Contact O'Dwyer's: 271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471; Fax: 212/683-2750
O'Dwyer's Inside News of Public Relations & Marketing Communications - O'Dwyer's Inside News of Public Relations & Marketing Communications - Subscribe to Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter & get FREE online access plus O'Dwyer's monthly magazin

Return to this week's Newsletter & back issues

O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Feb. 13, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 7 (download PDF version)

Page 1 Pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


Paul Taaffe, who stepped down as CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies last January, has been tapped by Groupon as VP of global communications.


He takes over for Brad Williams, who now heads Weber Shandwick’s North American tech operation. Williams left in August after a three-month stint.

Groupon raised $700M in a November initial public offering, although the company was criticized at times for its PR in the run-up to the IPO.

Taaffe left H+K after its merger with Public Strategies. He was CEO from 2003 to early 2011.

Williams, who is based in Sunnyvale for the Interpublic unit, reports to Heidi Sinclair, global technology president.

In his 25-year tech/corporate PR career, Williams has held posts at eBay, Yahoo! and VeriSign, handling brand positioning, thought leadership programs, spokesperson and financial matters.

Sinclair said Williams is a “recognized communications strategist” with a “strong sense of what technology clients are looking for from their agency partners.”

During his stint at VeriSign, Williams worked with Weber Shandwick.


The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America has hired Ogilvy Government Relations to guide the trade group's input into the rule-making process connected with the new healthcare reform law.


Key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are slated to go into effect in 2014.

PhRMA also is seeking Ogilvy’s guidance on the Prescription Drug User Fee Act reauthorization, health-care copyright/patient trademark and Medicare/Medicaid.

Steve Tilton, who joined Ogilvy from the VP-federal affairs post at PhRMA, is handling the account. He was PhRMA’s key Congressional liaison and worked the earlier reauthorization of PDUFA.

Tilton is teamed on the PhRMA business with Mike Hogan, former deputy chief of staff to retiring Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson.


Publicis, the first of the big ad/PR conglomerates to report final 2011 earnings, said Feb. 9 that Q4 revenue climbed nearly nine percent to 1.7B euro, including a 12% jump in North America to 764M euro.

For the full year, revenue at the French ad/PR combine was up 7.3% (5.7% organically) to 5.8B euro ($7.7B, while net income was up 14% to 600M euro.

CEO Maurice Levy said 2012 will be plagued by uncertainty, but expressed confidence in the company's operations. Publicis has renewed a freeze on recruitment to keep a rein on personnel expenses, he noted. “Though we remain very cautious all along, our situation enables us to stride confidently toward the future and particularly 2012,” he said.

Acquisitions and hiring pushed Publicis' headcount up to 53,807 at the end of 2011, compared with 48,531 a year earlier. The conglomerate shelled out 599M euro for acquisitions during 2011 and 87M euro for earn-outs. PR grabs in 2011 included ICL MSL Taiwan, Genedigi (China) and Schwartz Communications.

Big wins for Publicis' PR division, MSLGroup, in 2011 included AQMD-Incremental and (U.S.) Insinkerator (China); Star TV (India); Bosch (Germany), and Securite Routiere (France), among others.

The conglom lost GM's media buying account in January, a large piece of business that will hit 0.5% of its revenue over the year.


Gerard Meuchner, Eastman Kodak’s communications head who stepped down in January ahead of the company’s bankruptcy filing, has landed at medical supplies maker Henry Schein in the new post of VP and chief global communications officer.


Meuchner was at Kodak for 11 years after a career as a reporter and editor for Bloomberg News. He'll be based in Melville, N.Y., for Henry Schein, a Fortune 500 company which supplies, dentists, physicians, veterinarians and other healthcare providers. The new post coordinates communications for the company's five key markets.

Kodak announced Feb. 9 that it was exiting the digital camera, pocket video camera and digital picture frame businesses to focus on printers, inkjet presses and software businesses.

The company, which has made cameras for more than 100 years, invested more than $4B during the 1990s to develop photo technology.

Page 1 Pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


Copyright © 1998-2020 J.R. O'Dwyer Company, Inc.
271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471