Kenya to clean up advertising, PR industries

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NAIROBI--A special committee appointed by the Ministry of Communications is developing a set of rules designed to regulate the advertising and public relations industry due to what one insider termed "wide spread corruption."

Earlier this year, Kenya Breweries -- the country's largest advertiser with a reported annual advertising budget of around $1.35 million -- jettisoned its entire public relations staff after an internal audit revealed significant examples of what newspapers called "misappropriation of funds and cronyism" in a scandal widely reported in the local media.

Kenya Breweries is the producer of Tusker Beer, the best-selling beer in sub-Saharan Africa.

Citing company policy, an official from Kenya Breweries declined to comment specifically on the corruption charges, though he did confirm that the personnel from company's public relations department had been released or reassigned.

At least two similar audits are being conducted at other major Kenyan companies.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Communications declined to provide detailed information about the rules its committee are developing. But he said the regulations would result in more transparency in the way contracts are awarded.

Copyright July 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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