Lexington Communications

From Powerbase
Revision as of 10:37, 23 December 2011 by Melissa Jones (talk | contribs) (layout)

Jump to: navigation, search
The view out to High Holborn from the Connection
Foodspin badge.png This article is part of the Foodspin project of Spinwatch.
Twenty-pound-notes.jpg This article is part of the Lobbying Portal, a sunlight project from Spinwatch.

Lexington Communications is a PR and lobbying company based in London.



Lexington provides PR and lobbying services to a slew of genetically modified (GM) crop companies: BASF, Syngenta, Novartis, the umbrella group the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (see below), as well as the Crop Protection Association, which represents the interests of the pesticides industry.

Lexington has Monsanto and the Agricultural Biotechnology Council listed among its clients in the APPC Register of lobbyists for 1 December 2008 to 28 February 2009.[1]

Biotech front groups

In 2003, Lexington was hired by the corporate front group the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC). ABC's founder members are Monsanto, Bayer CropScience, BASF, Dow Agrosciences, Dupont and Syngenta[2]. At the same time Lexington hired Bernard Marantelli, a PR operative from Monsanto. Part of his job in 2003 was to run a pro-GM PR campaign for the ABC to educate 'regulators, legislators, retailers and consumer groups'. The budget was £250,000, the same amount of money that was originally proposed for the whole national Public Debate on GM in the UK, held in 2003.[3]

The name of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council also succeeded in creating confusion in the public's mind because of its similarity to the government-appointed Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission.[4]

In early 2008 it was revealed that GM food companies had lobbied the government department responsible for GM to be allowed to hide the locations of crop trials. Lexington confirmed its involvement in this as part of its work covering “all aspects of external communications” for the ABC.[5]

Lexington also works for GM industry lobbying group, CropLife International and was working for CropGen, another biotech front organisation which was run by Countrywide Porter Novelli. The Chair of CropGen is Vivian Moses who is also on the advisory board of the Scientific Alliance, another pro-biotech front organisation.[6]


Bernard Marantelli also convinced about 30 companies to come to a meeting to explore setting up a nanotechnology equivalent of the ABC. The Nanotech Association, which is run out of the same offices as Lexington, was launched in February 2005.[7]

Working for the developers

Lexington is also involved in lobbying government on behalf of developers and the house-building sector, providing services to, among others, Tesco, Peel Holdings, Wharf Land Investment, Places for People Developments, BeeBee Developments and Gladedale. Lexington is able to provide inside political knowledge of the sector at both a national and local level: Directot Jo-Anne Daniels previously spent nine years as a senior civil servant at the Treasury, was an advisor to Gordon Brown, and managed and published the significant Barker Review on housing in 2004.[8] Also Richard Thomas, who joined in 2008, was previously Cabinet Member for Regeneration on Southwark Council, with political responsibility for one of London’s largest regeneration programmes, the redevelopment of Elephant & Castle. On taking the job, Thomas agreed with Lexington not to work on matters relating to his previous role with Southwark Council. [9]


  • Mike Craven, founding partner. Craven is a former adviser to the UK's Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, and former chief media spokesperson for the Labour Party. Craven is also a former boss of GPC Market Access. It was accused by transparency campaigners in Brussels Corporate Europe Observatory of waging a 'massive disinformation campaign' over its campaign on patenting genes.[10]
  • Ian Kennedy, founding partner. He specialises in issues management and lobbying. He is a former Labour party adviser who worked for senior government ministers while Labour was in Opposition. He worked on both the 1992 and the 1997 Election campaigns.[11]
  • Sarah Doyle, director specialising in advising companies based in the health, science and pharmaceutical sectors. Doyle is also a founder of the science think tank Newton's Apple.[12]
  • Lisa Tremble, director. She is a former special adviser to Labour ministers James Purnell and David Miliband. Joined Lexington in October 2010. [13]


Lobbying clients listed in 2011:[14] 118118 | Advertising Association | Agricultural Biotechnology Council | Ainscough Strategic Land | Bloor Homes | British Airways | British Recorded Music Industry | BSNA | Directly Operated Railways | E.On | Enterprise UK | Ethical Medical Industry Group | FDA | First Light | Ford Motor Company | Goldman Sachs International | Goldtique | Grantham | Greene King | Gresham House | Harrow Estates | HNJV | Island Gas | Mars UK | Monks Cross | Motion Picture Assocation | NBC Universal | Novartis | Oddfellows | PACT | Parks Partnership | Peel Land & Property Ports | Pfizer | Premier League | RLAM | RSA | Satnam | SEGRO Plc | Shell | Soliticors Regulation Association | Taylor Wimpey | Terrace Hill Group | Tesco | The Co-operative Trust | The Legacy Trust | Time Warner | UCB Pharma | United Utilities | UPS Europe

Lobbying clients listed in 2009:[15]
Agricultural Biotechnology Council | Alexandra Palace Authority | Advertising Association | Balfour Beatty | BeeBee Developments | British Airways | Crop Protection Association | Design and Artists’ Copyright Society | Disasters Emergency Committee | EdExcel | Ethical Medicines Industry Group | Ford | CropLife International | Goldman Sachs | Green Property | Gladedale Group | HNJV Ltd | Kraft Foods UK Ltd | Landmark Information Group | Livingstone Group | Merck Sharp & Dohme | Mars UK | National Australia Group | National Heritage Lottery Fund | NBC Universal Pictures | Novartis | Places for People | Phonographic Performance Limited | Prudential Corporation | Pye Homes | Royal & SunAlliance | RAL | AEA/Scottish Power | SEGRO Plc | Solicitors Regulation Authority | Syngenta | Tesco | The Christie NHS Foundation Trust | Trainline Holdings | Travelodge | UCB Pharna | UPS Europe | Whaftland Investments


The Connection, 198 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BD

The Connection, view from High Holborn
Lexington is based on the top two floors of The Connection, Dragon Lane, Covent Garden, London, a new 3,500 sq.m. office building located between High Holborn and Stukeley Street, wrapped around the southern flank of the old Holborn Town Hall.[16]




  1. Lexington Communications, APPC Register Entry for 1 December 2008 to 28 February 2009, accessed 23 Mar 2010
  2. ABC website, undated, accessed March 2006
  3. Andy Rowell, "The alliance of science", The Guardian, March 26, 2003
  4. Andy Rowell, "The alliance of science", The Guardian, March 26, 2003
  5. Lexington linked to biotech body, PR Week, February 21 2008
  6. Andy Rowell, "The alliance of science", The Guardian, March 26, 2003
  7. "Lobby and PR groups go for nano honeypot", Corporate Watch, Newsletter 26, October/November 2005
  8. Lexington website, accessed Nov 2008
  9. Lexington website, accessed Nov 2008
  10. "Industry and the EU Life Patent Directive", Corporate Europe Observatory Newsletter, No. 1, May 1998
  11. Lexington website, accessed Feb 2009
  12. [www.newtons-apple.org.uk Newton's Apple think tank website], accessed Feb 2009
  13. Matt Cartmell, David Miliband's adviser Lisa Tremble moves to Lexington Communications, PR Week, 7 October 2010, accessed 13 October 2010.
  14. APPC register, Nov 2011
  15. APPC register, to Nov 2008
  16. Christian Garnett Partners website - The Connection, undated, accessed March 2006