WASHINGTON, DC: Shandwick's mammoth DC operation, which threatened to grind to a halt following the ouster of Michael Petruzzello last month, seems to have regained momentum.
The agency last week finalized its expected acquisition of advocacy advertising shop Murphy Pintak Gautier Hudome, which counts John McCain advisor Mike Murphy among its leaders. The deal gives Shandwick political advertising muscle to match similar services offered by Burson-Marsteller, Edelman and BSMG.
Despite Petruzzello's reputation as Shandwick's number- one salesman, his departure doesn't seem to have affected the flow of new accounts.
Interliant, iDNS.net and KnowledgePlanet.com have come on board in recent weeks, and a dollars 750,000 contract with a big-name energy client is about to be inked.
Earlier this year, Shandwick/DC won business from Scotts, United Distillers & Vintners and the National Association of Realtors. Execs say the DC outpost has taken in dollars 9 million in new business this year.
As for the Shandwick/Cassidy integration, Shandwick public affairs chairman Jody Powell said that a 'trying' situation has stabilized. 'You laugh, but it's the things like getting people accustomed to the new phone systems that cause problems,' he joked.