Updates From Finn Partners, MDC Partners, Podesta PR And More
Lansons sued by Ariadne Capital for ‘botching up’ Wikipedia page
A lawsuit was filed by Ariadne Capital, a London-based venture capital firm, against Lansons PR agency for a “botched attempt to improve a Wikipedia entry in a campaign that did its reputation more harm than good.”
After Ariadne Capital originally consulted with Lansons, the PR firm attempted to enhance and build the venture capital firm’s public profile and image. A Lansons employee emailed Wikipedia, who proceeded to post the email by the PR firm. The firm followed Wikipedia’s policy by posting their email on the “talk” page. The full text of the email can be found at Wikipedia.
The email doesn’t say anything negative, simply asks for the best way to update the information on the page. Unfortunately, the lawsuit claims publication of the email brought about “further negative updates” on their Wikipedia page. Lansons response is Ariadne is “insufficiently appealing to the media” and its CEO already had “a poor reputation in parts of the investment industry.”
Julie Meyer’s, CEO of Ariadne, personal Wikipedia page references a number of notes from Wikipedia editors, claiming, amongst other things, that there are factual inaccuracies on the page. This is not the 1st time there has been controversy surrounding PR firms and Wikipedia.
MDC Canada Names new CMO
Stephanie Nerlich has been named the new chief marketing officer and managing director of MDC Partners in Canada. This is a newly expanded position at MDC allowing for maximum growth and aligning partner agency expertise with client demands. Nerlich will start in the new position in April, and oversee PR firms including Allison & Partners, Sloane & Company, HL Group & Kwittken.
Nerlich has been serving as CEO and president of Grey Canada, where she led the Canadian network of the global advertising agency since 2011. Prior to working at Grey, she was President of Lowe Roche, where she started working in 2008 overseeing the agency’s financial and operational duties. Other companies in her history include Sr. VP, and exec managing direct at BBDO Canada.
2015 Growth of 1.5% reported by Huntsworth despite Grayling’s Decline
Although profitability declined again in the middle of widespread restructuring, Huntsworth reported revenue growth of 1.5% for 2015 compared to the same timeframe in 2014. Huntsworth owns Grayling, Citigate, and Red Consultancy.
Even though the numbers are small, there is cause for Huntsworth to celebrate as this is the first year they’ve shown growth since 2011. These results follow the appointment of Paul Taaffe as CEO succeeding Lord Chadlington over a year ago. Revenue of £168.4m for 2015 is up from £164.7m in 2014, with their best results at Huntsworth Health of 13.7% growth.
Operating profit dropped, in large part due to significant restructuring costs, from £18.2m in 2014 to £15.3m last year. Restructuring happened with both Grayling and Citigate, and losses included a related “goodwill impairment” of £48.8m.
“These full year results show Huntsworth returning to modest growth led by Huntsworth Health, which delivered double-digit revenue growth and is now the largest part of the company,” said CEO Taaffe. “After a year of significant change, Huntsworth is now well positioned to see the benefits of the restructuring flow through to its results in the coming year.”
Grayling changed many jobs companywide, reducing staff, and impacting more than 100 positions. Grayling let their CEO go more than a year ago and has closed seven offices, but is now pushing more of their efforts in Africa and the Middle Eastern markets on top of a U.K. merger with sister firm Atomic and restructuring there as well. Citigate Dewe Rogerson also declined 7.1%, which is strongly attributed to its London office dropping on a like-for-like comparison of 16.9%.
Moaney at Finn Partners Honored in Diversity in PR Award
Finn Partners director of the Travel/Lifestyle practice and managing partner, Gail L. Moaney, was named an honoree in PR News’ first Diversity in PR Award program. Ms. Moaney’s career includes more than 20 years in travel and lifestyle public relations, and she is being recognized for her commitment to championing diversity in the field. Gail manages 50+ communications professionals globally. Other areas of specialization she’s learned during her career include economic development, television broadcasting, and higher education.
Democratic Party of Albania Represented by Podesta Group
The Washington DC-based public affairs firm, Podesta Group, has been hired by the Democratic Party of Albania to improve relations between them and the U.S. while they create a dialog with members of Congress and the U.S.’s executive branch.
The Democratic Party of Albania won in 1992, placing them in a power position. Since then, they became the leading political party in 2005 after the parliamentary elections that year. The party is a member of the International Democrat Union and Centrist Democrat International based in Tirana, Albania’s capital. The international union is a far-right political, international group.
The Party will count on Podesta to provide counsel on relevant Congressional activities, and U.S. policies, analyze and research areas of concern, and arrange meetings with Congressional leaders and U.S. executive branch officials as needed. Podesta also will help with communicating “priority issues” regarding the bilateral relationship between Albania and the U.S. with U.S. audiences to build and strengthen ties between the countries.