Hill and Knowlton

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Twenty-pound-notes.jpg This article is part of the Lobbying Portal, a sunlight project from Spinwatch.
Hill and Knowlton Offices, 49 Clerkenwell Green
Hill and Knowlton Offices, Rue Montoyer 51, Brussels

Hill & Knowlton (H&K) was for many years the largest PR and lobbying firm in the world.

It is now part of global communications group WPP. Roughly three quarters of H&K’s work involves routine PR, and a quarter high-profile government lobbying and policy advice[1]

H&K has created and refined many of the industry's key PR strategies and techniques over the years. It was labelled by one former employee as 'a company without a moral rudder'.[2]

The company was renamed Hill+Knowlton Strategies in December 2011 as part of 'a shift in corporate identity' that recognised the 'democratisation of data'.

Contents

Hill & Knowlton campaigns

Below are some of H&K's better-known campaigns. For more examples see: Hill and Knowlton: Corporate Crimes

'Smoke & Mirrors'

The tobacco industry has waged a fifty year campaign to hide the health effects of smoking. In 2005, the US Department of Justice's legal case, asking for a staggering $280 billion in damages, finally reached court. They argued that the tobacco industry carried out a fifty year campaign of deception. At its heart was Hill and Knowlton. An Executive Summary of Preliminary Findings notes:[3]

At the end of 1953, the chief executives of the five major cigarette manufacturers in the United States at the time - Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson, Lorillard, and American - met at the Plaza Hotel in New York City with representatives of the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton and agreed to jointly conduct a long term public relations campaign to counter the growing evidence linking smoking as a cause of serious diseases. The meeting spawned an association-in-fact enterprise to execute a fraudulent scheme in furtherance of their overriding common objective - to preserve and enhance the tobacco industry's profits by maximizing the numbers of smokers and number of cigarettes smoked and to avoid adverse liability judgements. The fraudulent scheme would continue for the next five decades.

One of the tactics was to create a controversy over health where there was not one. For example one Hill and Knowlton memo from the sixties says: "The most important type of story is that which casts doubt in the cause and effect theory of disease and smoking". Eye-grabbing headlines were needed and "should strongly call out the point - Controversy! Contradiction! Other Factors! Unknowns!"[4]

The PR industry and Hill and Knowlton have tried to keep the controversy open ever since.

Working for oil giants, the nuclear industry and torturers

Nuclear spin.png This article is part of the Nuclear Spin project of Spinwatch.
The firm helped in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska and the Three Mile Island nuclear accident.[5]

It has worked for Governments with appalling human rights records, including Egypt, Haiti, Indonesia, Morocco, Turkey - and China after the Tiananmen square massacre.[6]. It has also worked for Saudi Aramco, the state run oil company in Saudi Arabia.[7]

The UK office has worked with the Government of Maldives on promoting the country as a tourist destination, whilst Amnesty International has issued a string of warnings and reports about this and the government's repression of the political opposition.[8]

Paving the way to war

Hill and Knowlton played a leading role in the run-up to the first Gulf War. In August 1990, Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait. Fourteen years ago the American public were reluctant to send troops. Selling the war was not going to be easy.

As many as 20 PR firms were used to mobilize US opinion in favour of the war. Hill & Knowlton, then the world's largest PR firm, served as the mastermind for the Kuwaiti campaign. The Kuwaiti government agreed a $12 million contract under which Hill & Knowlton would represent "Citizens for a Free Kuwait," a classic PR front group which hid the role of the Kuwaiti government and its collusion with the Bush administration.[9]

One PR commentator noted about Hill & Knowlton's unprecedented campaign that: "H&K has employed a stunning variety of opinion-forming devices and techniques to help keep US opinion on the side of the Kuwaitis The techniques range from full-scale press conferences showing torture and other abuses by the Iraqis to the distribution of tens of thousands of 'Free Kuwait' T-shirts and bumper stickers at college campuses across the US."[10]

Hill and Knowlton also devised the defining moment that swung American public opinion in favour of war. It arranged for the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the US to appear as an ordinary Kuwaiti girl in front of Congress. Her written testimony was passed out in a media kit prepared by Citizens for a Free Kuwait. "While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go into the room where babies were in incubators. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators, and left the babies on the cold floor to die."[11]

It was a testimony that drove the US to war. It was totally false.

Biotechnology industry

In 2007 the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the world's largest biotechnology organization, selected the team of Hill & Knowlton and Gable PR to manage its public and media relations programs for its 2008 BIO International Convention in San Diego, California.[12]

Corporate Crimes

For further details of Hill and Knowlton's corporate crimes, see Hill and Knowlton Corporate Crimes.

People

United Kingdom

APPC lobbying register

December 2016-February 2017

No practitioners registered.

September 2016-November 2016

Matt Bright | Clare Coffey | Rebecca Cox | Verity Dephoff | Ed Gill | Joshua Glendinning | Suzy Greenwood | Henry Groundes-Peace | Peter Headden | Sara Jurkowsky | Rachel Kelly | Douglas McIlroy | Charlotte Nathan | Metin Parlak | Zara Patel | Chris Pratt | Jennifer Roberts | Ben Robinson | Michael Stott | Daisy Thomas | Olivia Thornton | Chris Warne | Simon Whitehead

June 2016-August 2016

Victoria Belchambers | Matt Bright | Clare Coffey | Verity Dephoff | Will Dunn | Joshua Glendinning | Suzy Greenwood | Henry Groundes-Peace | Peter Headden | Sara Jurkowsky | Rachel Kelly | Douglas McIlroy | Charlotte Nathan | Metin Parlak | Chris Pratt | Jennifer Roberts | Ben Robinson | Larry Smith | Michael Stott] | Daisy Thomas | Olivia Thornton | Chris Warne | Simon Whitehead [14]

March 2016-May 2016

Victoria Belchambers | Matt Bright | David Chambers | Clare Coffey | Verity Dephoff | Will Dunn | Joshua Glendinning | Suzy Greenwood | Henry Groundes-Peace | Peter Headden | Sara Jurkowsky | Rachel Kelly | Joanna MacDonald | Douglas McIlroy | Clare Murphy-McGreevey | Charlotte Nathan | Metin Parlak | Chris Pratt | Jennifer Roberts | Ben Robinson | Larry Smith | Michael Stott] | Daisy Thomas | Olivia Thornton | Chris Warne | Simon Whitehead [15]

December 2015-February 2016

Victoria Belchambers | Matt Bright | David Chambers | Clare Coffey | Verity Dephoff | Will Dunn | Joshua Glendinning | Suzannah Greenwood | Henry Groundes-Peace | Victoria Hayes | Peter Headden | Edward Jones | Sara Jurkowsky | Rachel Kelly | Joanna MacDonald | Douglas McIlroy | Clare Murphy-McGreevey | Charlotte Nathan | Metin Parlak | Chris Pratt | Jennifer Roberts | Ben Robinson | Larry Smith | Michael Stott | Daisy Thomas | Olivia Thornton | Chris Warne | Simon Whitehead [16]

September 2015-November 2015

Victoria Belchambers | Matt Bright | David Chambers | Clare Coffey | Verity Dephoff | Will Dunn | Joshua Glendinning | Suzannah Greenwood | Henry Groundes-Peace | Victoria Hayes | Peter Headden | Joanna Hoare | Edward Jones Sara Jurkowsky | Rachel Kelly | Melissa MacEwen | Douglas Mcllroy | Clare Murphy-McGreevey | Charlotte Nathan | Metin Parlak | Chris Pratt | Jennifer Roberts | Ben Robinson | Larry Smith | Michael Stott | Daisy Thomas | Olivia Thornton | Chris Warne | Simon Whitehead [17]

June 2015-August 2015

Matt Bright | Jonathan Brown | David Chambers | Clare Coffey | Verity Dephoff | Will Dunn | Peter Folland | Joshua Glendinning | Suzannah Greenwood | Henry Groundes-Peace | Peter Headden | Joanna Hoare | Edward Jones Sara Jurkowsky | Rachel Kelly | Melissa MacEwen | Douglas Mcllroy | Clare Murphy-McGreevey | Charlotte Nathan | Metin Parlak | Chris Pratt | Jennifer Roberts | Ben Robinson | Larry Smith | Michael Stott | Daisy Thomas | Simon Whitehead [18]]

March 2015-May2015

Matt Bright | Jonathan Brown | David Chambers | Clare Coffey | Verity Dephoff | Will Dunn | Peter Folland | Rob Foyle | Joshua Glendinning | Suzannah Greenwood | Joanna Hoare | Edward Jones | Sara Jurkowsky | Melissa MacEwan | Douglas McIlroy | Clare Murphy-McGreevey | Charlotte Nathan | Metin Parlak | Chris Pratt | Ben Robinson | Larry Smith | Michael Stott | Daisy Thomas | Simon Whitehead [18]

December 2014-February 2015

Matt Bright | Jonathan Brown | David Chambers | Clare Coffey | Verity Dephoff | Will Dunn | Peter Folland | Rob Foyle | Joshua Glendinning | Suzannah Greenwood | Tess Harris | Joanna Hoare | Edward Jones | Sara Jurkowsky | Melissa MacEwen | Douglas McIlroy | Mike McManus | Clare Murphy-McGreevey | Charlotte Nathan | Metin Parlak | Chris Pratt | Ben Robinson | Michael Stott | Larry Smith | Daisy Thomas | Simon Whitehead[19]

September 2014-November 2014

Matt Bright | Jonathan Brown | David Chambers | Clare Coffey | Verity Dephoff | Will Dunn | Peter Folland | Rob Foyle | Joshua Glendinning | Suzannah Greenwood | Tess Harris | Joanna Hoare | Edward Jones | Sara Jurkowsky | Melissa MacEwen | Douglas McIlroy | Mike McManus | Clare Murphy-McGreevey | Charlotte Nathan | Metin Parlak | Simon Perry | Chris Pratt | Ben Robinson | Larry Smith | Michael Stott | Daisy Thomas | Simon Whitehead[20]

June 2014-August 2014

Matt Bright | Jonathan Brown | David Chambers | Clare Coffey | Clare Daly | Verity Dephoff | Peter Folland | Rob Foyle | Joshua Glendinning | Suzannah Greenwood | Tess Harris | Joanna Hoare | Edward Jones | Sara Jurkowsky | Melissa MacEwen | Douglas McIlroy | Mike McManus | Clare Murphy-McGreevey | Charlotte Nathan | Metin Parlak | Simon Perry | Chris Pratt | Ben Robinson | Paul Smyth | Michael Stott | Daisy Thomas | Simon Whitehead[21]

March 2014 - May 2014

Matt Bright | Jonathan Brown | David Chambers | Clare Coffey | Clare Daly | Jason Day | Peter Folland | Rob Foyle | Joshua Glendinning | Suzannah Greenwood | Tess Harris | Joanna Hoare | Edward Jones | Sara Jurkowsky | Douglas McIlroy | Mike McManus | Clare Murphy-McGreevey | Charlotte Nathan | Metin Parlak | Simon Perry | Chris Pratt | Paul Smyth | Michael Stott | Daisy Thomas | Simon Whitehead[22]

December 2013-February 2014

Matt Bright | David Chambers | Clare Coffey | Clare Daly | Jason Day | Peter Folland | Rob Foyle | Joshua Glendinning | Suzannah Greenwood | Tess Harris | Joanna Hoare | Edward Jones | Sara Jurkowsky | Douglas McIlroy | Clare Murphy-McGreevey | Metin Parlak | Chris Pratt | Rima Sacre | Paul Smyth | Michael Stott | Daisy Thomas | Simon Whitehead[23]

September 2013-November 2013

Matt Bright | Danny Calogero | Clare Coffey | Clare Daly | Jason Day | James Dumelow | Peter Folland | Rob Foyle | Suzannah Greenwood | Tess Harris | Joanna Hoare | Edward Jones | Sara Jurkowsky | Douglas McIlroy | Clare Murphy-McGreevey | Metin Parlak | Chris Pratt | Rima Sacre | Paul Smyth | Daisy Thomas | Simon Whitehead | Nicholas Henry Dunn-McAfee | Michael Stott [24]

June 2013-August 2013

Matt Bright | Danny Calogero | Clare Coffey | Clare Daly | Jason Day | James Dumelow | Peter Folland | Rob Foyle | Suzannah Greenwood | Tess Harris | Joanna Hoare | Edward Jones | Sara Jurkowsky | Douglas McIlroy | Clare Murphy-McGreevey | Metin Parlak | Chris Pratt | Rima Sacre | Paul Smyth | Daisy Thomas | Simon Whitehead [25]

March 2013-May 2013

Matt Bright | Danny Calogero | Clare Coffey | Clare Daly | Jason Day | James Dumelow | Rob Foyle | Ross Gillam | Suzannah Greenwood | Tess Harris | Edward Jones | Sara Jurkowsky | Douglas McIlroy | Clare Murphy-McGreavey | Chris Pratt | Rima Sacre | Tara Singh | Daisy Thomas | Simon Whitehead [26]

December 2012-February 2013

Matt Bright | Danny Calogero | David Chambers | Clare Coffey | Clare Daly | Jason Day | Alexandra Earnshaw | Rob Foyle | Ross Gillam | Suzannah Greenwood | Bryan Johnston | Edward Jones | Sara Jurkowsky | Chris Pratt | Edward Robinson | Rima Sacre | Tara Singh | Daisy Thomas | Simon Whitehead [27]

Former UK lobbyists

  • Oliver Dowden. H&K's top Conservative lobbyist Dec 2007-Nov 2008. Before joining H&K, Dowden was deputy campaigns director of the Conservative Party, working closely with Conservative leader David Cameron. Before this, he was an account director at lobbying firm LLM. From Nov 2008, he returned to Tory HQ as deputy director, political operations, reporting directly to comms director Andy Coulson.[28] Highly regarded in Downing Street, he was promoted to deputy chief of staff to Cameron in 2012.
  • Julian Eccles. From 1993 to 1997, Eccles was Senior Public Affairs Consultant at H&K. Eccles is a former special adviser to Chris Smith at the Labour Party and Head of Marketing and Communications at the Football Association (FA).[29]
  • Lord McNally
  • Tara Singh left H&K in early 2013 to advise UK Prime Minister David Cameron on energy.
  • Rishi Saha - previously head of new media at Conservative Party HQ, left his post after less than a year in Downing Street as head of digital communications. Formerly regional director for Hill & Knowlton across Australia, the Middle East, Africa, and South and Central Asia, relocating to Dubai for the role. [30]. Now Head of Public Policy UK at Facebook
  • Elaine Cruikshanks, Chair, Worldwide Public Affairs Practice/Chair and CEO Cont. Former Western Europe/CEO, Brussels, Hill & Knowlton International Belgium.[31]
  • Tim Fallon, former Lead Counsel, International Affairs and Corporate Reputation. Fallon moved into lobbying in 1994 having previously worked as a researcher for Tony Blair. In ‘97 Fallon was briefly seconded back to Blair’s private office during the general election campaign. Fallon gained prominence for his role in representing the repressive government of the Maldives. In 2006 he defended working for President Gayoom: "We are working to assist the government in a process of engagement with international institutions which we believe will ultimately be to the benefit of all the people of the Maldives." His clients in 2009 include Accenture, Toyota Europe, HSBC, The Government of the Maldives and the Dubai Executive Council.[32] Is now CEO & managing partner, capital markets and global corporate affairs at Instinctif Partners.
  • Blake Lee-Harwood, former senior consultant on sustainability issues. Lee-Harwood was previously campaigns director for Greenpeace from June 2002 to April 2007 and communications director from August 1999 to June 2002. He has also been the head of media relations at RSPB, communications director and head of pollution campaigns for Friends of the Earth, climate change campaign advisor to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and advisor to World Society for the Protection of Animals. He is currently an advisor on communications and advocacy strategy to Sustainable Fisheries Partnerships.[33][34]
  • Nick Edell, former head of studio. Joined Red Consultancy in April 2015 as head of digital.[35]

Clients

Registrar of consultant lobbyists

Hill & Knowlton have been registered since January 2016. The registrar records any clients on behalf of whom Hill & Knowlton have met with ministers. Listings over 2015/2016 are as follows:

July-September 2016

Institute of Economics and Peace [36]

Apri - June 2016

RATP Dev UK [37]

January-March 2016

Aon plc [38]

October-December 2015

Aon plc | DONG Energy | SunEdison [39]

July-September 2015

All Party Group on Unconventional Oil & Gas | DONG Energy | RWE Innogy | SunEdison

April-June 2015

DONG Energy | Institute for Economics and Peace | RWE Innogy | SunEdison

January -March 2015

DONG Energy | RWE Innogy | SunEdison

APPC lobbying register

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December 2016- February 2017

No clients registered.

September 2016-November 2016

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas | Anglo American | AonAxa Life Invest | Bibby Financial Services | Carbon Disclosure Project | Centrus | Chartered Institute for Purchasing & Supply | DONG Energy | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | Institute of Economics and Peace | RATP Dev | Roche | Shell | Statoil

June 2016-August 2016

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas | Aon | Axa Life Invest | Bibby Financial Services | Carbon Disclosure Project | Chartered Institute for Purchasing & Supply | DONG Energy | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | Institute of Economics and Peace | RATP Dev | Shell | Statoil [14]

March 2016-May 2016

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas | Aon | Axa Life Invest | Bibby Financial Services Carbon Disclosure Project | Chartered Institute for Purchasing & Supply | DONG Energy | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | Institute of Economics and Peace | RATP Dev | Shell | Statoil [15]

December 2015-February 2016

All Party Group on Unconventional Oil & Gas | Aon | Axa Life Invest | Carbon Disclosure Project | Chartered Institute for Purchasing & Supply | Dong Energy | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | Institute of Economics and Peace | RATP Dev | RWE Innogy | Shell | Statoil | SunEdison [16]

September 2015-November 2015

All Party Group on Unconventional Oil & Gas | Aon | Axa Life Invest | Benecol Ltd | Carbon Disclosure Project | Chartered Institute for Purchasing & Supply | Dong Energy | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | Institute of Economics and Peace | RATP Dev | RWP Innogy | Shell | Statoil | SunEdison [40]

June 2015-August 2015

All Party Group on Unconventional Oil & Gas | AON | Axa Life Invest | Carbon Disclosure Project | Chartered Institute for Purchasing & Supply | Dong Energy | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | Renewable UK | RWE Innogy | Shell | Statoil | SunEdison[18]]

March 2015-May 2015

All Party Group on Unconventional Oil & Gas | AON | Axa Life Invest | Carbon Disclosure Project | Chartered Institute for Purchasing & Supply | Dong Energy | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | PTC Therapeutics [18]

December 2014-February 2015

All Party Group on Unconventional Oil & Gas (funders include Arup, ASCO, atg UV Technology, BASF, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Calor Gas, Celtique Energie, Centrica, Clear Solutions International Ltd, Costain, Cuadrilla Dow Chemical Ltd, Energy and Utilities Alliance, Enzen, Epi-V, ESB, Essar Energy, Eversheds LLP, Ground-Gas Solutions, Hydrock, Igas Energy, Ineos UK, Lloyd's Register, Macfarlanes LLP, Peel Environmental, Petrafiz, Petroleum Safety Services Limited, Reactive Downhole Tools Ltd , Remsol, RPS Group (Environmental Consultancy Limited), Shell, SLR Consulting, Squire Sanders, Tata Steel, Terra Firma, The Weir Group, Total, Whessoe) | Aon | Axa Life Invest | Carbon Disclosure Project | Chartered Institute for Purchasing & Supply | Dong Energy | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | Renewable UK | RWE Innogy | Shell | Statoil | SunEdison | PTC Therapeutics[19]

September 2014-November 2014

All Party Group on Unconventional Oil & Gas - (funders include 3Legs Resources, Arup, Calor Gas, Celtique Energie, Centrica, Clear Solutions International LTD, CNG Services, Costain, Cuadrilla, Dow Chemical Ltd, Epi-V, Energy & Utilities Alliances, Essar ) | Aon | Axa Life Invest | Carbon Disclosure Project | Chartered Institute for Purchasing & Supply | Dong Energy | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | Renewable UK | Roche | Diagnostics | RWE Innogy | Shell | Statoil | SunEdison[20]

June 2014-August 2014

Aon | Axa Life Invest | Carbon Disclosure Project | Chartered Institute for Purchasing & Supply | Dong Energy | Family Investments | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | Renewable UK | RocheDiagnostics | RWE Innogy | Shell | Statoil | SunEdison[21]

March 2014-May 2014

Aon | Axa Life Invest | Carbon Disclosure Project | Dong Energy | Chartered Institute for Purchasing & Supply | Family Investments | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | Renewable UK | Roche Diagnostics | Statoil | SunEdison[22]

December 2013-February 2014

Aon | Babcock International | Carbon Disclosure Project | Chartered Institute for Purchasing & Supply | Dong Energy | Family Investments | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | Renewable UK | Statoil [23]

September 2013-November 2013

Aon | Babcock International | Carbon Disclosure Project | Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply | Doosan Power Systems | Family Investments | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | Renewable UK | Statoil [24]

June 2013-August 2013

Aon | Carbon Disclosure Project | Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply | Co-Operative Energy | Doosan Power Systems | Family Investments | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | Intercontinental Hotels Group | Renewable UK | Statoil [25]

March 2013-May 2013

Aon | Carbon Disclosure Project | Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply | Doosan Power Systems | Family Investments | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | Intercontinental Hotels Group | Nord Stream | Novartis | Renewable UK | Statoil [26]

December 2012-February 2013

Aon | Carbon Disclosure Project | Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply | Doosan Power Systems | Family Investments | Global Peace Index | Hymans Robertson | Intercontinental Hotel Westminster | Intercontinental Hotels Group | Napp Pharmaceuticals | Novartis | Nord Stream | Renewable UK | Roche Diagnostics | Statoil [27]

UK lobbying clients listed in 2009

Arlingclose | Ashoka | B&Q | Better Place | Comet | Creation Trust | Doosan Babcock | Government of Singapore | Health Foundation | ICAEW | Intel | Kettle | Kingfisher | Kroll Consulting | London Chamber of Commerce & Industry | London City Airport | MGM UK | Nasscom | National Lottery Commission | Nord Stream | The Passage | Republika Srpska | Roche Diagnostics | Roche Products | Sainsburys | Servier Laboratories | Special Court of Sierra Leone | Toyota | Ultra Motor [41]

History

After an 18-year career as a reporter, editor, and financial columnist, John W. Hill founded his public relations company in 1927 in Cleveland, Ohio. His early clients were banks, steel manufacturers, and other industrial companies in the Midwest. Hill, managed the firm until 1962, and remained active in it until shortly before his death in New York City in 1977. During the Depression, Hill entered into a partnership with Donald Knowlton, previously the PR director of a client’s bank. The firm's headquarters moved to New York in 1934, to be closer to its client the American Iron and Steel Institute, while Knowlton stayed in Ohio and operated Hill and Knowlton of Cleveland.

Despite the Depression, Hill and Knowlton grew rapidly and the firm's business continued to expand through the 1940s attracting major corporate clients including leaders in the steel, aircraft manufacturing, petroleum and shipbuilding industries.

Hill and Knowlton was the first American public relations consultancy to establish itself in the newly formed European Economic Community. In 1952 Hill and Knowlton began to assemble a network of affiliates across Europe and by the middle of the decade had become the first American public relations firm to have wholly-owned offices in Europe. John Hill had realised that the growing multinationalism in many business sectors opened up a market for a multinational company. H&K was the original multinational PR company, an audacious business move closely followed by Burson-Marsteller, and it brought huge new revenues. Throughout the 1980s and early 90s the two companies played leapfrog for the world number one spot.

The second major innovation in PR practice pioneered by H&K was to offer both PR and lobbying services. By the early 1960s lobbying had developed a very seedy reputation and John Hill had a very low opinion of the practice. This was to change however, with his appointment of President Eisenhower’s former Press Secretary, Robert Keith Gray, to the Washington DC office, in 1961. During the 1950s the DC office had only three staff. Gray, a man of tremendous political experience and ambition, persuaded Hill to let him conduct lobbying operations, and soon began to pull in a great deal of new work [see below], and by the mid-70s the hugely profitable Washington office employed 30 people.[42] This was the first ever fusion of lobbying and PR services, a move that other major PR companies have since followed, and one that has arguably changed the nature of politics in the USA and the rest of the world. Joseph Goulden commented in The Washingtonian in 1974, “Nothing quite like Hill and Knowlton exists anywhere else in the city’s lawyer-government-lobbyist establishments. What H&K sells… is manipulation of the governmental process – in Congress, the regulatory agencies, the executive departments”

In July 1980, J Walter Thompson, the advertising agency, bought H&K. In 1987, the communications conglomerate WPP Group in turn, acquired JWT.

H&K’s acquisition by the WPP Group brought many changes to its existing culture. John Hill had a reputation for sticking to his (highly conservative and business friendly) principles and refusing jobs of which he did not approve. However, as part of the debt-laden WPP Group and under the leadership of new CEO Robert Dilenschneider, profitability became the paramount concern. A string of controversial accounts such as that for the National Conference of Bishops and the Church of Scientology [see below] caused considerable internal dispute within H&K leading to resignations and a tarnishing of its image. As a result of these troubles, H&K began to lose business and revenue in the early nineties, particularly in the USA. Under new management structures it has now largely recovered from these difficulties.[43]

As a member of the WPP group [www.wpp.com], Hill and Knowlton now participates within “a comprehensive and, when appropriate, integrated range of advertising and marketing services to national, multinational and global clients.” Which is to say that H&K’s expertise in lobbying and PR can now be coordinated with that of other leading PR companies such as Cohn & Wolfe or their old rivals Burson-Marsteller, and with marketing, advertising and business consultancy companies.[44]

But as the first multinational PR company and for a long time the largest in the world, Hill and Knowlton has created and refined many of the key techniques and strategies of public relations. H&K has over the years developed extremely close relations with many branches of government in the USA and around the world.

H&K fell from the world number one spot in the early nineties when it became embroiled in a series of scandals and internal conflicts. In recent years, under the leadership of CEO, Howard Paster, it has shown strong growth and has re-emerged as one of the industry leaders.

Market Share/Importance

H&K’s 2000 revenues totalled $306m, with $177m earned in the USA, giving it the third highest revenues for 2000 behind Fleishman-Hillard, and Weber-Shandwick Worldwide.[45] Whilst it maintains long-term relationships with many major corporate clients, H&K is also one of the first choices for companies or governments in need of crisis management.[46]

Affiliations

In 2008, Hill and Knowlton Nederlands is listed as an affiliate of Precom[47]

Contacts

Address: The Buckley Building,
49 Clerkenwell,
Green London,
EC1R 0EB
Telephone: 020 7413 3000
Website: www.hillandknowlton.co.uk

Powerbase Resources

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External resources

See: Fracking lobbying firms

See: Fracking Spads

Tells how Hill and Knowlton, on behalf of the tobacco industry, founded the "Manufactured Doubt" industry.

References

  1. Diane Francis Business Profiles, Hill & Knowlton Paul Taaffe, August 8, 2006
  2. Andrew Rowell, Green Backlash – Global Subversion of the Environment Movement, Routledge, 1996, p122
  3. United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Civil Action No. 99-CV-02496 (GK) - United States' final proposed findings of fact (pdf), US Department of Justice website, August 15, 2005
  4. 'The plot to keep us puffing'Nick Cohen, New Statesman, 17 January 2000
  5. Andrew Rowell, Green Backlash - Global Subversion of the Environment Movement, Routledge, 1996, p121-123
  6. Andrew Rowell, Green Backlash - Global Subversion of the Environment Movement, Routledge, 1996, p121-123
  7. Hill and Knowlton - O'Dwyer's public relations news website, undated, accessed March 2006.
  8. The President's Office, Maldives,'Strategic Communications Seminar concludes', June 3, 2004
  9. 'How the public relations industry sold the Gulf War to the U.S. - The mother of all clients' - available on PRWatch website, John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, undated, accessed March 2006.
  10. 'How the public relations industry sold the Gulf War to the U.S. - The mother of all clients' - available on PRWatch website, John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, undated, accessed March 2006.
  11. 'How the public relations industry sold the Gulf War to the U.S. - The mother of all clients' - available on PRWatch website, John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, undated, accessed March 2006.
  12. BIO Selects Hill & Knowlton and Gable PR Team For 2008 BIO International Conference, Gable PR press release, 22 October 2007, accessed March 14 2009.
  13. John Owens, Hill+Knowlton Strategies hires nuclear expert Michael Stott, PRWeek, 28 November 2013, acc 1 December 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 Hill & Knowlton Staff, APPC, accessed 7 October 2016.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Hill & Knowlton staff, Mar-May16, APPC, accessed 16 June 2016
  16. 16.0 16.1 HK Strategies Register 1st December 2015-28th February 2016, APPC, accessed 7 April 2016
  17. HK Strategies staff, Sep-Nov15, APPC.org, accessed 3 February 2016
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Register June 1st to August 31st 2015APPC, accessed 28 September 2015 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Mar15" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Mar15" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Mar15" defined multiple times with different content
  19. 19.0 19.1 Agency Register December to February 2015 APPC, accessed 8 April 2015
  20. 20.0 20.1 Register 1st September 2014 - 30th November 2014 APPC, accessed 16 January 2015
  21. 21.0 21.1 Register 1st June 2014 - 31st August 2014 APPC, accessed 16 October 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 PRCA register March 2014 to May 2014, accessed September 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1 Consultancies – December 2013 to February 2014 PRCA, accessed 30 September 2014
  24. 24.0 24.1 Consultancies September 2013 to November 2013 PRCA, accessed 30 September 2014
  25. 25.0 25.1 Consultancies June 2013 to August 2013 PRCA, accessed 30 September 2014
  26. 26.0 26.1 Consultancies March 2013 to May 2013 PRCA, accessed September 2014
  27. 27.0 27.1 Consultancies December 2012 to Februaryy 2013 PRCA, accessed September 2014
  28. H&K loses top Tory, PR Week, 25 Nov 2008
  29. Alec Mattinson, "The FA appoints Ofcom's Julian Eccles to its top comms job", PR Week UK, accessed 24.09.10
  30. David Singleton, Rishi Saha to quit Downing Street for Hill & Knowlton role, prweek, 16 June 2011, accessed 27 June 2011
  31. H& K website, accessed Feb 2009
  32. H&K website, accessed Feb 2009
  33. About us Telos Media Training, accessed 16 January 2015
  34. Blake Lee-Harwood Linkedin, accessed 16 January 2015
  35. Anna Reynolds Red Consultancy hires Nick Edell from H+K Strategies while Steph Bailey pops up at Fleishman PR Week, 30 April 2015, accessed 30 April 2015.
  36. Hill and Knowlton profile 2016, Registrar of consultant lobbyists, accessed 24 November 2016.
  37. 'Hill and Knowlton profile 2016', Register of consultant lobbyists, accessed 18 July 2016
  38. Hill and Knowlton profile 2016, Registrar of consultant lobbyists, accessed 28 April 2016
  39. Hill & Knowlton profile 2015, Registrar of consultant lobbyists, accessed 4 February 2016
  40. HK Strategies clients, Sep-Nov15, APPC.org, accessed 2 February 2016
  41. [APPC register], to Nov 2008
  42. Trento S, 1992, ‘The Power House: Robert Keith Gray and the Selling of Access and Influence in Washington’, pp 61-77
  43. Holmes Report, date viewed 3-5-2002
  44. H&K web site, date viewed 3-5-2002
  45. Council of PR Firms Top 50 Worldwide and US and Worldwide Ranking for 2000
  46. Information mostly from H&K’s web site ‘company history’ section except where referenced, date viewed 8-5-2002
  47. Precom, Aangesloten bureaus Accessed 25th february 2008