At what point does your client become a liability?

Did you know it's summer in Australia? I'm awfully aware of that fact, staring out my window at 8 inches of snow and a balmy -9 degrees celcius. icon Communications is the AOR for Sharman Networks, the owner of Kazaa. As you probably know, Sharman is being chased through the Australian court system, and icon is being dragged along behind it.

The Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) has subpoenaed every document, note, scribbling and text message involved in their business relationship, and is using this material in its case against Sharman.

Interestingly, the ARIA is also arguing that icon is materially interested in the outcome of the court case, and is therefore violating the code of ethics for the Public Relations Institute of Australia by continuing to provide media relations advice and services to Sharman.

    "I question their independence as a PR agency," says ARIA media spokesman for the case, Michael Speck. "They need their client to win the copyright case to justify their involvement in a promotional campaign, which is now a central plank in our case. They should disclose that involvement to journalists."

There are more details in The Australian.

Of course, in a just world icon communications would instead be scorned and mocked for their flash-dependent website.

Addendum: apparently, my last comment only applies to a company operating as icon communications in Australia - and not related to the company advising Sharman. Still, WAAAY too much flash on their site.

The actual icon can be found here.