S. Korea Scouts Burson-Marsteller For PR Bailout During Crisis

The International Monetary Fund's $57 billion bailout to help repair South Korea's flagging economy might seem like some much-needed salve, but sources say what this Asian country also needs is an image makeover, and private negotiations are underway for Burson-Marsteller to provide the PR fix.

BM execs, including Harold Burson, refused to disclose to PR NEWS whether or not it's in the process of inking an agreement with South Korea; however, South Korea's Financial Attache' Nam Kwung Woo confirmed that BM, last week, was still "the strongest candidate" being considered by the South Korean Ministry of Finance and Economy. Nam works out of the Korean Embassy in Washington, D.C., and wouldn't reveal the other firms being scouted.

In addition, a source inside BM told PR NEWS that BM Managing Director and consultant John Bohn and BM Executive VP and Managing Director Michael Claes did, indeed, make a recent trip to South Korea to discuss the deal with leaders there. Korean officials have already traveled to New York for meetings with U.S. bank officials and are working feverishly to restructure the debt that's owed to banks in the U.S., Japan and Europe, according to The Washington Post.

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