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Posts Tagged ‘Sard Verbinnen & Co’

Spin the Agencies of Record

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Sony Pictures Hires PR Crisis Expert To Lead Communications Team

In an interesting twist/sign of descent into desperation, Sony Pictures has named Charles Sipkins, a PR crisis response expert, as its new head of communications. Sipkins previously worked at the Los Angeles office of Sard Verbinnen & Co., a firm famous for “helping to rehabilitate reputations of companies and executives that have been sullied by the press.”

Sony didn’t give The Hollywood Reporter much in the way of details, but that didn’t stop the magazine from editorializing a bit and guessing that this new, big-deal hire might have something to do with the fact that none of the studio’s would-be big-budget hits (After Earth, Elysium, White House Down) have connected with audiences this summer.

It’s probably no coincidence that Sipkins has a history working with “activist investor“ Daniel Loeb of hedge fund Third Point, who has spent much of the summer blasting the studio’s “flops” and calling out management for a “complete lack of accountability and poor financial controls.”

No punches pulled, then. Sounds like someone bowed under pressure, no? Here’s Will Smith and family reacting to the news:

Brunswick, Sard Verbinnen Among Those Atop Mergermarket League Table

In terms of value, Brunswick Group topped the latest mergermarket League Table for PR advisors working on global M&A projects with deals worth $122.6 billion for the first half of the year. That’s an increase of more than 26 percent over last year. In terms of volume, the top spot goes to FTI Consulting with 97 deals.

However, the overall M&A market was a sluggish one, with global M&A down more than 18 percent to $968.5 billion for the first half of the year. It was the lowest half year total in the U.S. since 2003.

In the U.S., Sard Verbinnen & Co. took the top spot for value; it worked on deals worth nearly $79 billion. For volume, Kekst & Company was the most active with 62 deals. In Europe, RLM Finsbury worked on deals valued at $95.6 billion, taking the top spot. That firm worked on the biggest deal of the first half — Glencore International and Xstrata — worth about $53.5 billion.

For more on the latest mergermarket League Table, click here.

Spin the Agencies of Record

HP executive chairman at home on a Mac. Oopsie! Photo: Reuters

Makovsky + Company is talking up its Q3, announcing that it added nine clients to its roster during the period. Among the new clients are Ipsen, an international pharmaceutical company, for corporate and product comms; Symphony Financial Partners, an alternative investment company focused on the Asia-Pacific region, for reputation management and other PR services; and Stroz Friedberg, a digital risk management, for awareness-building efforts.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has made cutbacks in its agency roster, according to the Holmes Report. The publication reports that Bite Communications and Weber Shandwick are no longer working with the company. HP just forecast a miss in analyst expectations for this quarter and the full year. A spokesperson said they “consolidated” their agencies, Weber confirmed it no longer works with the company, Bite didn’t comment. Burson-Marsteller may now add corporate work to the tech services they’re already providing, Holmes continues. B-M wouldn’t comment either.

Pest control company Truly Nolen has chosen Cramer-Krasselt as AOR after a competitive search. Services will include branding, media buying, PR, and social media services.

PRWeek reports that Syracuse University has hired Paul Verbinnen, co-founder of Sard Verbinnen & Co. to help deal with recent allegations of sexual assault against a former ball boy.

News Corp. Hires Two More Firms, Gets PR Help from Wendi

Photo: AP

News Corp. has hired two more firms to help with the fallout of the scandal — Sard Verbinnen & Co. and Glover Park Group. Glover Park will help with government relations and Sard Verbinnen specializes in IR and crisis situations. Bloomberg notes that News Corp. stock has taken a hit since the beginning of the month.

The assessments of the Murdochs’ appearance before a Parliamentary group yesterday keep rolling in, and the unexpected interruption from a protester wielding a shaving cream pie is adding an angle to how the News Corp. leaders fared. (He explains why he did it in The Guardian.)

MarketingWeek says that Rupert Murdoch has not been nearly humble enough in the lead up to yesterday’s testimony. And while Rupert did begin his comments by calling yesterday “the most humble day of my career,” he ultimately denied responsibility for anything that has happened. He added that he wouldn’t resign and called himself “the best person to see it through” even though he says court settlements and other payments were happening without his knowledge and he seemed clueless when asked about actions taken by News of the World journalists, many who have been arrested.
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Wilburne Elected NIRI Board Chairman

Douglas Wilburne has been elected the 2011 chairman of the board of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI). Wilburne is VP of IR at Textron where he speaks to Wall Street analysts, financial and business media, investors, and other members of the business community about Textron’s financial performance and strategy.

He succeeds Brad Wilkes, Chicago CEO and MD of Sard Verbinnen & Co.