Media ace slams City practices

SCHILLING & Lom partner Jonathan Coad is accusing big City firms of failing to advise corporate giants effectively on their rights against consumer watchdog programmes and publications.

Coad claims corporate giants often feel defenceless when attacked by consumer rights programmes and magazines because their corporate lawyers are unaware of their rights against the media.

Coad, a leading media lawyer whose clients have included ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and hypnotist Paul McKenna, says: “Companies usually don't use media firms, they go to corporate firms which often don't understand the legal options open to them.

“They think it is better to lie back and do nothing but in fact it is not. There are things they can do which the corporate firms don't know about.

“With some companies it is well established that they will never sue because they don't want any more publicity. It's then like a burglar faced with one house that has a burglar alarm and another that hasn't. Programme-makers are not invulnerable. They make mistakes.”

Coad is currently touring PR companies and delivering seminars to companies in a campaign to raise awareness.