Academics and public relations practitioners gathered in London this week to debate a moral issue–whether or not people in PR are duty bound to tell the truth.
According to Martin Moore, PR-man Max Clifford delivered “a low-key, frank and absorbingly anecdotal performance” at University of Westminster Tuesday night. His thesis: In PR, the truth is not always the best policy.
He told the audience how his first duty was always to his client and that he had been “telling lies on behalf of my clients for 40 years”. He chose to lie in certain instances because the “price of telling that truth would be terribly destructive to lots of people”.
Moore concurs with Clifford, saying, “PR does not have a ‘duty’ to tell the truth it has a duty to serve its client. Should it aspire to tell the truth? Absolutely – but that is a very different thing.”
No, I’m pretty confident that the truth is the truth (no matter who is paying the bills).