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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Dec. 5, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 47 (download PDF version)

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WPP has acquired Glover Park Group, the Washington-based Democratic public affairs operation with more than 140 people.

GPG, which has revenue in the $60M range, is to operate as a standalone agency.

Founding partners and former advisors to Vice President Al Gore Carter Eskew, Chip Smith and Mike Feldman are to remain in charge for the “foreseeable future.”

Joe Lockhart, the other founding partner and Clinton White House spokesperson, exited for Facebook during the summer.

GPG works for clients such as Verizon Wireless, Visa, Korea, Toyota, Churchill Downs, Pfizer, News Corp., BNSF, American Postal Workers Union, United Federation of Teachers and ADP.

It also counseled Solyndra, the bankrupt solar power company that has been in the news due to its $540M federal loan guarantee.

GPG has offices in New York, Los Angeles and Boulder, Colo.

WPP has an extensive Washington PA presence via its Public Strategies Inc. and Burson-Marsteller’s Prime Policy Group units.


El Paso, sister city of Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez which is plagued by drug-related violence, wants a PR firm to bolster its image.

El Paso

The city’s RFP, according to a report on the El Paso Inc. site, says the “negative focus given to the issues plaguing Ciudad Juarez” affects the region’s “ability to recruit talent, attract visitors and causes anxiety.”

The branding campaign will build on El Paso’s high safety ratings by CQ Press for cities of more than 500K people. Last month, Newsweek gave El Paso its top ranking on a list of “can-do capitals” for progress based on the “quality-of-life” front.

According to the RFP, the city wants a PR firm to work with travel writers “with the aim of providing a positive, organic experience in their visits to El Paso.” It wants to “explore the non-traditional off-the-beaten path activity” available in the area.

The budget has not been determined. RFP link:


RadioShack has tuned in Weber Shandwick as its agency of record for PR, following a review.

Radio Shack

WS, led by its Dallas office, will work with Interpublic units Current Lifestyle Marketing and multicultural firm AXIS for the electronics retailer's PR, CSR and digital efforts.

Incumbent Cohn & Wolfe, which handled the launch of Radio Shack as “The Shack” in 2009, did not pitch. GCI Group, which was absorbed by C&W, was Radio Shack's previous agency.

Molly Salky, VP of investor relations for Dallas-based Radio Shack, said hiring WS to develop and execute the company’s “framework for PR” allows it to focus more on marketing and merchandising.

Radio Shack operates 4,670 stores in the U.S and Mexico, in addition to thousands of kiosks and dealer outlets worldwide.

The company said Nov. 29 that it has kicked off a formal review of its creative advertising duties for the U.S. via Select Resources International.

It spent $206M on ads in 2010. Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners is the incumbent dating back to “The Shack” launch in 2009.


Cooney/Waters Group has acquired New York-based healthcare and medical PR shop The Corkery Group for $6M.

Lenore Cooney, CEO of CWG who sold the firm to U.K.-based Creston in late 2010, sees the deal for 25staffer Corkery as the “next stage of growth” for her firm. She sees Corkery’s strength in analysis and health policy complementing CWG's product marketing experience.

The Corkery Group will continue under that name as a division CWG with offices to be combined next year. Karen O’Malley takes the president title as founder David Corkery slides into a senior advisory role. They are both former staffers of Fenton Communications.

Corkery, which has worked with the American Society of Clinical Oncology, The John M. Lloyd Foundation, Gilead Sciences and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, reported revenues of $6.3M through the first nine months of 2011, off the pace of $9.9M in 2010.

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