Shandwick office in ethics quarrel

DETROIT: When Shandwick’s Detroit office signed on as the PR agency for a proposed private redevelopment of the Michigan State Fairgrounds, it knew it might have a tough sell with some of the neighbors. But MD Dan Pero never dreamed his office would be accused of an ethical lapse.

DETROIT: When Shandwick’s Detroit office signed on as the PR agency for a proposed private redevelopment of the Michigan State Fairgrounds, it knew it might have a tough sell with some of the neighbors. But MD Dan Pero never dreamed his office would be accused of an ethical lapse.

DETROIT: When Shandwick’s Detroit office signed on as the PR agency

for a proposed private redevelopment of the Michigan State Fairgrounds,

it knew it might have a tough sell with some of the neighbors. But MD

Dan Pero never dreamed his office would be accused of an ethical

lapse.



Before the Fairgrounds Park developers could begin to hype the project

with a news conference, they first had to present it to the State Fair

Board. The open meeting on the redevelopment project, which will

encompass new fair buildings, housing for seniors, theaters and a

revitalized racetrack, was covered by Detroit media.



But when a story appeared in the Detroit News the next day, word of an

auto racetrack brought forth a storm of protest from nearby Palmer

Woods, one of Detroit’s toniest suburbs.



For its media event two days after the well-publicized open meeting in

Lansing, Shandwick’s news release emphasized the other

less-objectionable automotive events which could take place at the

track. No mention was made of big-time racing because that had already

been publicized, according to Pero. But critics seized on the absence of

repetition in the news release as an indication of bad faith.



’There were no secrets,’ countered Pero. ’All this had been reviewed

with neighborhood groups before the Lansing meeting. Our release

attempted to present more balanced information than the coverage the

preceding day.’



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