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