Tim Bell

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"One can't help bragging about knowing her, the Prime Minister, because it's such a wonderful thing that you think about it all the time".
Tim Bell on Margaret Thatcher, Harpers and Queen, April 1989.[1]

A biographical note from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising said:

Lord Bell helped found the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency in 1970. As International Chairman, he took Saatchi & Saatchi into its position as the biggest worldwide agency network in 1981. He became Deputy Chairman of The Lowe Group in 1985 and he subsequently bought out the communications division, Lowe Bell Communications, in 1989. He is now Chairman and a major shareholder in Chime Communications Plc, the holding company listed on the London Stock Exchange, which owns Bell Pottinger Communications (formerly Lowe Bell), and its sister advertising agency HHCL.

According to Corporate Watch UK:[2]

One of the most famous British spin doctors is Sir Tim Bell, of Bell Pottinger. In the late 1970s Bell was a rising star at advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi. When Saatchi & Saatchi were hired to handle advertising for the Conservative's 1979 election campaign, Bell was to become one of Margaret Thatcher's personal spin doctors. He coached her on interview technique and even advised on clothing and hairstyle choices. As the 1979 election campaign intensified, he and Gordon Reece, media relations supremo at Conservative Central Office, "assiduously courted the editors of two newspapers they had singled out for special attention: Larry Lamb of the Sun and David English of the Daily Mail They would drop by regularly for informal meetings with Lamb, usually in the evenings over large quantities of champagne," writes Mark Hollingsworth in his biography of Bell.[3]
Bell's work for the conservative party did not end there. In 1984 he was seconded to the National Coal Board (NCB) to advise on media strategy at the start of the miners' strike. His duties went far beyond mere media relations, however. So highly was Bell regarded that he became closely involved with the overall political strategy as the industrial dispute turned into political warfare between the NUM and the government. Whilst the NCB own industrial relations department wanted to reach a negotiated settlement, Bell, amongst others, was able to persuade Ian McGregor to accept nothing less than an unconditional return to work.[4]

Litvinenko Affair

Bell is a PR consultant for Boris Berezovsky and briefed journalists after Alexander Litvinenko was hospitalised with what eventually turned out to be a lethal dose of redioactive polonium poisoning.[5]

External links


  1. cited in Mark Hollingsworth, The Ultimate Spin Doctor, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1997, p49.
  2. [Corporate Watch website
  3. cited in Mark Hollingsworth, The Ultimate Spin Doctor, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1997, p.70.
  4. cited in Mark Hollingsworth, The Ultimate Spin Doctor, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1997, pp118-124.
  5. The Specter That Haunts the Death of Litvinenko, by Edward Jay Epstein, The New York Sun, 19 March 2008.