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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Jan. 16, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 3 (download PDF version)

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Edelman has picked up Kellogg Co.’s lucrative PR account originally awarded to Weber Shandwick in October before that Interpublic unit quit the business a month later over a conflict with another IPG unit.

Kellogg brands range from cereals like Special K and Rice Krispies, to Eggo waffles and Pop Tarts.

“Kellogg has consolidated public relations support for U.S. brands with The K Group Public Relations Company, a new agency formed exclusively for Kellogg by Daniel J. Edelman, Inc.,” said Brandy Ruff, a company spokeswoman. “We continue to work with Ketchum and MSL Group on a variety of our projects for corporate communications, internal communications and cause-related marketing programs.”

Edelman was one of a handful of finalists for the account, along with incumbents Ketchum and MSLGroup, and Fleishman-Hillard.


Henry Gomez, a longtime PR advisor to H-P CEO Meg Whitman, has been tapped as executive VP and chief communications officer for the computer giant.


Whitman, after taking the reins in September in the wake of Leo Apothekar’s ouster, installed H-P veteran Lynn Anderson as interim CCO.

Whitman said: “Henry will work closely with the entire leadership team to make certain customers, partners, employees, and shareholders fully understand our vision and strategy.”

The 48-year-old Gomez worked PR for eBay for a decade under Whitman and led corporate communications for its Skype unit, which it sold in 2009. As an independent consultant in recent years, he advised Whitman’s losing run for California governor and handled corporate work.


Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has returned to BGR Group in D.C. as founding partner and will helm government relations, economic development and business development at Jackson-based law firm Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens and Cannada.

With 175 lawyers, the firm is one of the biggest in the southeast. Paul Hurst, Barbour’s former chief of staff, is re-joining Butler Snow.

Barbour is also hitting the lecture circuit under the guidance of Leading Authorities, where he expects to earn from $30K to $50K for talks before business and political groups. He will write a book about his leadership during the Katrina crisis.


The state-backed entity created to enact a universal healthcare system in Vermont is on the hunt for PR help with an RFP process open through early February.

The Green Mountain Care Board, created by the state legislature last May, is charged with expanding the state’s public health programs to make it the first “single-payer” state in the union.

The board wants a firm to provide an “array of communications services to support dissemination of information about our health policy initiatives,” reads the RFP. That includes building awareness and confidence in the board and its role in Vermont healthcare, while forging an identity distinct from other state agencies and the legislature. A one-year contract is planned.

Deadline is Feb. 2. RFP:


Sitrick & Co. is handling the high-profile bankruptcy filing of Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies, Hostess cupcakes, Ding Dongs, Drake's cakes and Wonder bread.

The Irving, Tex-based company blames a lackluster economy and non-competitive cost structure for forcing it to once again return to Chapter XI. The company emerged from bankruptcy in February 2009.

It blames the current economic stress on legacy pension and medical benefit obligations and restrictive work rules.

The company says it has more than 370 labor contracts with its 19,000-member workforce.

Hostess has received $75M in debtor-in-possession financing from a group of lenders led by Silver Point Capital.


Kirk Saville, VP of corporate communications and primary spokeswoman for The Hershey Company, has moved to office supplies giant Staples as VP of global communications.

Saville exits Hershey after nearly nine years at the confectioner. At Framingham, Mass.-based Staples, he takes over a post vacated by Paul Capelli in December, when he left for QVC. Saville reports to Steve Fund, senior VP of marketing at Staples.

Saville worked corporate PR at telecom software company Aspect Communications and Bell Labs after a journalism career.

Owen Davis is senior manager, global PR, for Staples, which has been tossed around in the presidential campaign for its roots under Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital.

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