PR chief Richard Edelman has called on the industry to be more balanced in the stories it promotes to the media following a scandal that saw agency Bell Pottinger's British business file for bankruptcy.
Bell Pottinger ran a PR campaign for Oakbay Investments that was labeled racially divisive by a law firm hired to investigate it. Oakbay is owned by controversial South Africa-based family the Guptas.
Speaking to CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Edelman chief executive said the job of a PR agency is to help the media find quality information.
"I think the whole PR industry, and I'm going to work like, hard on this, this year, should move from a position of advocacy and lobbying, towards one that is informing. Tell both sides of the story," he said Tuesday.
"Even if you're being paid by the company, your job is, oftentimes, to go direct to the end user of information, and, in the moment, silence is a tax on truth. And we've got to get companies to speak up, but speak up in a way that is educating, as opposed to just lobbying."