Chime Communications Plc

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Chime is the holding company for 89 subsidiary companies. Around 20 percent of Chime is owned by WPP. Until May 2012 Chime owned the UK's biggest public relations group, Bell Pottinger Communications.


Chime was established in 1989 by Lord Tim Bell who had been deputy chairman of Lowe Howard-Spink & Bell plc since leaving Saatchi & Saatchi in 1985. [1]

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The business consists of four divisions; public relations, advertising and marketing, sports marketing and insight and engagement. Chime works with over 600 major UK and international brands, governments, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, charities, not-for-profit organisations, professional service firms and wealthy celebrities.


In 2010 the Guardian revealed that PR companies including Chime Communications were receiving as much as £2 million for "reputation laundering" for government regimes in Saudi Arabia, Rwanda and Kazakhstan. The Kremlin, Sri Lanka and Zambia were exposed as Chime clients. Lord Tim Bell the chair of Chime and Bell Pottinger Communications defended the firm: “If people want to communicate their argument we take the view that they are allowed to do so.” [2]

Board of Directors

Lord Tim Bell - Chairman | Piers Pottinger - Deputy Chairman | Christopher Satterthwaite - Group Chief Executive | Mark Smith - Financial Director | Richard Alston Director | Catherine Bradley Director | Paul Richardson Director | Rodger Hughes Director

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Major clients include:


BMT | brand democracy | Corporate Citizenship | De Facto | Essentially | Facts International | Fast Track | Fast Track Sailing | Full Access Hospitality | Good Relations | Good Relations Wales | Golden Goal | Harvard | Harvard Germany | Icon | Icon Beta | Insight Marketing | Naked Eye | Open Health | Open LEC | Open Minds | Open Source | Opinion Leader | pmplegacy | Pure Media | Rare Corporate Design | Resonate | Reynolds Mackenzie | Search Relations | SFW | SomeOne | Sportseen | Stuart Higgins Communications | Teamspirit | The Sports Business | Traffic Communications | Tree London | tta Group | VCCP (Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest) | VCCP Blue | VCCP Share | VCCP Health | VCCP Search [3]

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Former subsidiaries

Bell Pottinger Business & Brand | Bell Pottinger Communications USA LLC | Bell Pottinger Change and Internal Communications | Bell Pottinger Issues & Crisis | Bell Pottinger Middle East | Bell Pottinger - MMK | Bell Pottinger North | Bell Pottinger Public Affairs | Bell Pottinger Public Relations | Bell Pottinger Sans Frontières | Bell Pottinger USA | Bell Pottinger Public Advocacy | Pelham Bell Pottinger | Pelham Bell Pottinger Asia |



  1. Chime Communications, Our Board of Directors, Tim Bell accessed 12th December 2011
  2. The Drum, London based PR firms stand accused of reputation laundering 4th August 2010, accessed 14th December 2011
  3. Chime Communications, Our Companies accessed 12th December 2011