Saudis Spending Big to Shape US Public Opinion

Odwyer's PR Daily reports that "Qorvis Communications [OC] received a staggering $14.6 million from Saudi Arabia during the six-month period ended Sept. 30 for producing ads and doing PR to 'increase the awareness in the U.S. of the Kingdom's commitment to the war against terrorism and to peace in the Middle East.' That amount exceeds the previous record $14.2 million that the Citizens for a Free Kuwait front group spent at Hill and Knowlton during a six-month period in 1990-`91 to build support for the Persian Gulf War. QC projects another $5.6 million in spending for the last three months of the year. QC dealt with a Saudi front group called the Alliance of Peace & Justice, which is described in the PR firm's government filing as an American organization concerned about the Middle East process. Ads ran in the Spring in support of the Saudi Middle East plan. ... On the PR front, QC arranged interviews for Adel Al-Jubeir, the foreign affairs advisor to Crown Prince Abdullah, with media worthies such as Ted Koppel, Bill Plant, Paula Zahn, Andrea Mitchell, Aaron Brown, Chris Matthews and Bill O'Reilly."