PR wheeler-dealer Ian Kortlang has become the new chief of Burson-Marsteller's Australian office, ousting CEO Varina Nissen. Kortlang has a reputation for backstabbing former clients, such as a local Australian winery that he represented before switching sides to represent its adversary, a well-heeled multinational corporation, in a bitter business dispute. Kortlang has also represented Shell Oil in Australia, and he did damage control for Australian radio show host John Laws during the nasty "cash-for-comment" scandal, that prompted a government inquiry after the public learned that Laws and another radio host had taken millions of dollars in secret payments from private business interests in exchange for delivering seemingly "improvised" commentary that was actually scripted by their sponsors.
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