Shandwick loses two clients to conflicts of interest

WASHINGTON, DC: Citing conflicts of interest, two high-profile clients - the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Division and the National Dialogue on Cancer (NDC) - have parted ways with Shandwick.

WASHINGTON, DC: Citing conflicts of interest, two high-profile clients - the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Division and the National Dialogue on Cancer (NDC) - have parted ways with Shandwick.

WASHINGTON, DC: Citing conflicts of interest, two high-profile

clients - the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Division and the National

Dialogue on Cancer (NDC) - have parted ways with Shandwick.



The Hong Kong group reportedly ended its relationship with Shandwick

because of work the firm is doing on behalf of Taiwan. Director-general

of the Washington office of the Hong Kong Division Chris Jackson refused

to confirm the rumor other than to cite that there was indeed a conflict

of interest. But he admitted it was ’highly intelligent speculation.’ He

also praised Shandwick for a ’highly professional job.’



Shandwick had handled the account for two years. But after the contract

was signed, Shandwick acquired Cassidy & Associates, which represents

the Taiwan Research Institute.



In a separate case, Shandwick’s tobacco-related work seems to have cost

the agency its business with the NDC, a coalition of more than 100

organizations, including the National Institutes on Health, the Center

for Disease Control and a number of pharmaceutical companies.



According to Greg Donaldson, national VP for corporate communications at

the American Cancer Society (an NDC member that provided seed money and

staff for the effort), the group was scheduled to interview seven firms

with DC offices last Thursday to replace Shandwick. The account budget

is approximately dollars 25,000 per month, plus expenses.



In a prepared statement released last month, Shandwick acknowledged the

conflict: ’For a number of years, Shandwick has been guided by a policy

of not working on the marketing of tobacco products. Other types of

work, including pubic information campaigns ... have been done in some

offices.



Recent events have caused the company to take that policy under review.’



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