News From Hunter PR, Zeno Group & Government PR Spending
BIC signs Hunter PR as Agency of Record
BIC Consumer Products USA, makers of pens, stationery goods, razors, and lighters, penned the information they have signed Hunter Public Relations as their new AOR.
Alexis Vaganay, Vice President of Marketing, BIC North America, said, “In seeking a marketing PR agency for our U.S. consumer business, we were looking for bold, higher-purpose thinking that would honor this powerful brand and invigorate our PR. Hunter PR brought forth strategic, insights-driven ideas that will allow us to reach our consumers in unique ways and add new depth to our integrated campaigns.”
The contract is for one year, and Hunter PR has been given specific instructions to elevate the talk, including social media chatter, about the BIC Fight For Your Write mission for the company’s stationery brand, Hunter PR will also provide marketing and branding services for BIC Flex and Soleil razors, as well as the PR plans for lighters made by the company.
BIC Consumer Products USA (www.bicworldusa.com) has been around for more than 50 years, offering quality and easily affordable products, keeping to their motto of delivering “More for your money…Always!®”. Hunter Public Relations is owned by MDC Partners.
Government Accounting Office has requested 2015 Fiscal PR Spending Info from the Office of Management and Budget
Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo) sent a letter in October 2015, to the OMB requesting they make information available about agency spending for PR and marketing during fiscal 2015. But, according to leaders with the Senate Budget Committee, they have not received any of the requested information.
“The total amount of federal resources dedicated to public relations activities is largely unknown,” Enzi wrote in his letter to GAO Comptroller Gene Dodaro. “Since OMB is unable to process this request, I am turning to GAO for assistance.”
According to a report by the Congressional Research Service, between fiscal 2009 and 2013 federal agencies spent nearly $4.4 billion on contracts for “advertising services.” The Department of Justice is charged with the task of making sure funds are not spent for lobbying efforts – trying to get more funding. At this point, the DOJ has not indicted anyone, but there’s a problem. Though the DOJ would be the government agency that would bring charges, they are not tasked with monitoring spending – nor it seems is anyone else – of government agencies.
“Generally speaking, there are few government-wide restrictions on government advertising,” according to the CRS report. “Furthermore, no single agency is charged with tracking and overseeing the advertising expenditures of federal agencies.”
And though the GAO can review agency advertising IF Congress requests they do so, the GAO can only make non-binding recommendations. However, federal law does not allow for agencies to lobby for funding from the government. It’s one of the reasons – historically – that PR efforts when dealing with the government is called Public Affairs, and those tasked with similar duties to what a PR account executive would do in a firm, are usually called public affairs officers, or specialists.
3 Monkeys are now Sitting in the Zeno Group tree
Zeno Group acquired one of the leading communications consultancies in the U.K. – 3 Monkeys Communications. The merger of the two companies allows 3 Monkeys to extend their reach beyond the U.K. and increases the resources and range of Zeno Group, a mid-sized independent full-service PR, marketing, and communications agency.
For over a year, 3 Monkeys has been increasing their influence in the U.K. and Europe. They specialize in the financial services, FCMG, healthcare, and technology sectors. Monkeys bring current clients such as Microsoft, Starbucks, Morrison’s, and Standard Life to their new firm.
Zeno Group already expanded into the U.K. during 2012, as well as creating their Zeno Asia arm that same year. They currently have eight offices globally and specialize in digital and integrated communications.
Barby K. Siegel, CEO, Zeno Group said, “We are scaling our unique Zeno brand and values so that we can serve clients where they need us, regionally and globally. We are big enough to take on the most challenging and complex assignments in the Americas, Asia, and Europe while still giving that personalized, senior-level attention and highly-collaborative approach that clients rely on.”