Following the IPO of Glencore, a major commodities trader, journalists have received a letter from Glencore's law firm, a company specializing in reputation management. The letter warns that the executives of Glencore are 'extremely private individuals' and advises journalists to be circumspect in their coverage of the company.
The Okapi Factor has obtained a copy of the letter, which we are pleased to be able to reproduce in full here.
41 _____ Square
London ___ ___
With the present letter, we wish to advise you of certain factors to be considered in your coverage of our client, Glencore International AG. We would remind you that the principals of Glencore are extremely private individuals, and although some scrutiny of their business activities is to be expected, this should not extend to their personal affairs. In addition, you should consider the potential security risks of disclosing any information about their homes or private lives.
While certain ill-informed speculations are already in the public arena, journalists are cautioned against repeating these claims or seeking for new information that might be seen to discredit Glencore or its officers. Any discussion of, for example, marital infidelity on the part of one of the executive team, or pending fraud charges on the part of two others will not be tolerated and will lead to the severest of legal penalties. In particular, allegations that one of Glencore's executives was involved in illegal insider trading in the Emu Futures market, or the repetition of any rumor concerning a relationship that one member of the board might or might not be having with the wife of a prominent racing driver will not be tolerated.
In a similar vein, journalists are strongly advised not to make any mention of albino Latvian midget nuns, the Great Jello Stampede of 1987, or a reported financial interest that one of the executives might allegedly have in a Namibian table tennis fixing syndicate. Contrary to anything that you may have heard or even verified through unimpeachable photographic evidence, no member of the board has ever met with Pablo Escobar, Viktor Bout, Mistress Delicia Lashwell, Ayman al-Zawahiri or Basement Cat. While there is no truth whatsoever in reports that the chief financial officer of Glencore has an unhealthy predilection for underage marmots, Schillings wishes to notify journalists that any repetition of such rumors, whether or not backed by eyewitness testimony, will constitute grounds for immediate legal action.
Journalists should not under any circumstances attempt to interview Mrs Audrey Pitkins of 234 Maiden Lane, Epping. She has nothing to tell you. Nothing, do you understand? Nothing. So just leave her alone.
No Glencore executive has ever consumed illegal drugs, abused prescription medications, or been treated for substance abuse, much less snorted a mixture of Amazonian yopo and powdered peyote from the naked buttocks of a transgender Somali prostitute on the top of a ferris wheel in Samarkand on three successive nights in May 1992.
That little business in the Seychelles? Don't even go there. Seriously.
DO. NOT. MENTION. THE. GOATS.
On the understanding that this communication will be held in the strictest confidence, I remain, yours faithfully,