Alleged CTF practices 'do not represent professional lobbying'
Unethical practices including astroturfing have no place in the lobbying industry according to CIPR Public Affairs Chair, Rachael Clamp Chart.PR, MCIPR.
Clamp defended the integrity of the industry after reports published in yesterday's Guardian suggested Sir Lynton Crosby's lobbying firm, CTF Partners, sought to harness a network of unbranded news pages on Facebook to distribute favourable news coverage on behalf of clients.
Astroturfing, the practice in which campaigners attempt to create the perception of grassroots to support a cause, breaches the CIPR's Code of Conduct and any member found to be engaged in such practices will face disciplinary action. No CIPR members are employed by CTF Partners.
The alleged practices featured in yesterday's report are entirely unethical and do not - in any way - represent professional lobbying. Lobbying is an essential element of public policy making and the vast majority of lobbyists operate ethically.
Professional lobbyists help inform public debate and provide decision makers with different viewpoints and expert insights. They play a crucial role in the democratic process. CIPR members practise within our Code of Conduct giving clients, employers and employees alike, confidence that they are getting a highly professiona practitioner who can be held to account for any breaches.