Contact O'Dwyer's: 271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471; Fax: 212/683-2750
O'Dwyer's Inside News of Public Relations & Marketing Communications - O'Dwyer's Inside News of Public Relations & Marketing Communications - Subscribe to Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter & get FREE online access plus O'Dwyer's monthly magazin

Return to this week's Newsletter & back issues

O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Mar. 5, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 10 (download PDF version)

Page 1 Pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


A bi-partisan pair of U.S. Senators is requesting information from federal agencies about PR, advertising and similar services contracts in a bid they say is aimed to root out wasteful spending.

Sen. Rob Portman (D-Ohio) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) have dispatched requests to 11 federal agencies to look at PR contracts in a bid to gauge “how much money the administration is spending to promote its own policies.”

Portman, the ranking Republican on the Senate’s Subcommittee on Contract Oversight, said the move is not partisan but is a reaction to “accounts of wasteful federal spending on PR contracts.” McCaskill chairs that subcommittee of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

An unidentified Portman aide was more blunt speaking to Roll Call in saying, “This investigation will further probe this administration's use of taxpayer-funded spin.”

The senators have asked federal agencies like the Dept. of Health and Human Services, Dept. of Energy, Dept. of Justice, and Dept. of Defense, among others, to produce documents by March 16.


The commission that runs major roadways like the Pennsylvania Turnpike is reviewing its six-figure advertising and PR accounts via RFP through early April.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission wants proposals for up to two open-ended contracts providing services including PR, communications consulting, advertising and marketing. Budget is $450K, not including any media placement costs.

The financially strapped commission, which is required to pay $450M to the state each year, hiked tolls on cash-paying drivers in January to urge more of them to adopt digital toll payments, which cost a fraction to collect compared with cash.

William Capone, director of communications and PR for the PTC, said there are currently no agencies under contract.

Deadline for proposals is April 4. View the RFP at

A bill introduced to the Maryland House of Delegates this month would subject PR, direct mail advertising, cable TV and printing, among 25 other services, to the cash-strapped state’s sales tax.

Maryland’s sales tax is six percent.

Read more on the topic:


Thirteen of the top 25 independent PR firms in the 2011 O’Dwyer rankings released today were up in double figures including six of the top ten. Registering double-digit gains were 24 of the top 50, the same number that achieved that in the 2010 rankings.


Edelman grew 15.9% to $604.7 million from $521M, making it five times as large as the next biggest independent, APCO Worldwide, which grew 6.4% to $120.7M.

Edelman’s $83M in additional business was greater than the annual volume of all but two other firms in the ranking, APCO and Waggener
Edstrom, up 3.5% to $115.8M.

Standout performers in the top T ables: pgs. 3-4
ten also included Text 100, up 10% to $50.4M; WCG, up 29% to $47.5M; MWW Group, up 11% to $38.6M; ICR, up 21% to $32M (making ICR No. 1 in financial PR/investor relations), and DKC PR, up 12% to $26.8M.

Other standouts in the top 50 were Allison & Partners, up 25% to $19.4M; Coyne PR, +13.6% to $18M; Atomic PR, +35% to $15M; Zeno Group, +11.7% to $13.9M; CJP Communications, +24.4% to $12.5MM; 5W PR, +9% to $12.4M; Levick Strategic Communications, +38% to $12.4M; Makovsky + Co., +11% to $12M; Formula PR, + 31% to $11.5M; Fahlgren Mortine, +11% to $10.5M; Jackson Spalding, +17% to $10.4M; Spark PR, +17% to $10.3M; Black Twig Communications, +28% to $10M; The Hoffman Agency, +11% to $9.1M; Airfoil PR, +19% to $8.1M; Launch Squad, +30% to $7.5M, and Merritt Group, +15% to $7.1M.

Jones PA of D.C. is Top Gainer

Biggest gainer in the top 100 was Jones Public Affairs of Washington, D.C., No. 73 in the rankings with a spurt of 149% to $4.2M. Staff grew from 12 to 25.

Carrie Jones, managing director of Jones PA, said clients of the firm have an appetite for “high-impact approaches” and that is what the firm provides.

Second biggest gainer in the top 100 was Levick of D.C. at 38% followed by Davies Murphy Group of Burlington, Mass., at 36%, and Atomic PR of San Francisco at 35%.

(Continued on page 2)

Page 1 Pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


Copyright © 1998-2020 J.R. O'Dwyer Company, Inc.
271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471