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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Apr. 23, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 17 (download PDF version)

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Mexico has hired R&R Partners to handle PR and media relations for the run-up to and aftermath of the G20 Summit slated for Las Cabos in June.


The Las Vegas shop is to promote the political and economic agenda of President Felipe Calderon as well as the general proceedings of Latin America’s first summit of the world's richest economies.

Calderon's priorities include economic stabilization, improving the financial architecture in the interconnected world, food security/commodity pricing and global climate change, according to R&R’s “earned media plan.”

The R&R document calls Calderon the “perfect spokesman at this time in history” because development issues to be dealt with at Las Cabos are the “very same policies that turned around the Mexican economy from the depth of recession in the mid 1990s.”

R&R’s international target cities include the U.S., Europe and Asia – Beijing, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, London, Washington and New York.

The firm, which commenced G20 work on Feb. 15, does not have a written contract, but estimates its fees for the five-month program is $500K, plus expenses.


Cohn & Wolfe on April 18 kicked off the U.S. Olympic Committee’s “Raise Our Flag” campaign, a grassroots effort designed to raise money for London-bound American Olympians.

People can visit the site to buy a stitch in the flag that the U.S. squad will carry during the opening ceremony celebrations.

The PR pitch: buy a $12 stitch and become a “member of the team behind the team.”

The website features a searchable “donor’s wall,” a tally of stitches, state-by-state breakdown of donations along with images/videos of Olympians.

The 100 day countdown to London clock began April 18 with a Times Square event starring gold medalists Carl Lewis, Greg Louganis and Shannon Miller.


Nadina Guglielmetti, VP-digital strategies at Waggener Edstrom, has joined Kaplow as senior VP & director of digital, social media and consumer strategy. She will work with chief digital officer David Richeson on Kdrive, the firm’s social media unit.

Liz Kaplow, CEO, praised Gullielmetti’s “15 years of experience conceptualizing, developing and launching measurable and impactful online programs.”

Guglielmetti began her career at Calvin Klein Cosmetics and also worked on brands such as Estée Lauder, Origins and Redken 5th Ave. NYC.

At L’Oréal’s Redken unit, she served as interactive and media director. Guglielmetti also was with Pfizer in Rome, where she launched its Italian website.


Publicis reported first quarter revenue up 13% to € 1.5M ($1.9B) with expectations for stronger growth in the second half of 2012.

“We remain confident about this year despite macroeconomic uncertainties that beg caution,” said CEO Maurice Levy. “We believe that the second half of the year will see stronger and steadier growth than the first half-year.”

Growth at its PR units, which fall under its Specialized Marketing Services division, hit 6% at firms including MSLGroup and Kekst and Company. The SAMS division overall was 19% of Q1 revenue, vs. 21% in Q1 of 2011.

Overall organic growth was up 4.1%. Levy called “mature markets” like North America and Europe “reasonably steady” on gains of 3.3% and 3.6%, respectively, while emerging markets and digital growth (15.6) topped 10 percent.

Publicis last month bought two experiential marketing shops in Asia to boost its MSLGroup PR unit. It acquired U.S. tech PR giant Schwartz Communications last fall.

Levy said the ad/PR conglomerate paid €644.4 million to buy back 18M Publicis shares from Japan's Dentsu during the quarter.


The University of Texas at San Antonio, which is in the midst of an agency pitch process to guide PR for its new Division 1 football program, has placed a school spokesman on administrative leave following an arrest for sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy.

David Gabler, associate VP of communications for the 31,000-student institution, was found with the boy, who he met in an online chat room, in a parked vehicle at 2:15 a.m. on April 13 near a park in the city, according to police records reported by the San Antonio Express-News. Police reportedly found evidence in the car of sexual activity.

Gabler joined the school in 1995 from a similar post at Trinity University.

Gabler posted $75K bond and was released the same day. His attorney denies the allegations and said his client looks forward to proving his innocence in court. Gabler was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, according to Christi Fish, associate director of media relations as UTSA.


WPP’s Penn Schoen Berland polling firm has acquired First Movies International, market researcher and consultant to studios including Disney, Paramount, Sony Picture and Twentieth Century Fox.

Though mostly noted for advising President Bill Clinton, Sen. Hillary Clinton and U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, PSB has been in the entertainment and media business since 2001. Jon Penn heads that unit.

Mark Penn, CEO of PSB and Burson-Marsteller, said of the deal that “it’s essential that our “entertainment clients, like our corporate clients, have a finger on the pulse of their consumers in every corner of the globe.”

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