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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Jun. 4, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 23 (download PDF version)

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The Food and Drug Administration unit charged with a broad scope that includes enforcing laws governing food, drugs, tobacco and other products is on the hunt for an agency to develop a strategic plan for its communications operation.


The Office of Regulatory Affairs, based in Silver Spring, Md., wants an outside firm to assess its existing internal and external communications apparatus, which is composed of 25 staffers, and develop a plan for relations with the media, stakeholders, FDA staffers, and other key audiences.

There is no incumbent and the ORA does not currently have a strategic communications plan.

The ORA’s wide purview - it staffs one-third of the FDA’s 4,400 employees - spans operations, policy, science and criminal enforcement.

“ORA has an enormous volume of information … that must be exchanged comprehensively and timely within the organization and externally,” says an RFP outlining the work. “Development and implementation of a viable strategic communications structure and plan will increase workforce and community/stakeholder awareness of ORA activities, furthering the ORA mission and the commissioner's initiatives.”

Deadline for proposals is June 11. View the solicitation at


Mike Tuffin, executive VP at America's Health Insurance Plans trade group of insurers and healthcare providers, rejoins APCO Worldwide June 25 as managing director of its Washington headquarters.


He replaces Robert Schooling, who was recently upped to Americas president.

Tuffin exited APCO for AHIP in 2005. He was responsible for its advocacy, advertising and grassroots development during the debate over president Obama’s healthcare overhaul effort.

Prior to his first APCO stint, Tuffin was senior director of strategic communications at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and Capitol Hill staffer.

APCO has 200 staffers in D.C.


Tim Bell has inked a $32M deal to take Bell Pottinger off the hands of Chime Communications, setting up a confrontation with WPP’s Martin Sorrell.

WPP holds a 20 percent stake in Chime. Sorrell opposes the sale of BP because he believes the transaction is skewed in favor of Bell, who is Chime’s chairman.

Chime will get a $24M cash infusion and a 25 percent ownership in the renamed BPP Communications.

If the transaction gains the support of shareholders June 18, Piers Pottinger will become deputy chairman of BPP. He does not yet have an investment stake in BPP, but plans to become a “significant” owner.

Chime’s divested units will be Bell Pottinger PR, Pelham Bell Pottinger (60%), BP Public Affairs, BP Sans Frontières and Bell Pottinger Middle East.

Chime CEO Christopher Satterthwaite said the BP disposal will enable his firm to “exit from non-core business and have a more balanced portfolio of communications and sports marketing,” in addition to providing proceeds for investments in digital and healthcare.


Mary Jane Walker, senior VP at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, has moved to Weber Shandwick’s New York office corporate health group.

At the WPP unit, Walker counseled Deloitte, Pfizer’s global R&D unit, Forest Laboratories and Amgen. Earlier, she handled Pfizer at Robinson Leher & Montgomery and did an 11-year stint at the National Institutes of Health.

As senior VP at Interpublic-owned Weber Shandwick, Walker will work on positioning, thought leadership platforms, crisis management, restructuring and corporate social responsibility.

Barbara Box is president of Weber Shandwick's New York and Chicago health groups, while Paul Jensen helms the North American corporate practice.


Nancy Turett, who turned over the healthcare reins to Kym White in March, is leaving Edelman to start her own firm. She also will serve as part-time senior counselor to Edelman’s sister shop, Zeno Group.

In a 23-year span, Turett worked in New York, London and Paris. She led Edelman's New York health practice and was founding leader of the No. 1 independent’s global health operation.

In March, Turett took on the role of chief strategist, health and society post.

White joined Edelman last year after 16 years at at Ogilvy PR Worldwide.

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