According to Regester Larkin, a London-based PR firm, 'Businesses are operating in an environment of unprecedented scepticism, risk aversion and lack of trust. This is compounded by a 24/7 media, the Internet and sophisticated anti-business and anti-technology activism.'
It helps companies meet this challenge via its 'specialist reputation management consultancy'. It has helped 'some of the world's largest companies successfully manage internal and external issues and crises ranging from accidents and fires to sustained NGO campaigns and intrusive media attention.' Its website features an image of ears of corn alongside an oil platform, a chemical works and a paper headed 'HAZARDOUS WASTE'.
Among the clients which Regester Larkin has helped to defend their corporate reputations ar e Aventis CropScience, Aventis Pharma, Bayer Inc and Pfizer - a major advocate of biotechnology. Regester Larkin is also listed as having 'worked with' SmithKline Beecham, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, and ICI.
Another client is the BioIndustry Association. Regester Larkin Ltd is, in turn, is listed as member of the BioIndustry Association: 'the authoritative voice of UK biotechnology' whose motto is 'Promoting UK biotechnology'. According to the BioIndustry Association 's Director of Public Affairs, 'Regester Larkin's workshops on managing risk issues are invaluable for developing appropriate communication strategies.'
Among Regester Larkin's former employees are Tracey Brown, the director of the controversial pro-GM lobby group Sense About Science, Ellen Raphael who also works for Sense About Science, and Harry Swan who joined Regester Larkin from Monsanto. Swan's staff profile read, 'Working for Monsanto at the height of the controversy surrounding GMOs, Harry gained firsthand experience of crisis and issues management. He built up an expertise in scientific communication which he now applies to clients such as the BioIndustry Association.'
Regester Larkin was co-founded by Mike Regester and Judy Larkin. Larkin's client experience includes working for Bayer, British Nuclear Fuels and Shell. She is a board member of the Washington DC-based Issue Management Council whose members include Bivings Group, AstraZeneca, and GlaxoSmithKline. Its 'partners' include Shell and the Philip Morris Management Corporation.
Judy Larkin is also a Fellow of the Royal Institution (RI). In July 2000 she took part in 'Interrogating the Precautionary Principle' , an Institute of Ideas event at the Royal Institution. This was billed as: 'eminent scientists, social scientists and writers will question the premises of the precautionary principle'. The event was 'convened' by Susan Greenfield of the RI, and Tony Gilland and Helene Guldberg of the LM network. Tracey Brown and Ellen Raphael who went on to work for Regester Larkin both contributed to LM and are part of the LM network, as is the Institute of Ideas.