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11.27.15

Leaked: EPO Award of €880,000 “in Order to Address the Media Presence of the EPO” (Reputation Laundering)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Propaganda and media distortion, but at whose expense?

Summary: The European Patent Office, a public body, wastes extravagant amounts of money on public relations (for ‘damage control’, like FIFA’s) in an effort to undermine critics, not only among staff (internally) but also among the media (externally)

TODAY is Black Friday and there might be something black at the EPO (like black budget), whose documents, which show how public money is (mis)used, keep being leaked for us to publish. It took less than a day after our request.

Having already absorbed anti-corruption people (who were supposed to investigate the EPO) into its own ranks, the EPO now wants to devour the media too.

The following is self-explanatory really.

EPO media spendings page 1

EPO media spendings page 2

EPO media spendings page 3

The above 3 images can (and probably should) be shared widely.

The source of this material referred to our recent article and wished to highlight the following bits from the document. They may be of interest to those who are too lazy to read it. It confirms the allocation of €880,000 “in order to address the media presence of the EPO” and to quote the detailed breakdown:

13. Main Project with a duration of 1 year
with a campaign in Germany and the Netherlands : EUR 600K

14. Additional Project
with support for Dir. External communication: EUR 280K

According to the Summary on the title page, the beneficiary of the contract in this case was FTI Consulting:

In accordance with Art. 57 (b) FinRegs a report is provided on the award of 2 direct placements to FTI Consulting for EPO’s positioning campaign and support for Directorate External Communication.

We are going to write a lot more about it in the future. Please note that this was submitted by “President of the European Patent Office” (that’s Battistelli). It is an “award of urgently required direct placements,” which doesn’t sound so benign at all.

“In order to address the media presence of the EPO, a targeted positioning campaign has been launched,” says the document. When people in this field say “targeted positioning campaign” it implies something against the spirit of journalism.

“Proposals from 3 PR agencies were submitted,” says the document, “evaluated and decision taken.”

It is “new positioning campaign”. There’s that word again: positioning.

“Foreseen time-frame is 1 year.”

Almost a million dollars in just one year? Wow. “Main Project with a duration of 1 year,” the bottom part states.

Why do all this? The document says “reputational risk issue and crisis communication.” In simple terms? Reputation laundering.

Here is the full document as text:

CA/F 19/15
Orig.: en
Munich, 24.09.2015

SUBJECT: Report on award decisions owing to urgency pursuant to Article 57 b) of the FinRegs and Article 2.4.1 (2) of the Tender Guidelines

SUBMITTED BY: President of the European Patent Office

ADDRESSEES: Budget and Finance Committee (for information)


SUMMARY

In accordance with Art. 57 (b) FinRegs a report is provided on the award of 2 direct placements to FTI Consulting for EPO’s positioning campaign and support for Directorate External Communication


CA/F 19/15 e
LT 1659/15 – 152440001


I. STRATEGIC/OPERATIONAL

1. Operational.

II. RECOMMENDATION

2. To take note.

III. MAJORITY NEEDED

3. n/a

IV. CONTEXT

4. Under Article 57(b) of the FinRegs, a report is to be provided on the award of urgently required direct placements where it is not possible to await the outcome of the forms of invitation to tender and the award decision exceeds EUR 250K.

V. ARGUMENTS

5. In order to address the media presence of the EPO, a targeted positioning campaign has been launched.

6. Proposals from 3 PR agencies were submitted, evaluated and decision taken.

7. To maximise the effectiveness of communications, the new positioning campaign had to be prepared and implemented without delay.

8. Foreseen time-frame is 1 year.

9. To have one single strategy towards the media, the support of Directorate for External Communication must be provided by the same PR agency.

10. Support is required in the analysis for the current communication work, achievements and aspirations after 5 years of reforms and to pilot a project on reputational risk issue and crisis communication.

11. This need also to be implemented with the same time line as for the main project.

CA/F 19/15 e
LT 1659/15 – 152440001
1/2


VI. ALTERNATIVES

12. n/a

VII. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

13. Main Project with a duration of 1 year
with a campaign in Germany and the Netherlands : EUR 600K

14. Additional Project
with support for Dir. External communication: EUR 280K

VIII. LEGAL BASIS

15. n/a

IX. DOCUMENTS CITED

16. n/a

X. RECOMMENDATION FOR PUBLICATION

17. n/a

CA/F 19/15 e
LT 1659/15 – 152440001
2/2

Journalists should probably be made aware of the EPO’s plot to distort the media. That’s some very high-budget campaign.

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2 Comments

  1. katkatkat said,

    November 27, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Gravatar

    Dr Schestowitz, you’ve got hold of some concrete evidence. Congratulations! Excellent job! Let’s know see how the users and the public respond. This should raise considerable concerns. As you said, almost one million dollars in just one year! Crazy!

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    There are follow-up stories to come, I just want to organise them in a sensible order so as to better document the catastrophes going on inside the Office. There are some articles we hope to receive translations of. We also hope that some courageous journalists will have the will to cover the above in European newspapers (not just in English). It’s noteworthy and the public not only deserves to know but needs to know.

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