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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Oct. 3, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 38 (download PDF version)

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The Food and Drug Administration has kicked off an agency search to support PR for its burgeoning tobacco oversight authority.

The work includes planning, development and production of communications campaigns (PR and public service advertising) for the FDA Center for Tobacco Products, created under federal law in 2009 which gave the FDA regulatory power over tobacco. The efforts will be two-pronged: prevent use among young people, and encourage users to quit. Social media, website support, corporate outreach and events are also part of the account.

The FDA will tap firms to handle projects on an as-needed basis over the next five years. Ceiling for the contract is pegged at $390M.



The National Guard Bureau, the joint U.S. Army-Air Force entity that administers the Guard, is reviewing its nine-figure event marketing and PR account with an RFP released this month.

The review includes PR, promotions, coordination of mobile teams, handling its sponsorships by Nike and NASCAR, among others, Internet marketing, signage/displays, and other assignments on at least two contracts capped at $500K on the low end and $477M on the high end, in total, over five years.

An existing pact with Arlington, Va.-based ad agency LM&O has reached its funding limits.

View the RFP:


MWW Group has bagged Coinstar, owner of the ubiquitous redbox self-service DVD and Coinstar coin-counting kiosks, for corporate communications duties.


In pitching Coinstar as a leader in the automated retail industry, MWW will highlight the company’s “commitment to innovation, retail partnerships and consumer value,” said David Herrick, executive VP and general manager of the independent PR firm's New York office.

Coinstar registered $859M in first-half sales, a 29 percent jump from the 2010 period. Net income surged 78 percent to $35M.


Saudi Arabia’s New York-based United Nations Mission is expected to kick off a PR program this month aimed at getting the Kingdom a seat on the Security Council for the two-year term beginning Jan. 2014. The vote is slated for October 2013.

The communications thrust will educate the U.N. community and general public about Saudi Arabia's contributions made to the world body. The Mission seeks recognition that the election is “timely and well-deserved,” according to an RFP circulated by the Mission.

Key outreach will go to the Asian regional group, of which Saudi Arabia is a member. That grouping must officially endorse the Kingdom's candidature.

Barry Cotton, special advisor to the Saudi ambassador, was not reached for comment. Qorvis Communications handles the Saudi Embassy in D.C.


William Miller, who directed politics for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is leaving after 12 years for a partner post at Brunswick Group in the capital.


Miller, a frequent spokesman for the business sector’s top lobbying group who headed its grassroots,

political and election efforts, exits as senior VP for political affairs and federal relations. He also led lobbying and legislative efforts for the influential Chamber and is slated to join Brunswick on Oct. 24.

Michele Davis, the Brunswick partner and former Treasury Dept. PA chief, called Miller “a seasoned and trusted advocate for and ally of Fortune 500 companies.”

Miller joined the chamber after serving as chief of staff to former Rep. Connie Morella (R-Md.).


Jones Public Affairs picked up a multiyear contract with the National Institutes for Health worth up to $1.7M over five years, following an RFP process.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the federal agency for "unconventional" medicine like acupuncture and herbal/botanical remedies, solicited bids in July for the work, which was previously handled by Maryland-based Graves Fowler.

The account covers strategic health communications, research, promotions, media relations and rapid response PR.


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