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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Oct. 22, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 42 (download PDF version)

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Crosby Marketing Communications, Annapolis, Md., and Alexandria, Va.-based Reingold have been tapped among five firms to handle strategic communications assignments under a multimillion-dollar pact with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of U.S.Dept. of Health and Human Services.

The five-year pact is capped at $150M and Crosby and Reingold are eligible to head strategic communications assignments for the Office of Communications and Knowledge Transfer of the federal agency which oversees the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare in the U.S.

“Knowing that our work will ultimately help enhance quality care, outcomes and patient safety is very rewarding,” said CEO Ray Crosby.

Crosby's team of subcontractors includes Abt Associates; MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation; Professional and Scientific Associates; Diffusion Associates; The Disparities Solutions Center; WebMD; National Area Health Education Centers Organization; gravitytank, and Cornerstone Government Affairs.

Denise Aube, Crosby's healthcare practice leader, serves as AHRQ project director.


Levick Strategic Communications has inked a $240K contract to represent Antigua and Barbuda, which licenses electronic casinos, in its squabble over online gambling with the U.S.


The U.S. maintains the federal Wire Act prohibits online gambling.

Under the six-month pact that went into effect Oct. 3, Levick fronts A&B's position that it has lost billions of potential gambling revenue due to this country’s “failure” to abide by various rulings of the World Trade Organization.

A&B has filed a claim with the WTO for $3.4 billion in trade sanctions against the U.S.

The Washington-based PR firm distributed a release Oct. 15 that says if America fully complies with various WTO rulings, money will flow to the Caribbean nation so it can “invest in education, further job creation and job training that will benefit every Antiguan and Barbudan.”

Settlement of the decade-long impasse with the U.S. over remote gaming services “will substantial positive impact on the country’s ailing economy, adding diversity to the tourism industry which accounts for nearly 60 percent of gross domestic product and 40 percent of investment,” according to the A&B's statement.

CEO Richard Levick and Colin Murdoch, A&B's permanent secretary/minister of finance, the economy and public administration, signed the contract.

Michael Robinson, Levick EVP and acting chair of the PA group, heads the firm’s effort for A&B. He's assisted by Jack Deschauer, Philip Ellwood and Ryan Stanton.


Topps launched a new edition of the 1980s classic Garbage Pail Kids trading cards on Oct. 16, five years after pulling the plug on the cards featuring raunchy cartoons.

Ogilvy PR is supporting the launch, which includes a contest to choose five people to be "immortalized" as characters in a future series.

Stephen Dumas, brand manager for the Topps series, said the cards are being "rejuvenated in a way that we haven't seen in decades." Topps last tried reintroducing a series of the cards in 2003 to mixed results and has issued commemorative editions over the past few years.

The cards were a pop culture phenomenon in the mid-to-late 1980s for their depictions of children with various abnormalities, including Adam Bomb, a boy with an atomic explosion emitting from his head, the obese Slobby Robby, and Marty Gras, a boy dressed in drag.

Some districts banned kids from bringing the cards to school because they were a distraction or over concerns about the content.

A 1987 movie was a box office bomb.


Allison Wey, a veteran financial communications exec on the agency and corporate sides, has moved to the top post overseeing investor relations and public affairs for Durata Therapeutics, which went public in July.

Wey takes a VP title with the Morristown, N.J.based early stage pharma developer of therapeutics for patients with infectious diseases and acute illnesses.

The three-year-old company went public in a $68M offering July 19, but does not yet have any products approved for sale. It previously acquired antibiotic dalbavancin from Pfizer.

Wey was recently VP of IR and corporate affairs for Par Pharmaceuticals through its acquisition by TPG. Earlier, she was VP of IR and corporate comms. at Boron, LePore & Associates, senior VP at Edelman financial, and managing director of Hill+Knowlton Strategies' financial communications group.


OraSure Technologies is working with GolinHarris and Zer0 to 5ive as it launches the first in-home test for HIV.

OraQuick, which hit retail shelves and was made available for online sales on Oct. 9, has recruited Magic Johnson and former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza as celebrity endorsers.

Johnson, who is HIV-positive, appeared on "The Daily Show" on Oct. 10 pitching the test, noting African-Americans and Latinos make up half of all new HIV/AIDS cases.

The test utilizes an oral swab and produces results within 20 minutes, according to the company.

GH has worked with the company since the FDA approved the test for over-the-counter sales in early July. OraSure said 25M units have previously been sold in the professional market to doctors and clinics.

Zer0 to 5ive managing principal Jennifer Moritz handles OraSure and leveraged Mendoza for National Latino AIDS Day on Oct. 15.

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