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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Oct. 29, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 43 (download PDF version)


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DRUG COMPOUNDERS GET PR HELP

The trade group for compounding pharmacies has called on a Boston PR firm for crisis support as a compounding center in Massachusetts is the focus of a national meningitis outbreak.

Ball Consulting Group, the firm of former VP of communications for the Massachusetts HospitalAssociation, David Ball, is working with the InternationalAcademy of Compounding Pharmacists. The 2,700-member trade group, based in Houston, is working to educate media, lawmakers and regulators, as well as the public about pharmacy compounding and reassure those stakeholders about the safety of the industry.

Ball is advising the group and serving as a spokesman. "What’s alleged (at the Massachusetts facility) is very different from what compounders do everyday,” he told the Columbus Dispatch Oct. 21.

More than 280 people have contracted meningitis and 23 died in an outbreak traced to a drug made by theNew England Compounding Center, based inFramingham, Mass. That manufacturer has been shut down amid an investigation. Boston-based O’Neill &Associates is working the PR front for the center.

SOFTBANK BANKS ON CARMEN GROUP

Japan’s Softbank has hired the Carmen Group to work its proposed deal to purchase a 75 percent stake in Sprint, the No. 3 telecom. The $20B deal faces muster from the Federal Communications and Justice Dept.

David Carmen, who was communications director for Ronald Reagan’s Citizens for America grassroots group, leads the charge.

He’s assisted by Bill Signer, a former aide to Manhattan Congressman Charlie Rangel, and John Ladd,ex-chief counsel of the House Judiciary Committee.

Sprint uses an array of D.C. lobbyists including Fritts Group; Franklin Square Group, Cormac Group,Putala Strategies and Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock.

Meanwhile, Carmen Group has just opened a Los Angeles outpost headed by Hope Boonshaft, who once helmed Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ L.A. outpost and served as executive VP/external affairs at Sony Entertainment Pictures.

Carmen has Hollywood ties as founder ofAnonymous Content, producer of films “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Fifty First Dates” and“Babel”) and commercials (Procter & Gamble,Budweiser and General Electric).

GOODMAN INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME

Avid baseball fan Tom Goodman, CEO of Goodman Media International, is among inaugural members to be inducted into the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation Hall of Fame at a New York gala slated Nov. 8.

The New York City firm chief has done PR for the Foundation founded by the former New York Yankee manager and Atlanta Brave/St. Louis Cardinal slugger.

Katie Couric will serve as master of ceremonies of the event, while Michael Bolton is lined up as musical talent.

The evening will honor sports broadcaster Bob Costas,who has been a long-time supporter of Torre’s organization

dedicated to putting an end to domestic violence.

The list of luminaries expected to attend includeBob Gibson, Tim McCarver, Billy Crystal, Lesley Visser, Lou Lamoriello, Stanley Tucci, Yogi Berra and Don Mattingly.

The price of a table goes for $25K, while a limited supply of individual ducats are available for $2,500. Information is available at www.joetorre.org.

JC INKS ‘VOICE’ OF THE MUSLIM WORLD

Just Consulting, which specializes in human rights,governance, social justice and corporate social responsibility matters, has signed the Jeddah, Saudi Arabia-basedOrganization of Islamic Cooperation as a client.

OIC bills itself as the “collective voice” of 55 countries and the Palestinian Authority, “espousing all causes close to the hearts of over 1.5 billion Muslims of the world,” according to its website.

The organization says it’s the second-largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations and dedicated to resolving conflicts among its members and advocating the “elimination of discrimination against theMuslims in all forms and manifestations.”

JC CEO Joe Grieboski leads the three-person lobbying team for OIC. He is founder and chairman of theInstitute on Religion and Public Policy.

His firm also represents the Kingdom of Morocco under a one-year contract worth $120K.

According to that pact, JC provides Morocco with“strategic and tactical human rights consulting, capacity-building, communications advice and grassroots HR development.”

Grieboski told O’Dwyer’s that the OIC and Morocco work are separate projects.

TEXAS CITY REVIEWS TRAVEL PR

The travel and tourism entity for Plano, Texas, is reviewing its six-figure PR account with an RFP process open through Nov. 5.

Dallas-based Tucker & Associates is the incumbent, winning the last competitive review in 2008. Budget is about $250K.

Plano, which sits just outside the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area and is the corporate home of J.C. Penney,wants agency pitches to represent its tourism present to U.S. media, including press release writing, news bureau, media relations, media tours and interviews, crisis comms. and other PR activities.

The 23-year-old Plano Convention and VisitorsBureau is funded by hotel taxes levied on the city’s 34hotels with 1.9M room nights each year. Annual budget is about $1.7M.

LONDON TAXI CO. HAILS FTI v

FTI Consulting is counseling Manganese Bronze Holdings, maker of London’s iconic taxi, as it declares insolvency and says it “is no longer a going concern.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers is expected to be appointed administrator of the company that employs 400 staffers.

MBH’s London Taxi Co. has produced more than 100,000 vehicles at its Coventry production line since 1948.

 
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