WASHINGTON: The moratorium on congressional earmarks has resulted in GolinHarris axing its lobbying business.
“It's been a long time coming,” said Golin CEO Fred Cook. “The practice primarily consisted of the appropriations business that focused on getting earmarks in legislation. [The practice] wasn't growing, and we decided strategically not to invest in it.”
Members of Congress have instituted a moratorium on earmarks as a way of getting the federal budget under control.
The agency is partnering with fellow Interpublic Group firm Cassidy & Associates to handle any remaining lobbying work, Cook added. Resources once invested in the government-relations business will be spent on the firm's public affairs practice, which Cook said is doing well.
Cook added that he doesn't expect the change to have a large impact on the firm as a whole. Last year, its government affairs practice brought in just over $1 million from clients like T-Mobile and Dow Chemical. This was down from a lobbying revenue high of $2.4 million in 2003, records show.
Lane Bailey, who ran Golin's public affairs business for more than a decade, left the firm to launch Advocom last year.
Nick Allard, who leads the lobbying practice at Patton Boggs, said he does not think Golin's action indicates a trend.
“The need for [lobbying] professional services has not abated and is greater than ever before,” Allard said.