American firms do a great deal of lobbying and public-relations consulting for foreign governments. Buzzfeed reports:
The public relations firm Ketchum is responsible for placing a controversial editorial that appeared under Russian President Vladimir Putin’s byline in the New York Times on Wednesday night.
“The op-ed came through the PR firm (Ketchum) and went through the normal editing process,” said New York Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy in an email to BuzzFeed.
Spokespeople for Ketchum did not return requests for comment.
Ketchum is the main PR firm used by the Russian government. Using documents publicly filed with the Department of Justice, ProPublica showed last year how Ketchum places pro-Putin op-eds under the bylines of “seemingly independent professionals” in various news outlets like CNBC and the Huffington Post.