Word reaches me that two of Edelman London’s staff were recently
caught up in the Russian currency crisis.
Edelman’s client Ericsson was holding a press conference in Moscow to
support its sponsorship of international athletics federation the IFFA
and its showpiece Grand Prix final in Russia. However, Ericsson found
itself unable to pay caterers, venues and support staff for the
conference and subsequent lunch.
The crisis got so bad in Moscow that locals would only take payment in
hard cash and then only in US dollars. Ericsson found that its corporate
credit card was rebuffed by locals and that the Moscow banks would only
exchange USdollars 200 worth of roubles. However, with Kjell Johansson,
senior vice-president of Ericsson, due to jet from Sweden to Russia to
meet journalists the show had to go on.
So Ericsson called on Christina Smedley, Edelman’s director of consumer
business group, and Kristin Cowart, account manager, to save the
The two grabbed several thousand dollars each and stuffed them into
their clothing and luggage and jumped on the next plane over to
Fortunately they arrived in time and the press day went ahead. Cowart
admits to being nervous about the trip though: ’We got there in time but
were a bit shaky wandering around Moscow at night with several thousand