WASHINGTON: Ecuador had worked with McSquared PR and FitzGibbon Media on a $6.4 million contract that ended in April with the goal of improving the country’s reputation.
Ecuador’s relationship with the agency was confirmed by documents filed with the Justice Department. The documents stated that McSquared was hired to handle public relations "at an international level through study, devise, and implementation of strategies of communication, information, image, and public relations." The firm’s duties included PR strategy, organizing a crisis-management group, event and conference work, managing surveys, and developing media platforms.
The firm was hired for work between May 2013 and April 2014, according to the document.
FitzGibbon Media signed a contract with McSquared to provide PR strategy and media relations from November 2013 through January 2014, according to documents released by the Justice Department.
Last month, The Washington Free Beacon reported that McSquared had not registered with the Justice Department despite having previously worked with Ecuador. McSquared’s Jean-Paul Borja told PRWeek in May that Ecuador was in fact a client.
The agency’s work with Ecuador came to light after a protest took place at Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting in May. The protestors were said to be indigenous people from Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest, the geographic center of a long-running legal dispute with the energy company.
A number of protestors at the site were paid actors, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. McSquared told PRWeek at the time that it was not behind the protest.
Representatives from McSquared PR and FitzGibbon Media were not immediately available for comment.