BLJ hire of WSW's Olympic duo pays instant dividends

NEW YORK: After only two months, boutique firm Brown, Lloyd James is seeing quick dividends from its netting of PRWeek's 2001 PR Professional of the year Mike Holtzman.

NEW YORK: After only two months, boutique firm Brown, Lloyd James is seeing quick dividends from its netting of PRWeek's 2001 PR Professional of the year Mike Holtzman.

Holtzman, who joined late July from Weber Shandwick Worldwide alongside colleague John Gans (PRWeek's 2001 Young PR Pro of the Year), helped lead the firm to a million-dollar month in August. The five-year-old strategic communications shop - which also has a London office - won several high-profile clients, including the city of Vancouver as it attempts to attract the 2010 Olympic Games; actress Elizabeth Taylor; Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz; and African debt-relief movement Jubilee USA, which has been championed by rock star activist Bono. The biggest win, however, was a $300,000 account to represent the government of Qatar.

"Mike has proved to be an enormously competent and efficient rainmaker," said Peter Brown, the firm's CEO. "I'm terribly impressed with the speed at which this has all happened."

After helping lead WSW's campaign to bring the Olympics to Beijing, Holtzman hinted that he had his choice of potential host cities to represent for 2010. The account has the potential to be the biggest revenue generator of all recent wins.

He said Vancouver stands a good chance of winning its 2010 bid for several reasons. "The next three Games will be held in Italy, Greece, and China," said Holtzman. "The cycle of Games is a natural cycle of going from Europe to China and then back here to North America, where we feel Vancouver has strong advantages."

BLJ was founded by Brown, a former manager of The Beatles, along with Nicholas Lloyd, a former editor at the UK's Daily Express, and Howell James, who was an adviser to former UK prime minister John Major.

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