MMPRC confirms appointment of Ruder Finn for international PR

The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has confirmed its appointment of New-York based public relations agency Ruder Finn, following speculation in the PR industry press last week.

Ruder Finn will provide international PR in a three-month contract PR Week speculated to be worth over US$150,000 per month.

According a statement from the MMPRC, the agency will “oversee the overall media coordination and achievement of PR related solution for destination Maldives, instil confidence in the tourism industry of the Maldives, gain understanding and public acknowledgement of the Maldives in the international community, ensure sustainable development of the tourism industry, and improve the image of the destination.”

President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s spokesperson, Abbas Adil Riza, told Minivan News last week that the appointed PR firm would only be responsible for promoting tourism, and would not be involved in politics or government.

Ruder Finn’s Senior Vice President and Ethics Officer, Emmanuel Tchividjian, told PR industry publication The Holmes Report that the company would “resign its lucrative new Maldives’ tourism brief if a national enquiry finds that the country’s new government took power illegally.”

Tchividjian claimed the company had “closely examined the complexity of the current political situation in the country”.

“Accusations of a coup have been dismissed by many international organisations and governments, including the United Kingdom government who has said that they do not recognise the transfer of power in the Maldives to be a coup,” he claimed.

“We were encouraged by the desire of the current government, in place according to the country’s constitution, to focus on ensuring stability, democracy and transparency in the Maldives, including a free press.”

Ruder Finn’s resignation of an account under such circumstance is not without precedent.

The firm’s founder David Finn, cited on the website of the American Jewish Committee, a think tank and advocacy organisation “combating anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry” and “supporting Israel’s quest for peace and security”, recounts how  “some years ago a professor at the Seminary helped us make the decision to resign the sizeable Greek tourism account after three colonels seized power and installed a military dictatorship. “

The company nonetheless has a reputation for representing controversial clients, including tobacco giant Phillip Morris and Israeli airline El Al, which MPs of the Maldives government coalition last week voted to ban from landing in the Maldives.

The PR firm was also embroiled in controversy over its distribution of the incendiary film ‘Fitna’, produced by Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, at a conference organised by Ruder Finn in 2008 called ‘Facing Jihad’.

The MMPRC has also appointed several other agencies to target specific markets, including Rooster PR (UK), Belcanto Communications (Germany) and Travel Link Marketing (China).

The MMPRC said it was also in the process of appointing PR agencies in India, Russia and the Middle East.

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13 thoughts on “MMPRC confirms appointment of Ruder Finn for international PR”

  1. Maldives would now be run be Ruder Finn. Before it was Hill and Knowlton.

    The so called political leaders like Waheed, nasheed, mauoon and Yameen think they are smart - If they are smart, why would you need a foreign PR firm to run the country.

    I say we appoint of this firms instead of having silly elections

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  2. aha is this the same PR group who did a pr campaign for Fithna, a well structured campaign for spreading hatred among muslims...no wonder ..maumoon and waheed will get these kind of people

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  3. Sheikh Imraan, Sheikh(dr) Jameel and Sheikh (dr) Mauroof should take their flocks to streets now to demonstrate against the 'regime' for appointing a 'Jewish' firm to promote the regime. Will they? Gasim has shown the pradise to hypocrats!

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  4. No PR firm in this world can change an ugly duckling to a swan! This will be a total waste of public money.

    Throughout the world, the name "Maldives" has gained notoriety as the next hotbed of Islamic extremism, political instability and intolerance towards foreigners and so on.

    You can spend billions of $ on PR, but you cannot wipe out reality! The globalised 24/7 world is very different to the old days when dictators were free to rule for life. Times have changed!

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  5. Disappointment. That is my reaction to this news. Disappointed in Adhaalath Party and the good people I know that run it, disappointed in the Islamic Ministry, and the good people who work there.

    I had so much faith in them to be the first among everyone to take up issues where the government's policies result in association with people such as those of Ruder Finn.

    I understand the need for a country which markets itself as a brand, to have great PR and promote itself to the world, but there are ways to do it within conditions and standards we set for ourselves as a Muslim country.

    Just ignore for a moment, the fact that the CEO of Ruder Finn in his own profile on an American Jewish organisation's website, claims to be a champion for Israel and Jewish causes. (After all, it will be impossible to only work in a manner that does not involve *some* links to these kinds of people in this day and age). Then you realise that you still have a HUGE grey-area in Ruder Finn's work so far.

    They have worked as an active distributor and marketer for a movie by hardline conservative Dutch MP Gert Wilders, which bashes Islam. He himself was banned by even the UK Govt from entering the country.

    They have helped organise and run a conference in Israel with the name of "Facing Jihad" where the 'issue' of Islam in the Western world was discussed.

    Put aside their work done against our own religion, which we hold so dear to our hearts and minds, just take for example the work they have conducted until the late 90s for a tobacco company, to create a PR campaign fighting increasing evidence of health hazards of tobacco.

    This, is most certainly, a grave disappointment.

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  6. PRESS RELEASE from jahaalath party.

    "We were supposed to hold a protest, but we're so drunk on bottles of alcohol the Maldives Police Service smuggled to all partakers of the coup and cant be bothered to do so right now. Seriously, this is hard stuff. One sip and it's like FLYING! WHEEEHEEEHEEEEE!"

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  7. Fitna is a 2008 short film by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders. Approximately 17 minutes in length, the film shows selected excerpts from Suras of the Qur'an, interspersed with media extracts and newspaper clippings showing or describing acts of violence and/or hatred by Muslims. The film, which mixed images of terrorism and violence with Koranic verses, ends with an image of the Koran and the sound of tearing paper.

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  8. And Ruder Finn was responsible for promoting this film???

    And where are the Adhaalath now? Don't give a damn because they've got their grubby little hands on power.

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  9. its a shame beyond hypocrisy that PPM and sheikhs appoint a Jewish firm to promote the coup d'etat in Maldives.
    Never again I will believe anything they are preaching, and in consequence I will not go to any mosque anymore because they are even more hypocrite than dictator Maumoon

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  10. Spending our money to protect their bad image. Waste of money and typical of the old regime.

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  11. I must concur that this is an egregious tactictal error. The MalDeviant-Democratic-Party have tricked our illustrious scholars into working with Jews!

    Subhaanallah!

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  12. I am one hundred percent and morw sure that the illustrious scholars of the Dhiveh Hanguraama must have been veered in to this erroneous trick of working the Jews! Nau'oozubillah!

    But, since this has happened; why bother! Let it be!

    Bonaquasheikh also was veered into the said to be performing god-forbidding act of having sex with a h'araam woman and letting out that holy child bearing liquid to an unworthy place! Nau'oozubillah!

    But, since this has happened; why bother! Let it be!

    Imransheikh was also veered into performing the unlawful and god-forbidding act of deviating the people into rebelling against the ruler of a Muslim nation and causing mischief on earth which Allah (SWA) has forbidden!

    But, since it happened and since a ruler however unjustly or rebelliously is being brought in; why bother! We must obey him and just let it be!

    Our illustrious scholars can never err, they can never make mistakes, they can never go astray, they can never go wrong or do wrong! We must obey them, accept them and do just as they say!

    I am a one hundred per cent sure they will be highly be paid and rewarded with ministerial posts, fishing vessels, and more jaariyas!!!!!

    You are illustrious of the illustrious! You are truly the truth!

    These veering scums, who deviate peoples from truth and justice, on the day of judgement will surely be thrown into HELL where they belong! So let it be and prepare yourself for that day!

    @Dhivehi Hanguraama! You surely must be immortal! Salute you for your unrelenting holy work! Carry On! You will duly and truly be rewarded for what you do!

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