Two more shops seek to export Washington-style campaign tactics

WASHINGTON: Fleishman-Hillard last week unveiled a global network of public affairs shops ready to carry out political-style campaigns for corporate clients, just as a handful of former George W. Bush strategists announced they are uniting to offer client

WASHINGTON: Fleishman-Hillard last week unveiled a global network of public affairs shops ready to carry out political-style campaigns for corporate clients, just as a handful of former George W. Bush strategists announced they are uniting to offer client

Both announcements come scarcely a month after Burson?Marsteller and Quinn Gillespie opened a similar shop called 360Advantage.

The name of Fleishman?s new business, VOX Global Mandate (VGM), simultaneously evokes populist Roman rhetoric and recent Republic talking points. Vianovo, led by Bush operatives Tucker Eskew and Matthew Dowd, as well as two founding members of international public affairs shop Public Strategies (PS), comes from the Latin word for ?new path.?

All three ventures represent the globalization of a strategic concept that?s been de rigueur in Washington for more than a decade: executing corporate PR campaigns as if they were political battles, in which someone wins, someone loses, and the client is the candidate.

?We thought there would be occasions where we could bring the best thinking that has worked on a Republican and Democratic standpoint in the US together to serve clients,? said Paul Johnson, Fleishman?s mid-Atlantic regional president, who will oversee the DC- and London-based VGM.

The other two partners of Vianovo are PS-founders Blaine Bull and James Taylor. Eskew held several top jobs in the Bush White House, and Dowd was chief campaigns strategist for Bush-Cheney 2004.

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