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
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.