Disgraced former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who was jailed over phone hacking, has set up a new public relations company that plans to target sport to offer strategic advice.
Coulson, the ex-communications director of British Prime Minister David Cameron, was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being charged with conspiracy to illegally intercept communications.
He has set-up with the new company with Henry Chappell, the founder and chief executive of London-based sports specialist PR and marketing firm Pitch, whose clients have included FIFA, Chelsea Football Club, Red Bull and London 2012.
The new firm will be called Coulson Chappell and will operate independently from Pitch’s offices in Brewer Street.
Coulson and Chappell aim to offer “discreet, strategic communication and corporate advice, from a unique perspective, to leaders, companies and organisations in sport and other industries”, they said in a statement.
Coulson was editor of the News of the World between 2003 and 2007, having joined its sister newspaper the Sun in 1988.
He resigned from the Sunday paper when its royal editor Clive Goodman was convicted of phone hacking, including Prince William.
Coulson then became the Conservative party’s director of communications but resigned in January 2011 shortly before he was arrested on phone hacking charges.
Cameron was heavily criticised for employing Coulson and the scandal briefly threatened his position as Prime Minister.
Coulson eventually served five months in jail after being found guilty in 2014.
“I’ve always wanted to establish and grow my own company and in Henry I have the perfect business partner,” said Coulson.
“From our combined experience Coulson Chappell can offer a unique perspective to clients looking for clear, discreet and effective strategic advice.”
Chappell added: “With Andy’s extensive experience across media and politics, and a growing demand from CEOs, companies and organisations for strategic corporate and communications advice, we feel there is a real opportunity to establish a new agency in the marketplace.”