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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Oct. 17, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 40 (download PDF version)

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Virginia’s Fairfax County is searching for agency help to pitch the region as a business and technology center to companies eying expansion on the East Coast.

Fairfax County

The northern Virginia, D.C.area county’s Economic Development Authority has an RFP open through Oct. 24 to review its account to develop a comprehensive campaign working under its VP of communications to position the county as well as the EDA itself as a catalyst for economic growth.

The EDA is based in Tysons Corner with a satellite operation in Los Angeles, as well as outposts in Bangalore, Seoul, Tel Aviv, Munich and London.

Its advertising, PR and marketing budget is $1.5M and a two-year contract is expected to be awarded. Siddall and The Hodges Partnership are the incumbent firms.

Among recent victories, the county attracted Hilton Hotels from California in 2009 and Northrop Grumman last year from Los Angeles. The area, the most populous in the Washington metro region, claims a labor force topping 600K with unemployment well below the national average at 4.5%.

Fairfax is home to several government agencies as well, including the CIA, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.


Procter & Gamble’s Gillette has awarded Ketchum its $5M men's grooming account that has been at Porter Novelli for more than two decades after a competitive pitch. Both firms are owned by Omnicom.

Gillette’s Damon Jones, who heads PR for the grooming unit, believes Ketchum’s depth and breadth of global expertise “combined with an innovative creative and client engagement model” will accelerate global growth of the products.

PN continues on Gillette’s roster, providing PR for regional business units.

David Press, a veteran of FTI Consulting and Brunswick, has joined Kwittken & Co. to launch its corporate strategy group. He will handle special situations, issues and crisis work at Aaron Kwittken’s firm, which is part of MDC Partners. Press has advised Reader’s Digest Assn., Dow Chemical and Teva Pharmaceuticals.


Podesta Group has assigned a $100K-a-month contract inked with Serbia in May to Roberti + White, according to Justice Dept. records.

The initial pact signed by Tony Podesta called for the firm to develop “beneficial and efficient political and economic relations” between Serbia and the U.S.

The well-connected Democrat agreed to enhance diplomatic relations, increase investments and trade between the two nations.

RW “hereby assumes and covenants to perform” all obligation of Podesta and guarantees to hold it “harmless from any claim or demand made thereunder,” according to a filing. The firm’s services will include “consulting and counseling (lobbying) directed at facilitation of strategic goals of the Republic of Serbia,” said the filing.

A call to Podesta’s office about the Serbia assignment was referred to Missi Tessier, who heads its strategic communications unit. She was not reached.

Podesta did not file the Serbia contract with the Justice Dept. Its contract was an attachment to the RW filing of Sept. 23.


Ed Adler, the former Time Warner communications head, has moved to the newly combined RLM Finsbury as a partner.


Adler stepped down as executive VP of corporate communications for TW in early 2010, later landing at PR consultancy MediaLink as a senior partner.

WPP in July announced the merger of Robinson Lerer & Montgomery and London-based Finsbury Group to create a global financial and corporate PR unit with 180 staffers.

“Ed Adler is well-respected and has the unique perspective of someone who has directly advised three CEOs and the diverse businesses of Time Warner, while navigating some of the most challenging issues a public company can face,” said Walter Montgomery, CEO of RLMF.

Adler spent his entire career at TW, first as a journalist and later moving to the PR side, before resigning in February 2010. He started out at TW in college and worked as a reporter for Time before moving on to HBO and later its corporate communications unit. He became VP of corporate comms. in 1997.

Kyle Giunta, who worked under Adler at Time Warner and MediaLink, is also making the move.

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