Beauty parade for Bar PR contract

PR AGENCIES are fighting it out for the prestigious £100,000-plus Bar Council media and parliamentary relations contract.

The deadline for tenders for the job of promoting the Bar Council to both the public and policy-makers closed last week.

The key job has been undertaken by PR and lobbying firm Westminster Strategy since 1989.

Bar head of administration David Hamilton Rump says the tender, the first in six years, is not due to discontent over Westminster Strategy's handling of the contract.

“It doesn't follow that we're dissatisfied with the current service, it's just good housekeeping,” he says.

Westminster Strategy managing director Michael Burrell adds: “The decision to do this was a good housekeeping one, they've got some responses and they'll have to take a view.”

Former Bar Council account manager at Westminster Strategy Graham McMillan says the agency has a strong team. “At a time when the Bar Council has a number of challenges ahead, it would be a big decision to disrupt the current service arrangement and take on an entirely new team.”

The Bar's public affairs committee decided to review the contract in late 1994. The result of the tender is expected to be announced in mid to late June.