Timothy Bell, Baron Bell
Timothy John Leigh Bell, Baron Bell (born 18 October 1941) is a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 and public relations
Public relations
Public relations is the actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers, etc....

 executive, best known for his advisory role in Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

's three successful general election campaigns.

Early career

Lord Bell was educated at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Barnet
Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School for Boys
Queen Elizabeth's School, Barnet is a boys' grammar school in Barnet, North London, which was founded in 1573 by Edward Underne, Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester and others, in the name of Queen Elizabeth I..-Admissions:...

. He worked in various advertising/PR firms in the late 60s including the hip London agency Geers Gross, before helping to found and becoming Managing Director of Saatchi and Saatchi in 1970, later serving as Chairman and Managing Director of Saatchi and Saatchi Compton from 1975. He left to start his own agency, Lowe Bell Communications, in 1987, and became Chairman of Chime Communications
Chime Communications (United Kingdom)
Chime Communications plc is a public limited company based in London, UK and listed on the London Stock Exchange. Chime is the holding company for a portfolio of 35 companies which include public relations, advertising, digital, marketing, deliberative research, corporate responsibility and...

 in 1994 (which includes the Bell Pottinger Group
Bell Pottinger Group
Bell Pottinger is a public relations agency based in London, England. It is the PR division of its parent group Chime Communications plc. The Bell Pottinger Group, has been ranked number one for the past four years in both the PRWeek and Marketing magazine league tables.-Overview:The Bell Pottinger...


Thatcher years

While at Saatchi and Saatchi and later his own agency, Bell was instrumental in the Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 general election campaign victories of Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

. In her first 1979 victory
United Kingdom general election, 1979
The United Kingdom general election of 1979 was held on 3 May 1979 to elect 635 members to the British House of Commons. The Conservative Party, led by Margaret Thatcher ousted the incumbent Labour government of James Callaghan with a parliamentary majority of 43 seats...

, he advised the future Prime Minister on interview techniques, clothing, and even hairstyle choices. He also courted newspaper editors and worked on devastating attacks on the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...


In 1984 Bell was seconded to the National Coal Board
National Coal Board
The National Coal Board was the statutory corporation created to run the nationalised coal mining industry in the United Kingdom. Set up under the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946, it took over the mines on "vesting day", 1 January 1947...

 to advise on media strategy
Media strategy
Media strategy, as used in the advertising or content delivery industries, is concerned with how messages will be delivered to consumers or niche markets...

 at the start of the miners' strike. He worked on media relations
Media relations
Media relations involves working with various media for the purpose of informing the public of an organization's mission, policies and practices in a positive, consistent and credible manner. Typically, this means coordinating directly with the people responsible for producing the news and features...

 and helped set the terms of the negotiations and course of government policy.

Bell was knighted in 1990 by Margaret Thatcher and made a Life Peer
Life peer
In the United Kingdom, life peers are appointed members of the Peerage whose titles cannot be inherited. Nowadays life peerages, always of baronial rank, are created under the Life Peerages Act 1958 and entitle the holders to seats in the House of Lords, presuming they meet qualifications such as...

 by Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 as Baron Bell of Belgravia
Belgravia is a district of central London in the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Noted for its immensely expensive residential properties, it is one of the wealthiest districts in the world...

 in 1998. He is now often seen on panels and current affairs programmes discussing the issues of the day, and is Chairman of the Conservative Party's Keep the £ Campaign. He has also served on various arts and public administration bodies.

During the 1997 general election campaign a book was serialised in The Observer
The Observer
The Observer is a British newspaper, published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its daily sister paper The Guardian, which acquired it in 1993, it takes a liberal or social democratic line on most issues. It is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.-Origins:The first issue,...

newspaper claiming Bell had used cocaine in the 1970s.

International work

Tim Bell has recently been an advisor to the Iraqi government on the "promotion of democracy".

Lord Bell, a friend of Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, handled the media attention behind poisoned Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko
Alexander Litvinenko
Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko was an officer who served in the Soviet KGB and its Russian successor, the Federal Security Service ....

, who died in hospital 23 November 2006. The Bell Pottinger Communications agency distributed a photograph showing a hairless Litvinenko in his hospital bed. The PR Agency also offered advice to relatives of Litvinenko and his spokesman Alex Goldfarb
Alexander Goldfarb (microbiologist)
Alexander Davidovich Goldfarb is a Russian-American microbiologist, activist, and author. He emigrated from the USSR in 1975 and lived in Israel and Germany before settling permanently in New York in 1982. Goldfarb is a naturalized American citizen...


In December 2006 Lord Bell successfully lobbied on behalf of the Saudi government to discontinue the Serious Fraud Office
Serious Fraud Office (UK)
The Serious Fraud Office is an independent UK Government department that investigates and prosecutes serious or complex fraud and corruption...

 investigation into alleged bribes in the Al Yamamah arms deal.

Lord Bell has also performed public relations work for the authoritarian government of Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, and for the Pinochet Foundation (Fundación Pinochet).


  • Lord Bell can be heard talking to Brendan Bruce (former Director of Communications of the Conservative Party) for his book Images of Power (Kogan Page 1992) at the British Library Sound Archive

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.