Ogilvy Government Relations has signed a one-year $240K deal to provide government affairs and US Congressional outreach to Qatar as the tiny oil-rich Gulf State returns to the good graces of its neighbors.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Egypt slapped a trade, travel, and diplomatic blockade on Qatar in 2017 for its cozy ties with Iran and support of the Al-Jazeera satellite TV network.
They lifted that embargo last month.
Ogilvy, which had worked for Qatar as a subcontractor to Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough, has agreed not to work for any MENA nation or company controlled by one, for one year following the termination of its Qatar program.
The WPP unit has Democratic veterans Moses Mercado and Karissa Willhite handling the Qatar business.
Mercado was chief of staff to Democratic Majority Leader Dick Gephardt and joined Ogilvy in 2007 from the Democratic National Committee, where he was deputy executive director for intergovernmental affairs.
Willhite, a seven-year Ogilvy veteran, was deputy chief of staff for Jersey Senator Bob Menendez and policy director at the House Democratic Caucus.
Mercado and Willhite report to Hamad Al-Muftah, deputy chief of mission at Qatar’s embassy.