WASHINGTON, D.C.—The giant communications holding companies are making a big noise on the Washington lobbying scene, with eight of the nation’s top 20 non-law firm lobbying businesses belonging to either Omnicom, Interpublic or WPP, according to a study of 2003 lobbying revenues conducted by the publication Influence.
Interpublic’s Cassidy & Associates, a subsidiary of international public relations giant Weber Shandwick Worldwide, held on to its place at the top of the rankings, with $28.6 million in lobbying fees, down slightly from last year’s $30.4 million. Second and third places go to independents: Van Scoyoc Associates, which has almost tripled its revenues over the past five years and has $22.4 million in fees; and Dutko Group, which was acquired by a venture capital fund in 2003 and grew to $18.7 million.
Fourth place goes to Quinn Gillespie & Associates, acquired by WPP Group in 2003. Other WPP firms in the top 20 include BKSH & Associates, a subsidiary of Burson-Marsteller; Timmons & Co.; and Wexler & Walker.
Interpublic, meanwhile, is represented by MWW Group, the New Jersey-based public relations and public affairs firm that now ranks 11th in the nation’s capital. Omnicom firms on the list include The Washington Group, which is part of Ketchum’s public affairs operation, and Clark & Weinstock.
Overall, the 100 firms included in the Influence report recorded revenues of $700 million in 2003, up from $570 million in 2003. That number includes revenue reported in filings under the Lobbying Disclosure Act and the Foreign Agents Registration Act, as well as reported income from regulatory, state lobbying, and grassroots work. Medicare reform, homeland security, and overseas business helped drive the 23 percent increase, the publication says.
Still, the market as a whole continues to be dominated by law firms. Four firms—Akin Gump ($59.4 million), Patton Boggs ($58 million), Hogan & Hartson ($44 million), and Piper Rudnick ($43.5 million)—had revenues greater than Cassidy’s.