WSW helps Beijing's bid for 2008 Games

NEW YORK: Weber Shandwick Worldwide (WSW) has signed a contract to

help Beijing's bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Michael Holtzman, SVP public affairs and director of new-business

development for WSW, will lead the 25-strong account team. The agency

plans to argue that widespread controversy over Chinese human rights

violations are reasons to bring the Olympics to Beijing, not reasons to

keep the Games out.

'The answer to Chinese isolation is putting it in the spotlight for

eight years,' he said. 'If they get the Olympics, the media has to be

allowed in and Chinese citizens will interact with citizens of a

democracy. The Olympics are a vehicle for change.'

Due to alleged improper behavior when Salt Lake City bid for the 2002

Winter Olympics, the agency cannot lobby the International Olympic

Committee (IOC). Instead, WSW will cultivate a receptive attitude toward

Beijing through media outlets such as The New York Times and The Wall

Street Journal.

WSW has already created press releases on Beijing's dollars 20 billion

transportation and infrastructure investments, as well as a Gallup poll

revealing that 94.4% of Beijing residents support the city's bid.

Four other cities are angling for the 2008 Games: Paris, Toronto,

Istanbul and Osaka, Japan. The IOC will decide on July 13.

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