WASHINGTON, D.C.—Two WPP agencies with strong Washington, D.C., operations—Burson-Marsteller and Quinn Gillespie & Associates—have launched a new public affairs advocacy advertising firm, 360Advantage. The firm will be led by Russ Schriefer and Stuart Stevens, two leading advertising and campaign strategists from the Bush-Cheney 04 re-election campaign.
“Winning advocacy campaigns today requires a new way of seeing politics,” said Ken Rietz, Burson-Marsteller, vice chairman and U.S. CEO. “360Advantage is a powerful new model, combining the expertise and experience of the leading firms in government relations, corporate public affairs and political advertising. It offers clients the best of each in applying a political campaign mindset to corporate and industry-wide public affairs and issues management.”
The agency will draw from an experienced bipartisan pool of senior political and communications professionals from within Quinn Gillespie & Associates and Burson-Marsteller and its sister companies, BKSH & Associates and Direct Impact, with key contributors include Ed Gillespie, Charlie Black, Jack Quinn, Ken Rietz, Richard Mintz, Bill Lee, Scott Pastrick, Gary Koops, Mary Crawford, Terry Holt, Jason Meath, Craig Veith and Dave DenHerder.
“Having spent much of my life on the campaign trail, many of them working with Russ and Stuart, I know what it takes to win high-stakes, high-profile campaigns,” says Gillespie. “360Advantage sets a new standard for clients seeking expert counsel on how to fight and win the tough battles.
Public affairs firms have increasingly expanded their capabilities in Washington over the past decade, adding research capabilities and grassroots mobilization specialists, such as Burson subsidiary Direct Impact. Burson has a corporate advertising unit, Marsteller, which has not ventured into the specialized area of issues and advocacy advertising with any regularity.
Says Thomas Nides, president & CEO of Burson-Marsteller, “Strategic alliances, sharp insight, innovation and creativity are what win political campaigns. Stuart and Russ know how to harness these elements to produce winning campaigns and Burson-Marsteller is excited to join forces with them and Quinn Gillespie & Associates, to provide clients a team that delivers results.”
Schriefer has helped elect governors, U.S. senators and dozen’s of members of Congress and was program director for the 2004 Republican National Convention. Over the past eighteen years Stevens has been the lead strategist and media consultant for some of the nation’s toughest political campaigns. He also co-produced the HBO series K Street.