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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - May 16, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 19 (download PDF version)

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Grayling has picked up a big anti-smoking campaign from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Consumers covering 27 nations of the European Union.

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Huntsworth’s global PR flagship is to handle media relations, content development, outreach and special events to convince adults aged 25 to 35 to quit smoking.

Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi handles the advertising component of the communications program.

Huntsworth CEO Peter Chadlington believes the March win of British Airways business, a three-year deal covering 38 countries, opened the door for Grayling to scoop up larger mandates.

He said in March that the trick is to “convert our expanding international pipeline into new clients.”

The EU combined with the DHL courier business in 17 countries is worth nearly $25M.

Huntsworth touts Grayling as the second largest independent global network after Edelman. It is helmed by Michael Murphy.


Next Fifteen Communications Group has tapped Internet Advertising Bureau chair Richard Eyre as chairman of the PR holding company.

Will Whitehorn

He takes over for Will Whitehorn, who resigned in January after seven years at Next Fifteen, which owns PR units like Bite Communications and M Booth.

Eyre, 57, has 35 years’ experience in digital media and marketing at firms like RDF Media, Digital Bridges and Bess Technology. He is a director for several companies, including Results International Group, Grant Thornton and the Guardian Media Group.

NF CEO Tim Dyson said Eyre’s digital experience will by key to the company’s PR growth.

“The PR industry is going through an exciting market transition that is creating significant growth opportunities in digital marketing for Next Fifteen,” Dyson said in a statement. “Richard’s knowledge of the broader marketing industry will be invaluable as we go through this transition.”

Other NF units include The Blueshirt Group, Text 100 and The OutCast Agency.


Facebook admitted to hiring Burson-Marsteller last week in an ongoing media flap sparked when a potential op-ed source courted to knock FB rival Google published the PR firm’s overtures online.

USA Today last week said it was among “top-tier media outlets” targeted by B-M to place news stories and editorials about how Google’s Social Circle email feature violates the privacy of users.

Speculation broke out about who B-M was working for – the firm declined to say – until a Facebook spokesman confirmed to the Daily Beast that the social network hired the firm. Facebook said it hired B-M because Google is moving into social networking services and also because Facebook “resents” Google’s attempts to use FB data in those services.

The client and PR firm have since parted ways.

The episode began when Burson reached out to blogger and privacy advocate Chris Soghoian to write a critical op-ed about Google’s service. When a Burson exec – former National Journal scribe John Mercurio – declined to name its client, Soghoian posted his email exchanges with B-M online, sparking a spate of outrage.

B-M has called the situation “highly unusual” and said it does not represent standard practice at the firm. “Whatever the rationale, this was not at all standard operating procedure and is against our policies, and the assignment on those terms should have been declined,” the firm said in a statement.

PRSA president Rosanna Fiske, in a rare rebuke of a PR agency, criticized B-M for not revealing its client.


Lisa Caputo, who was executive VP-global marketing and corporate affairs at Citigroup, is moving to insurance giant Travelers Cos. on June 1 for the executive VP-marketing & comms. position.

Lisa Caputo

Prior to Citi, Caputo served as press secretary to First Lady Hillary Clinton and a deputy assistant to the president.

At Travelers, she will report to executive VP Doreen Spadorcia for marketing and chief legal officer Alan Schnitzer for communications matters.

Most recently at Citi, Caputo was managing director and senior banker of the public sector group of its institutional clients operation. She also served as chief marketing officer, among other posts and established and helmed Citi’s Women & Co, membership business to financially empower females.

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