The Sarawak Report, a blog edited by former British PM Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law, found that the production company behind CNBC’s business program World Business was also providing Malaysian politicians with PR services. The revelation prompted CNBC to cancel the program, which airs in Europe and Asia.
The production company, FBC Media, which stands for Fact Based Communications, was found to have a contract with a Borneo politician and has paid thousands to APCO Worldwide to lobby for the Malaysian government.
While Politico’s reporting shows that the FBC’s website makes no mention of its PR activities, the Wikipedia page of the company’s CEO, Alan Friedman, states that the company is “a London-based strategic communications [and] national branding” group that also works in TV and online broadcast in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Brian Steel, SVP of media relations at CNBC, told Politico that the network has “withdrawn the program World Business indefinitely” and is looking into the matter. The BBC is also looking into any ties its programming may have with FBC.