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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Feb. 27, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 9 (download PDF version)

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Mark Irion has exited as CEO of Dutko Grayling, the U.S. public/government affairs arm of U.K.-based Grayling, a Huntsworth unit.

He told staffers that it was time to move on a little more than two years after the acquisition of the Dutko Worldwide lobbying firm by Grayling.

Huntsworth CEO Peter Gummer announced in October the formal creation of Dutko Grayling and expressed “every confidence that the U.S. team will make Grayling a more formidable presence in American government affairs, public affairs and public relations.”

Sally Withey, Huntsworth’s group COO, told O’Dwyer’s that “Sara Parker heads up Grayling public relations in Washington now that Mark has left, alongside the rest of the senior management team at Dutko Grayling which comprises David Beightol (state and local), Kim Bayliss and Arthur Silverman (federal) and Ben Wallerstein (consulting).”

Gummer is chairman of Dutko Grayling.

Irion assumed the helm at Dutko in 2003. Before joining the shop, he was legislative assistant for energy and environmental issues for Sen. Alan Dixon (D-IL). In that spot, he helped craft the reauthorization of the Clean Air Act and other environmental legislation.

Betsy Hanlon, who began her career in the tax department at Price Waterhouse is COO of Dutko Grayling.

Meanwhile, Grayling announced the World Water Council as a client for media and digital strategy. Its teams in the U.K. and France handle the business.

The 6th World Water Forum is slated for Marseilles on March 12-17.


Salt Lake City’s airport authority is searching for a PR firm to handle public engagement as it enters the planning stage of a large redevelopment program.

Salt Lake City Airport

Salt Lake City International Airport, the western hub for Delta Air Lines which saw 21M passengers in 2010, wants an on-call PR firm for the redevelopment and other large scale projects to engage stakeholders and the general public in the process through meetings, events and media outreach, among other tactics. The RFP, released Feb. 17, sets a March 9 deadline. Details:


Interpublic on Feb. 24 reported a 24.9 percent rise in fourth-quarter net to $278.3M on a 3.4 percent revenue uptick to $2.1B.

CEO Michael Roth said the ad/PR combine benefitted from investments in digital talent, robust growth in overseas markets and vitality in the U.S.

Organic growth rose 2.8 percent for the quarter and 6.1 percent for the full-year. Roth predicts organic growth to advance three percent in 2012.

Harris Diamond, who heads Weber Shandwick and IPG’s constituency management group, told O’Dwyer’s PR organic growth rose a “fantastic” 13.5 percent during Q4 and 10 percent for the year driven by across-theboard business spurts. Digital, social media, consumer, high-tech and healthcare were stand-out performers.

Citing great strides in putting IPG’s financial house in order, Roth announced a $300M share repurchase program.

He said the buyback shows “our continued commitment to returning capital to shareholders as well as confidence in the sustainability of our company’s strong performance.”

For the full-year, IPG earned $551.5M vs. $261.1M in 2010.


Nissan North American has put Stratacomm in the PR driver’s seat for the U.S., after a competitive review.


The work includes media relations, thought leadership, event and program management supporting the Nissan brand before consumers in the U.S.

The company worked with Edelman in the past but there was no incumbent in the review.

John Fitzpatrick, senior partner for FleishmanHillard-owned Stratacomm, noted Nissan will have 20 new vehicles debuting over the next 24 months, including New York City’s “Taxi of Tomorrow.”

David Reuter, VP of corporate communications for Nissan Americas, said it is the “ideal time to be more vocal in telling our story and with increased frequency.”

Nissan in September realigned by integrating brand, marketing and communications under a global unit based at its Yokohama, Japan, headquarters under VP Simon Sproule.

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