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Monday, 9 April 2012

FIDDAMAN 's mentors SCIENTOLOGY used Hill & Knowlton PR to lobby against PROZAC in 1990's

Hill & Knowlton

A Corporate Profile

By Corporate Watch UK

Completed June 2002


4.3 Unsavoury Friends & Clients


The Church of Scientology

Another of the scandalous accounts taken by H&K after its acquisition by WPP Group included its work for the Church of Scientology. After the death of its founder L. Ron Hubbard, the Church turned to Hill and Knowlton for help in cleaning up its tattered image[46]. The Church had been embroiled in controversy over its strong-arm tactics in dealing with its critics. Eleven of its members had been jailed in the early 1980s for burglarising and wire-tapping several government agencies that had been investigating it, including the US Internal Revenue Service[47]. In 1991 Time had described Scientology as a “highly profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner”.

The broad aim of H&K’s campaign was to present Scientology as grossly misunderstood, but H&K’s activities went beyond the normal PR remit. In addition to dealing with media appearances and lobbying on Capitol Hill, they handled Freedom of Information requests to get government documents relating to the IRS investigation and H&K executives were even sent to bail out two scientologists who had been arrested[48].

As part of their work for Scientology H&K engaged in lobbying against the licensing of certain prescription drugs. These activities involved calling for a congressional investigation of the drug Prozac. At the same time the advertising agency, J Walter Thompson, another WPP Group company, had an account with Eli Lilly, the makers of Prozac. Who raised complaints with WPP. Eventually the Scientology contract was dropped due to complaints from them and other pharmaceutical companies[49].

[46] Trento S, 1992, ‘The Power House: Robert Keith Gray and the Selling of Access and Influence in Washington’, p.357

[47] Miller K, 1998, ‘The Voice of Business: H&K and Post War Public Relations’ p.132

[48] Trento S, 1992, ‘The Power House: Robert Keith Gray and the Selling of Access and Influence in Washington’, p 358

[49] ibid.

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