Euro Bankers’ Tapping of Former BP PR Rep Has Its Own PR Implications

To help restore the battered reputation of its bankers, a pan-European lobby group has hired the man who led BP's PR efforts during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. According to Reuters, Andrew Gowers, who also led communications and brand management for Lehman brothers during its collapse, has been appointed director of external relations at the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) lobby group. 

With bankers often at the center of public anger for causing the financial crisis and subsequent economic downturn, the hiring of someone who was part of the BP organization that was criticized for an array of PR blunders, including issuing computer-modified photographs of the spill, according to Reuters, may affect the reputation of the group itself. 

Jim Lukaszewski, president of Lukaszewski Group, says that the hire is a good move for the bankers. "While BP was heavily criticized for its actions, the company did as good a job as it could have from a PR perspective," says Lukaszewski. "Most of the criticism of the way BP handled the spill from a PR point of view came from PR people themselves. From a business perspective, BP took fairly swift action to clean up the spill and compensate those affected." 

And while it may be a smart on the part of the bankers, is it a smart move by Gowers? "Europe may be a different place to be, but arrogance and greed by bankers seems to be a universal trait," says Lukaszewski. "Will Gowers get them to change their behavior? That’s a tough challenge."

Lukaszewski points to Bank of America—having endured vehement backlash over the introduction of an ATM card-service fee, the bank was forced to cancel its plans. Now, however, BofA is at it again, looking to charge more fees for checking accounts. 

Gowers will no doubt have his hands full keeping the Euro group in check.

Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg

Comments Off

Deals of the Week

Get $200 Off PR News' Digital PR Conference

Join us June 1-3 where you'll hear from top brands such as Walmart, Miami Heat, Verizon and Ritz-Carlton on PR and communication best practices for the next wave of digital trends.

Use code “200off” at checkout to save $200 on the regular rate.

Get $50 off PR News' Book of Employee Communications


In this 5th volume of PR News’ Book of Employee Communications, our authors cover more than 45 articles on crisis communications, social media policies, human resources collaboration, brand evangelism and more.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription


Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.