US lobbying firm Goddard Partners Global expands into UK

An established US public affairs agency with offices in Washington DC and Los Angeles is planning to expand in to the UK.

'Godfather of TV lobbying': Ben Goddard
'Godfather of TV lobbying': Ben Goddard

Goddard Partners Global is headed up by Ben Goddard, a leading figure in US election campaigning techniques who has been described in the Washington Post as 'the godfather of TV lobbying’.

His agency has 25 employees in the US and clients include The American Beverage Association, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Now, Goddard Partners Global is to set to open its first office in the UK, in London’s Fitzrovia district.

The London office will be headed up by Ali Mirza, a former top advertising executive who becomes managing partner, and Christopher Dougan, one of the agency’s top US operators, who becomes UK partner.

Goddard is best known for creating the ‘Harry and Louise’ television advertising campaign on behalf of America’s private health insurance lobby.

The year-long campaign featuring a fictional Amercian couple helped to kill off President Bill Clinton's proposed health care plan in 1993–1994 and Congressional health care reform proposals in 1994. It also unleased a wave of lobbying by TV.

Goddard also worked for President Jimmy Carter and helped to create the first ever political advertising campaign in Russia for President Boris Yeltsin. 

The new agency hopes to be ‘the UK’s first issue advocacy agency’, bridging the gap between traditional public affairs and marketing communications .

Issue advocacy enables corporations to join forces with consumers to mobilise public support behind an issue, ultimately resulting in a change or adaptation of government policy for mutual benefit.

Goddard commented: ‘Every day, elected officials make decisions that have been advocated for, and opposed by, various constituent interests and each of those decisions has an impact on industries, organisations and individuals.

‘The world of politics is changing and the public has an increasing appetite to have a voice in public policy. As the 2010 elections and the Alternative Vote referendum have shown, the modern voter wants to participate and is no longer happy to sit back and let elected MPs run things for them. Citizens are determined to have their say and our role is to help them speak on behalf of our clients.

‘Goddard Partners Global was among the first to understand that lobbying alone cannot win critical legislative battles.’

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