The Government of Iceland has hired PR agency Burson-Marsteller UK to carry out analysis and provide consultancy because of two disputes between Iceland and other countries: the mackerel and Icesave disputes.
“We are primarily concerned with how to best present Iceland’s cause in these two issues,” Urður Gunnarsdóttir, information officer of the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs, told Morgunblaðið.
According to prweek.com, Burson-Marsteller UK is working with both the Icelandic Embassy in London and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and Industries and Innovation.
In regard to Icesave, Iceland is awaiting a verdict from the EFTA Court, set to be announced by the end of this year or the beginning of 2013, that may overturn the last Icesave referendum that rejected a deal to pay back British and Dutch governments after Icesave, Landsbanki’s online savings account, collapsed in 2008.
As for the mackerel dispute, Norway and the European Union are calling for sanctions against Iceland for unilaterally increasing its mackerel catch, accusing them of overfishing.
Prweek.com quotes “a well-placed source” suggesting the government is looking to speak more “clearly and accurately” around the issue.
The source added that the Icelandic government felt that there had been international “misperception and misreporting” on the Icesave issue.
The news website states that the work carried out by Burson-Marsteller UK is worth “six figures” but neither Urður nor the agency’s director of corporate and crisis practice Michael Hartt would reveal the exact cost.
In description of the project, Hartt said, “This sits well with our international affairs expertise: helping countries manage issues that affect their reputation and educate decision makers, particularly on economic and political matters.”