Cambodia hires notorious US lobbying firm to improve its image abroad

The Cambodian government has commissioned a US-based lobbying firm to improve the country’s image in United States and elsewhere, a report by US-sponsored news agency Radio Free Asia showed.

Cambodia’s ambassador to the US, Chum Sounry, signed a contract on September 15 with Qorvis Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based public relations, advertising, media relations and crisis communications firm.

Qorvis Communications, owned by French multinational advertising and public relations company Publicis Groupe, offers public relations representation on behalf of a range of public companies, financial services firms, sovereign nations and wealthy individuals, its business profile shows.

It has had some delicate assignments in the past like being hired by Saudi Arabia to improve the country’s image in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks covered by a contract worth $14.7 million, or to help the government of Bahrain during the Arab Spring to whitewash its crackdown on protesters.

The firm also assisted Malaysia in its attempt to repair its image after the multi-billion scandal involving state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad contributed to a regime change back in 2018.

Contract worth $70,000 a month

Phnom Penh has agreed to pay around $70,000 per month to the lobbying firm to “provide strategic communications and media relations services in support of increasing public awareness along with travel and tourism for the Kingdom of Cambodia.”

Cambodia’s international reputation has plummeted in recent years. In response to increasingly autocratic governance and human rights violations, the European Union has stripped Cambodia of its preferential trade status and the US government has imposed sanctions on powerful figures within Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government.

In response, Cambodia has gone on a lobbying spending spree in the past. Another agency, lobbying and law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck from Denver, Colorado, lobbied US State Department employees not to pursue further sanctions against Cambodian officials and business people, the report said.



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The Cambodian government has commissioned a US-based lobbying firm to improve the country’s image in United States and elsewhere, a report by US-sponsored news agency Radio Free Asia showed. Cambodia’s ambassador to the US, Chum Sounry, signed a contract on September 15 with Qorvis Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based public relations, advertising, media relations and crisis communications firm. Qorvis Communications, owned by French multinational advertising and public relations company Publicis Groupe, offers public relations representation on behalf of a range of public companies, financial services firms, sovereign nations and wealthy individuals, its business profile shows. It has had some delicate assignments...

The Cambodian government has commissioned a US-based lobbying firm to improve the country’s image in United States and elsewhere, a report by US-sponsored news agency Radio Free Asia showed.

Cambodia’s ambassador to the US, Chum Sounry, signed a contract on September 15 with Qorvis Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based public relations, advertising, media relations and crisis communications firm.

Qorvis Communications, owned by French multinational advertising and public relations company Publicis Groupe, offers public relations representation on behalf of a range of public companies, financial services firms, sovereign nations and wealthy individuals, its business profile shows.

It has had some delicate assignments in the past like being hired by Saudi Arabia to improve the country’s image in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks covered by a contract worth $14.7 million, or to help the government of Bahrain during the Arab Spring to whitewash its crackdown on protesters.

The firm also assisted Malaysia in its attempt to repair its image after the multi-billion scandal involving state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad contributed to a regime change back in 2018.

Contract worth $70,000 a month

Phnom Penh has agreed to pay around $70,000 per month to the lobbying firm to “provide strategic communications and media relations services in support of increasing public awareness along with travel and tourism for the Kingdom of Cambodia.”

Cambodia’s international reputation has plummeted in recent years. In response to increasingly autocratic governance and human rights violations, the European Union has stripped Cambodia of its preferential trade status and the US government has imposed sanctions on powerful figures within Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government.

In response, Cambodia has gone on a lobbying spending spree in the past. Another agency, lobbying and law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck from Denver, Colorado, lobbied US State Department employees not to pursue further sanctions against Cambodian officials and business people, the report said.



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Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

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Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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