Omnicom lobbying firms unite

WASHINGTON: Ketchum-owned lobbying agency The Washington Group (TWG) on November 14 merged with Clark & Weinstock, sister Omnicom-owned government relations and lobbying firm.

WASHINGTON: Ketchum-owned lobbying agency The Washington Group (TWG) on November 14 merged with Clark & Weinstock, sister Omnicom-owned government relations and lobbying firm.

The new company will keep the Clark & Weinstock name. Clark managing partner Vin Weber said the union is primarily intended to boost the bipartisan clout of both agencies, but it will also save on operating costs and forestall competition between the sister companies.

“The economic crisis puts everybody in a more competitive position,” he added. “Clients look at what they are spending more closely on everything. We've been doing OK, but I think the new firm will be highly competitive.”

Clark has always been bipartisan, said Weber, a former GOP congressman from Minnesota, but became less obviously so with the exit a few years ago of former co-managing partner Vic Fazio, a former Democratic congressman from California.

Weber said TWG interim CEO and founding partner John O'Hanlon is a lifelong Democrat, so merging Clark and TWG became “more interesting” after the recent departure of TWG CEO Susan Molinari.

The combined firm will have about 20 consultants, not including administrative staff, with approximately half coming from TWG. No layoffs were planned.

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