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Posts Tagged ‘Mercury Public Affairs’

Roll Call: LIVESTRONG, Shout! Factory, Outbrain and More

The LIVESTRONG Foundation announced the appointments of Robyn Burchfiel as vice president of major gifts and Cameron Krier as director of government relations. Burchfiel comes to the Foundation with a wide range of experience in major gift fundraising and corporate management from her previous roles as director of gift and estate planning and director of leadership gifts at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Krier’s expertise in governmental affairs comes from a career devoted to public service. As vice president for federal affairs, advocacy and public policy for the Texas Hospital Association, she specialized in leading the development and implementation of federal legislative strategy for more than 450 members. (Release)

Jeffrey Thompson has been named vice president of digital strategy and business development at Shout! Factory. He had been VP of digital strategy and business development at Conde Nast. In the newly created role, Thompson will lead development of digital strategies and digital video partnerships to continue growing Shout! Factory’s cross-platform initiatives that leverage its content curation abilities. He reports to company co-founder and president Garson Foos. (THR)

Kate Solinsky was named senior director of brands and agencies at online content discovery platform Outbrain Inc. She had previously been account director at Time Inc. (Revolving Door)

Russell Peck, campaign manager for North Carolina’s newly elected Governor Pat McCrory, joins Mercury Public Affairs as a senior vice president. Peck expands Mercury’s network in the South, opening a new office for the firm in Raleigh, NC. Prior to his work with the McCrory campaign, Russell served as the executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party. Mercury is a part of Omnicom Group Inc. (UnderTheDome)

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Was The Now Former Mercury Public Affairs Associate ‘Thrown Under the Bus’?

Once it was revealed that an associate at Mercury Public Affairs, a firm that reps Walmart, had posed as a USC student to attend a closed press conference hosted by Warehouse Workers United, she was swiftly sacked.

Commenters on our story expressed skepticism over the firm’s claim that Harnett didn’t first consult with her managers before taking action.  Today, Gawker wonders whether “Harnett was being scapegoated.” And Gawker links to others on Twitter (we found a few more as well) who have expressed a fair amount of doubt that a junior staffer would take such a great risk on her own.

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An Associate at a Firm That Reps Walmart Was Caught Posing as a Student at a Closed Presser

Warehouse Workers United (WWU), a group representing the interests of warehouse employees, says a PR associate at Mercury Public Affairs, a firm that works with Walmart, posed as a student to infiltrate one of its press conferences. The WWU says it was a “closed press conference” and the associate, Stephanie Harnett, signed in on their media list as a “USC student” named “Zoe Mitchell.”

Harnett then showed up at a press conference yesterday and handed out business cards to reporters “telling people she works for Walmart.” Yesterday’s presser was held to announce what the WWU calls “the largest anti-Walmart rally in US history.”

Gawkerwhich first reported on the story, has a link to a document showing that Mercury is being paid $60,000 to help Walmart open up a new store in Los Angeles’ Chinatown area. And the WWU has posted pictures of Harnett and the business card she was handing out.

We were in touch with Mercury about the story and received this statement from Becky Warren, Mercury‘s MD:

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Media Reports Stop Mercury Public Affairs from Landing Seven Figure California High Speed Rail Authority Contract

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The California High Speed Rail Authority was just about to finalize a $9 million dollar public relations contract with Mercury Public Affairs, an agency with close ties to the Schwarzenegger administration. (Schwarzenegger’s former top political strategist as well as his 2006 campaign manager are partners at the agency.) In addition, two out of three members of a staff panel arranged to award the contract have ties to Mercury.

Local media reported the story and the contract awarding process will now be opened up to include a five person selection committee. Mercury Public Affairs partner Adam Mendelsohn denied that there was any conflict of interest. “We have full confidence that the extensive campaign plan that we developed was superior to any other plans put before the committee,” he told the LA Times.