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Former Blair adviser launches PR firm with BSkyB as client

Tim Allan, a former adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair, is setting up his own start-up PR agency after poaching BSkyB from Bell Pottinger as its first client.

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LONDON (Brand Republic) - Tim Allan, a former adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair, is setting up his own start-up PR agency after poaching BSkyB from Bell Pottinger as its first client.

Bell Pottinger, which is part of Lord Bell’s Chime Communications group, had handled BSkyB’s account for 10 years. It will continue to advise BSkyB chief executive Tony Ball on strategic issues, while Allan’s firm will look after day-to-day public affairs and financial PR activity.

The move is an indication of the shifting in political allegiances of the one time Tory-supporting Rupert Murdoch. Lord Bell was Lady Thatcher’s long-time advertising and communications adviser but is now only of peripheral political significance.

Murdoch and BSkyB, however, are keen to maintain a good relationship with the government, particularly in the light of upcoming communications legislation, and the company is considering an equity stake in Allan’s agency.

Allan left Downing Street in June 1998 to become director of corporate communications at BSkyB and was acting as BSkyB’s strategic planning manager -- a role he took on after completing an MBA course at INSEAD in France.

The name of the agency, which has so far recruited five staff, has yet to be announced.

www.sky.com
www.bppr.co.uk



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