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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - August 1, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 29 (download PDF version)

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Florida’s Manatee County is reviewing a four-year PR contract for tourism with an RFP process open through late August.

Anna Maria Island Longboat Key

The Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, covering a southwest Florida region between Tampa and Sarasota and funded by a tourism tax on hotel stays, issued an RFP July 21 with the goal of tapping a PR firm to boost county tourism through positive media exposure and other PR tools like social media.

The account includes overall PR strategy, media relations, monitoring, and special projects like media tours and crisis communications.

The area’s main attractions are its 150 miles of coastline that include Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch. Eco-tourism has been a focus for the region.

Hayworth Creative PR of Oromond Beach, Fla., is the incumbent.

Deadline is Aug. 23. RFP:


Edelman, which has represented Burger King since 2005, has declined to re-pitch the business of the fast-feeder that was purchased by 3G Capital in October.

Burger King burger

Richard Edelman told O’Dwyer’s that Burger King planned to slice its PR budget in half, but wanted a similar commitment to the account from the No. 1 ranked firm. Under those conditions, there was no way the firm could succeed, he said.

3G Capital, backed by a group of Brazilian investors, acquired Burger King for $4B including debt. The transaction was the biggest restaurant deal in a decade, according to Bloomberg.

3G Capital bills itself as a value-oriented investment firm that works to maximize the potential of brands. It has implemented a global restructuring and a zero-budgeting program at Burger King that resulted in a $6.8M first-quarter loss compared to a year ago $48M profit. Sales tumbled eight percent to $552M.

A Burger King staffer confirmed that the company is looking to hire a new firm, but did not provide details.

Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital and TPG Capital bought Burger King from Diageo for $1.5B in 2002. The company went public in ’06.


MDC Partners on July 28 reported a nearly 42% increase in second quarter revenue over Q2 2010 to $240.5M on net income of $3.9M.

The advertising and PR holding company, which owns PR units like Allison & Partners and Sloane & Co., said organic revenue jumped 21% for the quarter, including 25% at its strategic marketing services division, which includes ad and PR agencies.

MDC shares rose nine percent to $19.91 on Friday following the news, pushing to a 52-week high of $20.11.

“The second quarter was exceptionally good for us,” chairman and CEO Miles Nadal said in a conference call. “Our growth is across the board, across our entire portfolio.”

MDC recorded $28.6M in net new business for Q2, up 42% from 2010, including Target of Canada, Fiat and LG. Tech and digital were 51% of its Q2 revenue.

Nadal said July 28 he has created the post of innovator-at-large for MDC and tapped Jonah Disend, a founder of MDC strategy and design unit, Redscout, to fill it. His expanded role is to help “rouse an innovative view of the world amond MDC companies.”"

MDC in June brought in former Fallon Worldwide COO David Dabill to plot the company’s international expansion.


Interpublic also July 28 reported a 31 percent rise in second quarter net income to $108.9M on an eight percent revenue rise to $1.7B.

Solid overseas revenue growth of 15.7 percent to $752.9M fueled the ad/PR combine’s performance.

Harris Diamond, who heads Weber Shandwick and chairs IPG’s constituency management group, told O’Dwyer’s that PR revenues advanced 9.6 percent for the quarter as clients spent to “build-out” their businesses. He also noted that budgets for social media programs are proving to be “additive” rather than “subtractive” to traditional PR offerings at WS, GolinHarris, Rogers & Cowan and DeVries PR.

Diamond said both PR and CRM turned in “terrific” performances.

IPG CEO Michael Roth noted that stepped up investment in people trimmed profit margin from 11 percent to 10 percent this year as salaries/related expenses rose 10.6 percent to $1.1B. “Margin enhancement” is a priority for the balance of the year.

Roth noted that organic growth hit the 6.8 percent mark for the first-half. That puts IPG in line to hit its four to five percent full-year organic growth goal.

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