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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Aug. 13, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 32 (download PDF version)

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Britain’s Standard Chartered has selected Maitland as its corporate communications firm amid charges that the banking giant schemed with the Iranian government to launder $250B during 2001 and 2007.

The New York State Dept. of Financial Services,which lodged those allegations, says SC’s actions left the U.S. financial system “vulnerable to terrorists.”

The New York regulators blasted the 150-year-old bank as a “rogue institution” that hid more than 60,000 transactions on behalf of Iranian banks and companies,making millions in fees. Those alleged activities“helped sustain a global threat to peace and stability.”

SC rejects the NYSDFS charges, believing the allegations “do not present a full and accurate portrayal of the facts.”

The bank claims that 99.9 percent of its transactions with Iran complied with U.S. sanctions that were in place at that time.

It says an internal review did not turn up a single transaction to any entity that was deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S. Government.

SC shares have been battered by the New York charges, losing 24 percent of their value on the London Stock Exchange Aug. 7.

Maitland won the PR job in a competitive review that included incumbent RLM Finsbury.

The firm says it will help SCs “in-house team in building a stronger and consistent corporate

narrative,broadening and further differentiating its reputation among corporate audiences.”

Maitland CEO Neil Bennett, former business editor of the Sunday Telegraph, leads the SC work.


Vlad Grigore, who led Norwegian energy giant Statoil’s emergency response operation, has joinedHill+Knowlton Strategies to head up an ER response offering to bolster its crisis capability.


He created Statoil’s ER network and standardized response plans across North America. According to his LinkedIn bio, Grigore established a “next of kin”response framework for human resources as part of its emergency preparedness program.

He served as one of Statoil’s “incident commanders” with responsibility for the command, control, and coordination of a disaster response.

Grigore is based in Calgary.


South Dakota has handed its $7.5M tourism PR and marketing account to MMGY Global and incumbentLawrence & Schiller, following an April RFP.

Photo: Nat'l Park Service

L&S of Sioux Falls was the nine-year incumbent before the state’s Department of Tourism broke the contract down into two parts. L&S handles creative and media buying on a $5M pact, while MMGY will guidePR, digital marketing,social media and web development efforts to promote the state to travelers on a $2.5M contract. Each firm gets a three-year contract with two option years.

South Dakota, which has the benefit of leveraging attractions like Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills to tourists, kicked off the review in late March after the launch of a new advertising campaign, “Your American Journey,” which replaced its long-running “Great Faces.Great Places” slogan.

“Ultimately, working with these agencies will be of great benefit to the department, the visitor industry and the state,” said Jim Hagen, secretary of tourism.

MMGY, which has outposts in Kansas City, New York, Orlando and Denver, was created by the merger of Ypartnership and MMG Worldwide in December.


Porter Novelli has added Reckitt Benckiser’s d-CON rodent control brand to its lineup in a consolidation by the British consumer goods giant.


The Omnicom unit handles RB’s Airwick, Woolite, Resolve and Finish brands and adds d-CON PR and social media duties for the remainder of 2012, including its key fall selling season.

Schneider Associates previously had the account.

Ho Ling Chack, brand manager for d-CON at RB,said in a statement that the 50-year-old brand has a“compelling story” to tell and added, “Porter Novelli is the right agency to help us share that story and ensure that consumers make the right choice in protecting their homes.”

RB’s PR roster also includes firms like Euro RSCG Worldwide PR (Durex), Tonic Life Communications Grigore is based in Calgary. (Lysol) and Lippe Taylor (Clearasil).

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