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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Feb. 20, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 8 (download PDF version)

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Matt Harrington, a 22-year Edelman veteran, assumes the COO post, a new position of the $614M independent shop on July 1.


The former U.S. chief expands his responsibilities to include Europe/Middle East/Asia-Pacific, Canada/Latin America, human resources, legal and IT duties. Harrington reports to Richard Edelman, CEO, who told O'Dwyer's that Harrington is a “decent and intelligent manager who has earned the trust of the Edelman family.”

Edelman is shifting China chief Mark Hass, former CEO of Manning, Selvage & Lee, to the U.S. president/CEO post. He joined Edelman in 2010, after serving at the helm of the Publicis unit for five years. Edelman praised Hass' strong corporate and marketing experience.

“He doubled our China business and is uniquely qualified for the U.S. position,” said Edelman.

The firm recorded $383M in U.S. revenues during the past year.

Tom Mattia, who retired from the senior VP global PA and communications post at Coca-Cola in 2009, replaces Hass in China.

Mattia, who recently stepped down as Yale University's chief communications officer, held top PR posts at Ford, IBM and EDS. “He’s been our client twice at Yale and EDS,” noted Edelman.

During a five-year stint at Hill & Knowlton, Mattia ran its Asia operation.


The IRS is in the final stages of reviewing a multimillion-dollar PR contract for communications support.

Porter Novelli is the four-year incumbent, earning more than $17M for the marketing communications work supporting the federal agency's outreach and public education efforts.

The Wall Street Journal Feb. 17 polled tax interest groups as well as newly minted Edelman COO Matt Harrington on the image of the IRS, tapping a vein of sarcasm.

“Advancing the interests of the North Korean leadership at the moment would be harder than the IRS,” Harrington told the Journal.

Before Porter Novelli, Weber Shandwick and sister ad shop Foote, Cone & Belding in 2002 won a $20M-ayear communications pact with the IRS.


APCO Worldwide has acquired a majority stake in New York-based ad agency Strawberry Frog, a consumer shop which works for clients like Procter & Gamble, Heineken, Liberty Mutual and Jim Beam.

Twelve-year-old Strawberry Frog has outposts in Amsterdam, Mumbai and Sao Paolo and revenue in the $10M-a-year range handling traditional advertising, digital, mobile, social media and content, among its services. Terms of the APCO deal were not revealed.

APCO CEO Margery Kraus said the ad agency’s focus on “movements” aligns well with her firm’s approach to stakeholder engagement when “persuasion today requires finding points of shared interest and then launching campaigns that connect emotionally.”

SF co-founder Scott Goodson said the agency has ambition to be “more active on the global stage” and has been approached by several suitors, but he noted APCO, which operates in 32 global markets, has an “independent spirit and global pedigree” that fits.

APCO said SF will maintain its own culture, brand, creative independent and management. Co-founder Karin Drakenberg and chief creative officer Kevin McKeon round out SF management.

APCO posted 2010 revenue of $113.4M, making it the second largest independent firm in the O’Dwyer rankings.

Goodson said APCO executives “fundamentally understand and respect our philosophy and are dedicated to helping our culture thrive globally.”


Finn Partners has inked a $40K monthly contract with South Korea for business grassroots and outreach services.

South Korean flag

The U.S. and South Korea have agreed to a free trade pact that is expected to bolster the $67B in commerce between the countries by at least 25 percent.

The pact, however, has met political opposition in Korea and will be a major issue in the Spring election.

The Democratic United Party released an open letter to President Obama earlier this month threatening to abolish the deal unless it is renegotiated.

Jessica Ross, general manager of FP’s Washington office, and Robin Crawford, senior partner, lead the account that runs through the rest of 2012.

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