News in Brief (May 15, 2005)
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
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News in Brief (May 15, 2005)

The National Marine Manufacturers Association has named Carmichael Lynch Spong as public relations counsel of record.

Paul Holmes

MINNEAPOLIS—The National Marine Manufacturers Association has named Carmichael Lynch Spong as public relations counsel of record. Last year, the association’s Grow Boating Initiative awarded its advertising business to CLS sister company Carmichael Lynch. CLS will support national consumer media outreach and the Discover Boating and Take Me Fishing tour, a traveling water-themed exhibit designed to educate the public on the boating lifestyle during its seven-month cross-country trip.

NEW YORK—Heineken USA has selected Euro RSCG Magnet to handle the launch of its new light beer, Heineken Premium Light Lager, which will be tested in select U.S. markets beginning in June 2005. The cross-country launch will be spearheaded by Magnet’s New York, Pittsburgh and Southern California offices. The assignment includes media relations, a national sampling event to take place in New York, and events in the test markets.

SAN FRANCISCO—Burson-Marsteller has promoted Keith Harmon to market chair in San Francisco. Harmon—a three-time Pultizer Prize winner—will also continue in his role as managing director of the West Coast media practice. His appointment is part of organizational changes designed to boost the company’s new business efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area. He will report to Ken Rietz, U.S. CEO and vice chairman.

LOS ANGELES—Entertainment industry public relations veteran Sue Binford has resigned as senior vice president of corporate communications for the Disney-ABC Television Group. She will be succeeded by Kevin Brockman, who was named senior vice president for communications after most recently serving as vice president of entertainment communications for the Disney-ABC TV Group.

CHICAGO—drugstore.com, a leading online provider of health, beauty, vision and pharmacy products, has selected GolinHarris as its public relations agency of record for consumer public relations. The account will be led out of Los Angeles by Samantha Sackin, senior vice president and leader of the marketing and brand strategy practice for that office.  The account team will be supported by other offices, as needed.

NEW YORK—GCI Group has hired Rachel Levine as senior vice president of investor relations in its corporate communications practice. Levine will be responsible for developing client-centric, investor relations programs designed to drive valuations and build shareholder value for new and existing clients. Prior to joining GCI, Levine was managing director at The Anne McBride Company, a global financial communications firm, where she headed the worldwide healthcare practice.

STAMFORD, CT—Waggener Edstrom Strategic Communications has added Thomas Industrial Network, a website for industrial manufacturing information and products, to its New York metro client roster. The agency will work with Thomas Industrial Network to raise its visibility as a leading industrial marketing resource by conducting outreach to national, trade and select regional media, analysts, and other influential audiences.

AUSTIN, TX—Blanc & Otus, the high-tech public relations subsidiary of Hill & Knowlton, has promoted Valerie Judd to general manager of its eight-year-old Southwest U.S. operation. Judd replaces B&O Austin’s founding general manager, Craig Parks, who will be leaving the agency at the end of May to join a healthcare startup as chief marketing officer. Judd joined Blanc & Otus in 1999.

HOUSTON—Vollmer Public Relations, a leading independent, full-service public relations firm, has recently acquired three new branding and identity clients: CenterPoint Energy ServiceStar, Farstar Marketing and Granton Marketing. 

BOSTON—Manning Selvage & Lee has named John Smith as senior vice president and director of healthcare in its Boston office. Smith will lead the growth and development of the office’s healthcare capabilities and provide strategic counsel for its therapeutic, biotechnology and medical technology
clients. Philips is anchor account for the practice in Boston. Smith joins MS&L from MedPanel, an online medical market research company.

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