Monday 23 June 2008

Advert that we're not meant to see

This Thursday Zimbabwe goes back to the polls for the second time in as many months.

Iain Dale in the UK reports about a Financial Times shocking story.

The company working to keep Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe in power, is part of Sir Martin Sorrell's English WPP Group.

The implications are extremely bad for his business. WPP have been forced to admit they are behind Mugabe's adverts that have incited the murder of at least 80 opposition campaigners is indeed part of the Young and Rubicam Group, owned by WPP.

Sorrell says that he will divest his company of their interests in Zimbabwe. Iain Dale says this is "rather too late for the 80 dead, and thousands who have been tortured by Mugabe's thugs."

Sorrell says that he didn't know that his company was working for Mugabe. The WPP website lists the countries where they do business, but fails to mention Zimbabwe.

If they didn't think they were doing anything wrong, you have to ask why they hide this fact. Statements in the Zimbabwe press from the company spokesperson is called Sharyn Mugabe. Iain Dale says that Mugabe is not a common name, yet it didn't seem to raise any alarm bells with WPP.

"The most important question now is what will WPP do to put right this terrible wrong," says Iain Dale. "If they genuinely are sorry, they will announce today that every penny they have received from their immoral business is to be donated to help the victims of Mugabe's reign of terror?"

"WPP has blood on its hands. I just wonder how many other international companies have also been making money propping up this immoral regime," Dale asks.

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