Breakthrough Media Network

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This article is part of the Counter-Terrorism Portal project of Spinwatch.

Breakthrough Media logo, via LinkedIn

Breakthrough Media Network is a London communications company, founded in 2008. [1] The company specialises in producing digital campaign materials for 'governments, non-profits, inter-governmental organisations and progressive companies', with a goal to 'strengthen society and inspire positive social change'. [2]

Breakthrough Media has produced a series of government campaign resources, including for the Department for Education, the Department for Health, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Home Office.

Ties to the RICU

A report by the Muslim-focused advocacy group CAGE released in May 2016 alleges that the Research, Information and Communications Unit (RICU), the Home Office's 'strategic communications' body, works through Breakthrough Media to covertly promote counter extremist narratives. [3]

As part of the government's PREVENT counter-radicalisation programme, Breakthrough Media reportedly receives funding from the Home Office to produce digital material (e.g. films, Facebook profiles, websites) in order to 'influence online conversations by being embedded within target communities via a network of moderate organisations that are supportive of it’s [sic] goals'. These materials are then 'hosted' by civil society groups and 'grassroots' community organisations, in order to gain credibility of independence. [4]

The report alleges that the government determined the editorial line of several multimedia campaigns produced by Breakthrough Media. Additionally, the communications company is protected by the Official Secrets Act, which staff of Breakthrough Media are required to sign, thereby shielding its full activities from public scrutiny and disclosure.


Educate Against Hate

Families Matter

Fightback Starts Here

Help for Syria


Former reality TV producer. [5]

Former deputy chief of staff at lobbying firm Bell Pottinger. [6]


PR and lobbying agencies

Bell Pottinger | Chime Communications

UK Government

Department for Education | Department of Health | Home Office | Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Civil society groups

Inspire | FAST


African Union | UN


Contact details

  • London
Elizabeth House
39 York Road
London SE1 7NQ
+44 (0)20 7401 2555
  • Nairobi
P.O Box 14230-008001
Nairobi, Kenya
+254 (0)791 578 642
  • Sydney
PO Box 524
NSW 2007

+61 (0) 2 8042 8100




  1. Breakthrough Media Network LTD, Companies House, accessed 24 January 2017.
  2. About us, Breakthrough Media, accessed 24 January 2017.
  3. Ben Hayes and Asim Qureshi, 'We are completely independent', CAGE, accessed 25 January 2017.
  4. Ian Cobain, Alice Ross, Rob Evans and Mona Mahmood, Inside Ricu, the shadowy propaganda unit inspired by the cold war, The Guardian, 2 May 2016, accessed 16 January 2017.
  5. Robert Elliott, LinkedIn, accessed 24 January 2017.
  6. Scott Brown, LinkedIn, accessed 24 January 2017.
  7. Ian Cobain, Alice Ross, Rob Evans and Mona Mahmood, Inside Ricu, the shadowy propaganda unit inspired by the cold war, The Guardian, 2 May 2016.