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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Jun. 18, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 25 (download PDF version)

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The U.S. Virgin Islands tourism entity has floated an RFP review of its U.S. PR account ahead of the 201213 winter travel season.

Virgin Islands

M Booth is the incumbent. The scope of work includes national media relations, digital/social media management, news bureau press requests, media training and development of an annual PR plan, among other tasks.

The islands, including St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, draw nearly three million visitors each year. They were purchased by the U.S. in 1917 from Denmark. Tourism is 80% of the islands’ economy.

PR proposals are due July 17.

Sal Griffith of the USVI Dept. of Tourism ([email protected]; 340-744-0828, ext 230) is overseeing the RFP process. RFP:


Julie Hamp, who left the top communications post at PepsiCo in March, is driving to Toyota North America as chief communications office, starting June 25.


She takes over for Jim Wiseman, who is retiring at the end of the month after 23 years at Toyota, the last two serving as its first CCO.

Hamp will be based in Torrance, Calif., reporting to Toyota Motor Sales president and CEO Jim Lentz.

Toyota has 1,800 dealerships in the North America, including Toyota, Lexus and Scion, with sales of 1.8M vehicles in 2011. It employs 37,000 people in the region.

Prior to PepsiCo, she worked marketing communications and PR at General Motors. PepsiCo in April tapped Brunswick and Bush administration alum Jim Wilkinson to head communications.

Ad man Michael Goldberg, who joined Porter Novelli earlier this year as senior VP and chief marketing officer, is going back to the advertising world. He is joining Interpublic’s Deutsch in August. PN announced the hiring of Zimmerman Advertising executive VP Goldberg on Oct. 26. Chris Lynch, PN’s executive VP/corporate business development, is filling in for Goldberg.


Weber Shandwick and Hill+Knowlton Strategies on June 12 announced the settlement of a legal suit filed by WS earlier this year against H+K and former staffers Jody Venturoni/Ken Luce, who each headed its Texas operation before joining H+K, for allegedly misappropriating documents and improperly soliciting staffers and clients.

Terms of the settlement are confidential, but WS says the deal “protects its business interests, its clients’' confidential data and its clients' confidential information.”

As part of the settlement, Venturoni issued the following statement: “During my last year of employment with Weber Shandwick and immediately after my resignation, I took confidential information belonging to Weber Shandwick. I shared some of this information with employees at Hill & Knowlton.

“This information has since been returned to Weber Shandwick or destroyed. Weber Shandwick took justified legal action to protect its own business interests and those of its clients. We have reached a confidential settlement of this matter.”

H+K regrets the circumstances that led to the filing of the suit but understands that Weber Shandwick “took this action to protect its business interests. We have reached a confidential settlement of these matters.”

Elisabeth Rutledge, senior VP in H+K's Dallas office, says the WPP unit is glad the settlement is behind it because “our primary focus is our clients. We welcome a resolution to this distraction.”


WPP shareholders rejected a proposed 60% compensation hike for CEO Martin Sorrell at the conglomerate’s annual meeting in Dublin on June 13. In that non-binding vote, 59.5 percent of the proxies opposed WPP’s remuneration report.


Philip Lader, WPP chairman, told the meeting that the board will take the “remuneration report very seriously.” It’s premature to determine if Sorrell’s compensation will be adjusted, he added.

Sorrell argued in favor of the comp hike, saying he deserved to be compensated as an owner and entrepreneur. He founded WPP in 1985.

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