Baroness Thatcher's favourite adman, plain Tim Bell before a knighthood then peerage was conferred on him by the grateful former British prime minister, has achieved the ultimate accolade.

His PR firm Bell Pottinger Communications has been appointed to spearhead a $5.8 million (€4.74m; £3.23m) public relations campaign to sell the wondrously nebulous concept of democracy to the unforunate citizens of Iraq.

The appointment was made by the Orwellian-sounding Coalition Provisional Authority, for which BPC will lead a consortium of local agencies to promote democracy in the run-up to the June 30 transfer of [limited] power to an interim Iraqi authority.

Lord Bell told UK journal PR Week: "There is no Arabic word for democracy - they use the word 'democratier', which is not Arabic. It is certainly a very big comms challenge. It is not going to be easy but it will be rewarding.'

His Lordship is clearly something of an expert on democracy, another of his clients being the former military ruler of Chile, General Augusto Pinochet -- still thankfully with us despite the mystery illness that in 2001 prevented his extradition from the UK to Spain to face charges of mass torture, murder and the violation of human rights.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff