INTERNATIONAL NEWS: New security firm names CPRi as its agency ofrecord

TETERBORO, NJ: The Homeland Security gold rush continues, with General Defense Systems (GDS) naming CPRi Communications its agency of record.

TETERBORO, NJ: The Homeland Security gold rush continues, with General Defense Systems (GDS) naming CPRi Communications its agency of record.

GDS is a barely year-old company that focuses on using wireless and broadband technologies to increase security at airports and shipping docks. CPRi is charged with increasing the start-up's profile with federal and state agencies which are searching for more effective ways to secure their ports.

CPRi, a 22-member firm with a satellite office in Scottsdale, AZ, is the second boutique this past month to emerge as the agency of choice for one of the many defense contractors now looking to tap into government spending. Highland Stone Associates, a five-person Washington, DC shop, announced in late April it had become the agency of record for Thales, one of the world's top 10 manufacturers of military products.

Lori Zeller, VP of investor relations for GDS, said CPRi's size was pivotal to her company's decision. "We're not a huge company. We don't have enormous capital, and we don't have enormous contacts in the industry,

she said.

"We don't want to waste money on a huge agency that can't give us a fourth of what these people are capable of."

CPRi works primarily in healthcare and hi-tech. There was no competitive pitch for the business.

Government spending on homeland defense is poised to skyrocket on the heels of last year's terrorist attacks. At first glance, GDS would seem to be a company founded in reaction to that development. It was, in fact, founded several months before September 11, but Zeller acknowledged, "We've been extremely fortunate to have some of the answers that our congressmen are now looking for."

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