Diary: How the buck stopped in Moscow for Edelman

Word reaches me that two of Edelman London’s staff were recently caught up in the Russian currency crisis.

Word reaches me that two of Edelman London’s staff were recently

caught up in the Russian currency crisis.



Edelman’s client Ericsson was holding a press conference in Moscow to

support its sponsorship of international athletics federation the IFFA

and its showpiece Grand Prix final in Russia. However, Ericsson found

itself unable to pay caterers, venues and support staff for the

conference and subsequent lunch.



The crisis got so bad in Moscow that locals would only take payment in

hard cash and then only in US dollars. Ericsson found that its corporate

credit card was rebuffed by locals and that the Moscow banks would only

exchange USdollars 200 worth of roubles. However, with Kjell Johansson,

senior vice-president of Ericsson, due to jet from Sweden to Russia to

meet journalists the show had to go on.



So Ericsson called on Christina Smedley, Edelman’s director of consumer

business group, and Kristin Cowart, account manager, to save the

day.



The two grabbed several thousand dollars each and stuffed them into

their clothing and luggage and jumped on the next plane over to

Moscow.



Fortunately they arrived in time and the press day went ahead. Cowart

admits to being nervous about the trip though: ’We got there in time but

were a bit shaky wandering around Moscow at night with several thousand

dollars.’



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