Trump PR, J. Walter Thompson, Next 15 Updates & More

Kurt Bardella

Kurt Bardella severs ties with Breitbart PR over Trump

Recently, Kurt Bardella, President of Endeavor Strategies walked away from representing Breitbart amidst a political storm between reporter, Michelle Fields, and her allegations against Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski for assault.

Bardella told Mediaite “I reached the point where I felt I couldn’t give 100% to my client. And when that happens, I think I have a responsibility to tell them that.” He also said this Lewandowski problem was not the sole factor in his decision, only that this latest situation had “crystallized” and highlighted his lack of enjoyment in doing this job.

According to the reporter (Fields) for the Trump friendly website, she asked a question of the candidate and then was grabbed hard by someone and pulled away. She said, “Trump acknowledged the question, but before he could answer, I was jolted backwards. Someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. I almost fell to the ground but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless, I was shaken.”

It hit a point where although Breitbart’s leaders posted a demand for an apology from the campaign, they also had others from the company siding with Trump against Ms. Fields. Bardella found himself in the middle of mediating a situation where no one was backing down. Trump seemed to side heavily with his staff member, although the Lewandowski admitted to pulling Fields away because he didn’t recognize her as a reporter for Breitbart.

As for Bardella, he’s still got plenty on his plate as he also operates a political playbook for fans and insiders of country music called The Morning Hangover.

Next 15

Publitek Limited acquired by Next 15

Next 15 acquired all of the issued shares and assets of Publitek Limited recently. Publitek specializes in technical content marketing and serves electronic component and semiconductors to the global market. Publitek is based in the U.K. though 36% of its revenues were generated from U.S clients during the 2015 financial year. The CEO, Bob Jones, will continue with the business helping to build content platforms, create and optimize content, and manage communities both off and online for their 40 clients. Some of their clients include Ericsson, Sony, Cadence, and ARM.

“As the marketing industry becomes increasingly specialized and technology-driven, Next 15 is looking to find firms like Publitek that can drive these niche but powerful online communities. Publitek’s deep domain expertise in the semiconductor and component markets has enabled it to provide a unique way of reaching the CTOs, CIOs, specialist engineers and product managers who buy and use these technologies. As part of the Next 15 group, we believe we can accelerate Publitek’s already significant growth prospects,” said Tim Dyson, CEO of Next 15.

Gustavo Martinez CEO of Walter Thompson

Walter Thompson CEO named in a lawsuit for comments about rape and racial slurs

Erin Johnson, an employee of JWT, filed suit claiming Gustavo Martinez, Worldwide Chairman and CEO of the company, made racist and sexist comments to her. The suit is also alleging gender discrimination and outlines Martinez’ alleged comments about being “raped into submission,” as well as negative comments about African-Americans, some sections of the Hispanic community, and Jews.

Johnson is the chief communications officer at J. Walter Thompson. She filed suit on March 10th in U.S. District Court in New York alleging her boss, Martinez, regularly made actions and remarks of a racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, and otherwise troubling nature, and JWT  did nothing to hinder that behavior.

Martinez, born in Argentina and mostly raised in Spain, is the first Hispanic CEO of a global advertising agency according to his LinkedIn profile. In 2014, he became global president and in 2015, he was made chairman and CEO. He worked previously at McCann Worldgroup and Ogilvy & Mather as an executive.

Johnson complained about his behavior and alleges afterward she lost out on opportunities, and her bonus was cut significantly. “Martinez’s abusive and harassing behavior was well-known to defendants, yet no remedial action was taken,” the lawsuit says.

Johnson started at JWT in 2005 and is still an employee, currently serving as chief communications officer. In 2008, PRNews included her in their Top Women in Public Relations list.

Martinez issued a statement declaring his innocence and JWT also responded, “We received the lawsuit on Thursday and take these kinds of allegations very seriously. Gustavo Martinez has asserted that the allegations are false. Following our standard practice, we are undertaking a thorough review of the matter and will comment further at the appropriate time and in the course of litigation.”

Lyman PR

Lyman Public Relations U.S. AOR for Mavic

Lyman PR has been hired to support Mavic’s new and existing road, mountain bike, cyclocross, as well as all-road product lines including technical apparel, shoes, helmets, wheels, and accessories. LPR will handle all communications regarding partnerships, sponsorships, and provide support of their Special Service Course held at amateur and professional events.

Mavic’s brand manager for the Americas, Mike Wilson said, “Mavic ambassador Tim Johnson first introduced us to LPR about supporting a client event, and then paths crossed again with our sponsorship of the Holowesko/Citadel Racing Team. After a thorough RFP process, we felt their experience, approach and candor were the right fit for us. Plus, they love to ride bikes, just like we do.”

LPR is based in Northern California in the Napa, Sonoma area. They are skilled at all forms of PR, so they work with clients to determine what is best to move the needle and establish the plan to follow. They promise if the needle doesn’t move forward within six months, they’ll fire themselves from the project. For Mavic, their firm is probably a perfect fit since LPR also works with other outdoor consumer brands, and several of them are into cycling, such as Cycliq, Mammoth Mountain and Bike Park, Hincapie Sportswear, Big Bear Mountain Resorts, and Snow Summit Mountain Bike Park.

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