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jan 30, 1993 - 1990s: Bell & De Klerk

Description:

After the release of Mandela, Bell cold-calls De Klerk offering Bell Pottinger's PR services. He refers to this campaign as one of his "most proud and enjoyable moments".

He lists De Klerk great influences, like Thatcher and Charles Saatchi. He was "calm and restrained", "the right man for the moment" who "didn't believe in emotionalising things".

He stayed in Cape Town for 6 months working on the National Party campaign.

His counterpart for the ANC was Stan Greenberg, Bill Clinton's PR man. The campaign teams would meet weekly to discuss their work: "Everything was geared to making sure that neither side did anything that would cause some kind of violent flare-up or civil war."

Some of Bell's advice included getting a black person into the NP hierarchy -- "iconoclastic symbolism". The target wasn't white votes, but black votes. The party needed over 1 million non-white votes to prevent an ANC landslide: "we ran ads in all sorts of tribal dialects".

They also ran two TV debates, one between Mandela and De Klerk, another between Mbeki and Pik Botha.

Added to timeline:

8 months ago
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0
236
Bell

Date:

jan 30, 1993
Now
~ 25 years ago
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