Profile: Ketchum 

1- Name of NGO:


2- Brief & Mission:

Ketchum Inc. is a worldwide public relations agency that provides services encompassing marketing, branding, and corporate communications across various sectors including corporate, healthcare, food and beverage, and technology. The firm’s origins trace back to its establishment by George Ketchum as a Pittsburgh-based advertising company in 1923.

Recent information indicates that Saudi Arabia has enlisted Ketchum’s services for public relations counsel.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

According to a federal filing, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia enlisted the services of Ketchum to offer public relations support for the annual Global Competitiveness Forum, which took place in Riyadh in January 2011.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

Ketchum’s contractual affiliations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to deliver public relations services underscore its involvement in furthering political goals in collaboration with the KSA monarchy. This circumstance notably underscores the established relationships that Ketchum maintains with the KSA’s royal family, indicating its active participation in political endeavors.

5- Sources of Funding:

The collaboration between Ketchum and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) goes beyond a mere association, with indications suggesting that substantial financial support has been provided to the firm by the KSA government. Claims have emerged, indicating that Ketchum received significant compensation for its involvement in activities connected to the KSA. The reported amount was $57,500.

6- Activities:

Saudi Arabia enlisted the services of Ketchum to facilitate the promotion of the Global Competitiveness Forum, an annual event held in Riyadh. Ketchum was tasked with providing comprehensive public relations support for the conference, which took place in January 2012. The scope of Ketchum’s engagement extended to offering full PR services to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for this event.

7- NGO Leadership:

Jo-Ann Robertson holds the position of CEO for Global Markets. Heather Blundell serves as the Deputy CEO for the UK. Sera Holland holds the role of Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer for Global Markets at Ketchum.

8- Controversy:

Public relations firms that collaborate with authoritarian regimes often find themselves grappling with ethical dilemmas as they navigate the delicate balance between their lucrative partnerships and moral responsibilities. Instances where foreign PR companies collaborate with entities like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), which aim to improve their image, can raise concerns about the possibility of “greenwashing” or using PR to create a more positive image that may not accurately reflect the realities on the ground. Ketchum’s participation in projects connected to the KSA has generated controversy due to the perceived consequences of these affiliations.

9- Contact Details:

  • Website:
  • Address:USA
  • Email:

10- Classification/Blacklist:

Ketchum’s engagement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) encompasses activities that have generated significant controversy. Of particular note is the fact that these initiatives are carried out in cooperation with an autocratic regime known for its history of neglecting fundamental human rights. This association has resulted in Ketchum being subject to scrutiny and being listed among entities under examination due to their affiliations with the Saudi government.

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