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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Apr. 16, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 16 (download PDF version)

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Fiji’s tourism entity said it is on the hunt for PR agencies for key global markets, including the U.S. and China.

Photo: Tourism Fiji

Tourism Fiji acting CEO Michael Meade said TF wants PR firms to bring “the story of Fiji to their international markets in a fresh and memorable way.” He is looking for expressions of interest from firms by April 27 ahead of a competitive review process.

Firms are asked to include a backgrounder, desription of expertise, ownership, staff counts and client lists, as well as from two to five case studies in the tourism and travel PR sector.

Markets covered include Australia, New Zealand,

U.S. (based on West Coast), and Greater China, including Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The country’s government, which came to power in a 2006 military coup, is not recognized by the U.S. and has been criticized by Australia and New Zealand for alleged labor and human rights violations.

Submissions for the PR review go to Meade at mmeade [at], according to Susan Bejeckian, a Los Angeles-based PR consultant who works with Tourism Fiji.

Qorvis Communications in December picked up a $40K-a-month pact to promote business and investment in the Pacific state.


Vicky Ward, contributing editor at Vanity Fair, has joined MWW Group as senior VP-corporate communications at its New York office.


At VF, Ward has profiled movers and shakers such as former Morgan Stanley CEO Phil Purcell, ousted Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina, and the late Lazard CEO Bruce Wasserstein.

Before VF, she was executive editor of Tina Brown's short-lived Talk and news features editor at the New York Post.

Ward is author of “The Devil’s Casino: Friendship, Betrayal and the High Stakes Game Inside Lehman Brothers” and is currently working on a history of the General Motors Building.

She plans to continue as contributor to Fox News and Fox Business.


Omnicom has taken a majority stake in U.K.-based Portland Communications, the firm founded by former BSkyB PR exec and Tony Blair advisor Tim Allan.

Rankings Seal
Prof. Svcs., Travel, Home, Agriculture Rankings on pg. 3

Allan, who splits time between London and New York, said the firm after 11 years has more than 80 staffers and noted top management will be maintaining a “significant stake” in the company. He was director of comms. for News Corp.-owned BSkyB after serving the Blair government and built the agency with the satellite TV service as a flagship client.

Portland counts blue chips like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, as well as tech heavyweights Google U.K. and Facebook among its clients.

Omnicom will have PC working closely with its Brussels-based European political PR unit, g+ Europe. Allan said the two firms have collaborated over many years and “have a great deal in common.”

The firm will fall under OMC’s Diversified Agency Services unit, which includes its major PR operations like Ketchum and Fleishman-Hillard.

The U.K. press reported last year that Allan was talking with Publicis. The firm's 2010 revenues were placed in the £6-7M range. Allan reportedly turned down the top communications job in Blair’s government in 2005 so that he would not have to dismantle Portland.

Based in London, the firm has operations in New York and Nairobi.


Mitch Markson, Edelman’s global chief creative officer, is joining Ogilvy PR June 4 as president of its global marketing practice and CCO of the “Purpose Branding” initiative aimed at forging emotional bonds between products and people.

He will report to CEO Christopher Graves, who predicts Markson will be an Ogilvy “giant” who will develop content and context that “clients now crave and demand.”

At Edelman, Markson ran its consumer practice for the past decade. During his 21-year stint there, he counseled clients such as Microsoft, Starbucks, KFC, Shell, General Electric and Unilever. Markson also created Edelman’s “good purpose” practice that was developed in conjunction with the firm's StrategyOne market research arm.

He also worked at Ketchum and Burson-Marsteller.

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