Halogen Communications

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Halogen is a PR and lobbying firm in Scotland.

Founded in 2002, it is based in Edinburgh with an international office in Washington.


Halogen provides the following services: public relations; political relations and lobbying; and crisis management.

It says of its lobbying services:

'Our objective is to ensure that your message is heard by the right decision makers at all levels of government (national and/or local) in the best way and in a focused and appropriate manner. This can be by building a broad coalition of support of ‘ambassadors’ and allies, combining public affairs with a media campaign or by having dedicated briefings. Every client has different needs and therefore the ability to offer a bespoke approach is now essential in the increasingly complicated and complex Scotland of the twenty first century.'

Political links

Halogen claims to be a 'collective with superior knowledge and unrivalled experience in politics and the media having a former Scottish Executive First Minister, a former Scottish Office Minister and a former Editor of a national daily newspaper included in the team'. [1]


  • John Crawford - director of PR based in Washington. Crawford is founding partner of Halogen; former chief of staff for the Scottish Conservative Party working on campaign strategy and interaction with the media; ex-civil servant at the Scottish Office in Edinburgh and London.
  • Raymond Robertson; founder and director of public affairs; Robertson is ex-chair of the Scottish Conservative Party, and a former minister for Education, Housing, Fisheries and Sport at the Scottish Office. He was MP for Aberdeen South, for five years between 1992 and 1997.
  • Leslie Clark - policy advisor; former parliamentary reporter
  • Donald Findlay QC; Media Training & Business Ethics
  • Alex Schweitzer-Thompson; senior account manager

Former employees

Lobbying for big tobacco

Since 2013, Halogen has been working with Philip Morris International (PMI) and ex-policeman Will O’Reilly to undermine the Scottish government’s plans for plain packaging. The founder of Halogen refers to its PMI work as an 'exciting account'. The intensity of the anti-plain packaging campaign increased after it became a possibility that the Scottish government might unilaterally implement plain packaging.

The public relations strategy employed by Halogen and PMI in Scotland is an extension of the same one employed by the tobacco company against plain packaging in England.

Halogen has been scaremongering over the so-called increase in illicit tobacco as a consequence of plain packaging. By November 2013, the PR company was arguing that the problem had reached 'endemic' levels in Scotland. That same month, Halogen worked with PMI to disseminate a report by the accountancy firm KPMG which argued that the percentage of illicit cigarettes had increased in Australia, after plain packaging was introduced. Although the report had been dismissed by public health organisations in the country [5] [2], Halogen’s press release argued that the Australian report 'should give Scottish Government pause for thought'.

The PR company continued this tactic into 2014, arguing that illegal tobacco was “rife” across Scotland in February 2014, after releasing the results of a survey by Will O’Reilly.[3]


Halogen does not sign up to the voluntary transparency registers operated by the lobbying industry, which would require it to make public its lobbying clients.

Halogen does list clients on its own website including:

Clients listed on the Halogen website: 2015

SHIL | Inverness College | Morrisons | British Bankers Association | Energy UK | Sancroft | City of Glasgow College | Angus Council | Wets Lothian College | Johnson Matthey | Newbattle Abbey College | Stow College | Philip Morris International | James Watt College

Clients listed on the Halogen website: 2010

Sainsbury's Bank | West Lothian College | UA Group | Scotland's National Film Studio | Muir Construction | Central College of Commerce | Wemyss and March Estates | Angus Council | Equal Scotland Project | William Hill Bookmakers | Government Of Japan | Jewel & Esk Valley College | JS Crawford Partnership | Abbeyforth Security | Hot Bite Vending | Rubicon Risk Assessment | Sancroft | Frogmore Property Development | Makanyane South Africa | Ben & Jerry's | Glenrothes College | Fender Sturrock | Memex | Carnegie | Glen Communications | Forbo | Bestcardforyou.com | Central Law Training

Lobbying for the Orange Order

Halogen did not list Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland as a client on its site.[4] The Lodge - part of the Orange Order is often described as a sectarian organisation since it only admits Protestants into membership. It exists according to its own website 'to promote the great ideals of Protestantism and Liberty.'[5] the link with Halogen was reveled as part of an effort to pretend that the Orange Order is not a sectarian and Protestant Supremacist organisation. As the Scotland on Sunday reported: 'Grand Master Ian Wilson is keen to meet Archbishop Mario Conti as part of a broader public relations blitz by the exclusively Protestant organisation aimed at improving its public image.'[6]

Halogen PR, a company set up by former MP and Scottish Conservative chairman Raymond Robertson, has been hired by the Order. Spokesman Iain McMenemy said: "We want to make it clear that the Order has a zero-tolerance policy on anything paramilitary or singing any bigoted songs. They have also made it clear that the so-called Buckfast brigade with their Rangers tops and flags are no longer welcome."[7]

Given that the Orange anthem The Sash celebrates orangeism which is intrinsically sectarian by definition it is difficult to see how this can be accomplished apart from by spin and pretence.


Website: http://www.halogencom.com
Address: 4, Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JE


  1. ref needed
  2. ref needed
  3. Halogen Communications profile, Tobacco Tactics, accessed August 2015
  4. Marc Horne Orangeman invites top Catholic for lunch Scotland on Sunday, Published Date: 07 October 2007
  5. Scotland Grand Orange Lodge Scotland Grand Orange Lodge, accessed 3 September 2009
  6. Marc Horne Orangeman invites top Catholic for lunch Scotland on Sunday, Published Date: 07 October 2007
  7. Marc Horne Orangeman invites top Catholic for lunch Scotland on Sunday, Published Date: 07 October 2007