Many of tweets I have seen commenting on Max Clifford's contribution to yesterday's CIPR Northern Conference have been critical of the man and his methods.
Even before the conference, Deborah Copeland, chair of the CIPR's Yorkshire & Lincolnshire group had felt the need to post "Protecting our profession" on the CIPR's Conversation blog. In part she was responding to a post by Justin McKeown's splendidly provocative "What if Max Clifford was an axe murderer?"
Here is how Sarah Hall reported Clifford's contribution. Sarah asked "Have you ever presented facts that you know to be untrue?" and Max, predictably replied: "Of course I have."
The next contribution came from Rob Brown, of Staniforth. Sarah doesn't report the exchange, but as @robbrown this morning tweeted: "I posted in 2009 on why the media should stop indulging Max Clifford. bit.ly/RwPmMg The PR industry must take a stand. #ciprnc" I think we can guess the flavour.
UPDATE: Here is a comment on Rob Brown's post by CIPR Policy and Communications Director Phil Morgan:
It was depressing to read adulatory tweets from some who attended his session at the CIPR Northern Conference. It shows that we have to do more to highlight the real difference between the trade that Max Clifford plies and the profession of public relations.
The CIPR has stated its intention to promote our Code of Conduct and, with a public register of members, is creating a platform to offer stronger commentary on the ethics of practice. The standards of professional conduct in public relations are a significant contributing factor in shaping the image and perception of the profession.
The need for this is highlighted strongly by those tweets, many of which appear to be from students or younger practitioners. We need to show them that there is a professional path and an unprofessional path, and which one they should follow to achieve a worthwhile career.