Portland Communications has secured a major new contract to advise the government of Qatar following the expiry of its work advising the Russian government.
The new retained brief reportedly encompasses a number of areas of work including government affairs and nation branding.
Qatar has come under sustained international scrutiny following allegations of corruption against a Qatari former FIFA official and concern over the treatment and living conditions of migrant workers hired to work on construction for the 2022 World Cup.
It is thought that Portland’s appointment will not impact on the World Cup remit of fellow UK consultancy Blue Rubicon’s work with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the Qatari government’s organising committee for the World Cup.
In addition to its recently expired contract with the Russian Government, Portland has previously worked for the governments of Dubai, Kazakhstan, and the High Commission of Rwanda.
The agency was founded by former senior Blair adviser Tim Allan and retains strong Blairite links, with Blair press-secretary Alastair Campbell holding a part-time role.
Portland is now majority-owned by US marketing services company Omnicom.