest here, as long as you accept that TCPA is paid to support the government policy and treat its pronouncements accordingly. It just doesn't seem right that the government's allies are trying to influence a formal consultation process before anyone else has seen the documents.

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