B-M fires back at columnist depicting it as anti-Israel

Burson-Marsteller came under fire in a New York Observer column for purportedly working with the Muslim Brotherhood while rejecting a similar request from Israel.

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A recent column in the New York Observer paints PR firm Burson-Marsteller as an agency that turned down Israel as a client, but is working with the Tunisia branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The firm has strongly rejected that portrayal.

Observer guest writer Ronn Torossian says the firm is working with the Ennahdha Party, the Muslim Brotherhood of Tunisia. He writes that Sigurd Grytten, a managing director for Burson-Marsteller, said B-M will not deliver on a $3.5 million project in order to improve the Jewish state’s image. Torossian writes that Grytten said “running a commercial venture” and working with Israel would not fulfill that goal.

“If we accept this project, this will create a great amount of negative reactions,” Grytten is quoted as saying. “Israel is a particularly controversial project.”

Burson-Marsteller contends in a statement that Grytten has not been employed there for two years. It also argued the Ennahdha is a democratic, “progressive” organization.

Here’s the full statement:

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