Aid Money Goes to PR Effort to Highlight Aid

"The U.S., which saw positive PR results from the millions donated to Indonesia after the tsunami devastation in May, wants a PR firm to spread awareness that Uncle Sam has given over $1 billion to the archipelago over the last 50 years." The U.S. Agency for International Development requested proposals for a $350,000 to $370,000 campaign promoting American efforts "in partnership with Indonesians to generate prosperity and a better quality of life." The contract includes research, polling, public service announcements and "other aspects of a social marketing campaign." APCO, Ogilvy and Weber Shandwick already work in Indonesia, a majority Muslim country and key U.S. ally in the "war on terror." In Britain, rights campaigners are criticizing their government for inviting Indonesia and other countries with "dubious human rights records" to the Defence Systems and Equipment International arms exhibition. Indonesia was on the "uninvited list" from 1999 to 2004.