The Glover Park Group
New York City
(CEO), Cara McVie (CFO)
The Glover Park Group is an American communications consulting firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. The company was founded in 2001 by former White House and Democratic campaign officials Carter Eskew, Michael Feldman, Joe Lockhart and Chip Smith. The firm is known for its public relations, advertising, opinion research, and lobbying services.
The firm's services include public relations, advertising, marketing, government relations and policy counsel, crisis management and opinion research. The firm provides integrated strategic communications and advocacy services to corporations, non-profit organizations, trade associations, governments and issue and industry coalitions. Notable clients have included the National Football League, Pfizer, the United States Telecom Association, Visa, the Alliance for Climate Protection, Microsoft and Verizon Wireless.
The firm's leadership includes founding partners Carter Eskew, Michael Feldman, Joe Lockhart, Chip Smith, and former White House official Joel Johnson, who leads the firm's government relations practice. Other notable employees include former Associated Press White House correspondents Jennifer Loven and Nedra Pickler, both managing directors in the firm's public affairs division) Notable former employees include Howard Wolfson and former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers.
In November 2011, the firm was acquired by WPP plc, a London-based communications services company. In statements released by both companies, it was confirmed that founding partners Eskew, Feldman and Smith would remain as leadership of The Glover Park Group.
Areas of business
Public relations and communications
The firm provides strategic communications campaigns for corporations, non-profit organizations and industry associations. The firm has also provided crisis management services to high-profile clients. In 2006, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) consulted with the company for crisis management, following debate over tracking of financial records for anti-terror purposes. In March 2010, Toyota hired The Glover Park Group to handle the response to a recall of more than eight million of its vehicles due to faulty accelerator pedals. In 2016, Smith left Glover Park Group to take a role at 21st Century Fox.
Advertising and marketing
The company has produced television, radio, print and online advertising campaigns and digital content for companies and non-profits. Key digital efforts have included a website developed for the Alliance for Climate Protection, which was used to collect tens of thousands of stories on climate change and green energy from the general public, celebrities and business leaders. The firm’s marketing practice focuses on corporate reputation and branding for companies and non-profits.
The firm began providing government and legislative affairs services in early 2005; its bipartisan legislative affairs practice is headed by Joel Johnson. Specific services include advocacy and legislative strategy. Early notable advocacy clients included the Recording Industry Association of America, for whom it lobbied to stop copyright infringement of music, and Nextel Communications, for whom it lobbied on telecommunications issues. The firm has also lobbied on behalf of French food services company Sodexho Alliance in 2007, and in January 2009, Whole Foods Market hired the firm to handle its lobbying efforts in its antitrust case against the Federal Trade Commission. The company also provides consultancy services to governments. In 2005, it advised Turkey on that country's relationship with the U.S. government. Also in 2005, The firm was hired by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office to build relationships between RTaiwan and members of the media and policy makers. The firm has also provided consultancy services to the government of Dubai.
The Glover Park Group was founded in June 2001 by Michael Feldman, Carter Eskew, Joe Lockhart and Chip Smith. The company was named after the Glover Park area of Washington, D.C., where its first offices were located. The founders had served as officials in the Clinton White House and on the presidential campaign of former vice president Al Gore. Lockhart was the former press secretary to Bill Clinton and Feldman had worked in the White House for Gore. Eskew and Smith had worked on Gore's campaign staff for the 2000 presidential election as his chief strategist and deputy campaign manager, respectively. Eskew and Lockhart both had experience at a public affairs advocacy company.
Initially the company focused on providing integrated campaign services to corporate clients, foundations and special-interest groups. Early work also included collaboration with other companies, such as political consultancy Shrum, Devine & Donilon.
The company's early projects included several high profile advertising campaigns for corporate clients. In January 2002, The Glover Park Group produced a television commercial for Diageo PLC, advertising its Smirnoff vodka brand while promoting social responsibility and designated driving. Media reports, including from the Wall Street Journal, described it as a "landmark", as this was the first U.S. network television commercial for a distilled beverage in several decades. The following month, the group launched another television advertising campaign, promoting high-definition television. In May 2002, The Glover Park Group produced a national advertisement campaign for tire safety, funded by the settlement of a lawsuit brought against Bridgestone and its subsidiary, Firestone, by all 50 U.S. states. In early 2003, the company opened a New York office, led by Howard Wolfson, who had previously been executive director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Through the early to mid-2000s, The Glover Park Group carried out a range of communication and consultancy work, including promotion of Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 in May 2004, and preparation work for then-Senator Hillary Clinton for her re-election campaign of 2006.
In January 2005, The Glover Park Group opened a legislative affairs practice, which is headed by Joel Johnson, the former senior advisor for policy and communications for President Clinton. The company continued its expansion into the late 2000s, and opened offices in California in April 2008. Located in West Hollywood, the offices focused on clients including entertainment companies, non-profit organizations and labor unions. Also in 2008, The Glover Park Group, which had been staffed largely by Democrats since its foundation, hired Republican strategist Kevin Madden as its senior vice president of public affairs. Madden had previously worked on Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign and for George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign. In 2010, the firm expanded its bipartisan offering with the hiring of several prominent Republican officials from the Bush White House and the Republican congressional leadership.
Awards and recognition
In 2007, founding partner Michael Feldman was part of the team named Public Relations Professionals of the Year for his work on Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth. In the 2008 SABRE Awards, the company received awards for "Public Affairs Agency of the Year," and "Specialist Agency of the Year". The following year, the company was named the grand prize winner at the 2009 Bulldog Awards for Excellence in Media Relations & Publicity, for its work with the Center for Constitutional Rights. In 2011, The firm was the winner of the Outstanding Public Affairs Consultancy Global SABRE Award and a Gold SABRE Award for public affairs, for their work with Iberdrola Renewables, both awarded by the industry expert Paul Holmes.
The Glover Park Group has been criticized for its anti-ethanol campaign. According to Pump (film), the Glover Park Group was hired by a conglomerate of organizations to discredit the biofuel industry. The Glover Park Group claimed that ethanol production replaces food production. Farmers who make ethanol say that this claim is false. Distillers grains is a byproduct of the making of ethanol, a process in which the corn is not destroyed, but is rather converted into the two products. Distillers grains is used as livestock feed.
- Birnbaum, Jeffrey H. (8 September 2004). "Lobbyists Take Leave to Advise Kerry Campaign". The Washington Post. p. E01.
- Rothman, Noah (September 2010). "Dee Dee Myers Joins The Glover Park Group's Public Affairs Practice". Campaigns & Elections. p. 117.(subscription required)
- Lee, Jaimy (20 January 2010). "Online grassroots initiatives continue to accrue supporters". PR Week (US). p. 18.(subscription required)
- Quinn, Michelle (15 June 2011). "The new face of Facebook: Joe Lockhart". Politico.
- "Washington Business Journal Ranks The Glover Park Group as One of the Fastest Growing Companies in Washington, D.C." (Press release). U.S. Newswire. 2 November 2005. Retrieved 11 July 2011.(subscription required)
- Allen, Mike; Cummings, Jeanne (18 June 2008). "Democratic firm adding Republicans". Politico.
- Allen, Mike (29 November 2011). "WPP buys Glover Park Group". Politico. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "New Job Fits Like A Glover". The Hotline. 10 January 2005.
- "Loven to exit AP for Glover Park". Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter. 18 August 2010. p. 3.(subscription required)
- Quenqua, Douglas (10 February 2003). "Ex-Clinton Staffer Wolfson is Newest Addition to Glover". PR Week (US). p. 1.(subscription required)
- Echols, Tucker (29 November 2011). "Glover Park Group to be acquired by WPP". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Bogardus, Kevin (29 November 2011). "WPP buys powerhouse firm Glover Park Group". The Hill. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Ho, Catherine (29 November 2011). "WPP acquires Glover Park Group". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Garcia, Tonya (23 July 2007). "Private Equity Council launches first initiatives". PR Week (US). p. 3.(subscription required)
- Flynn, Laurie J. (8 July 2005). "Hi. We're A.M.D. Please Listen.". The New York Times. p. C1.
- Terrell, Jordan (July 2010). "Who's Where in the Political World". Campaigns & Elections. p. 54.
- "Public Relations and Public Affairs in the Nation's Capital; Glover Park helps Swift with PR". O'Dwyer's PR Services Report. November 2006. p. 41.(subscription required)
- "Toyota tags Glover Park Group" (Press release). O'Dwyer's PR Report. March 2010. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
- "Verizon Launches 'Our People. Our Network.' TV, Print and Online Advertising Campaign". PR Newswire US. 21 September 2005. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- Madded, Kevin (March 2009). "Movers & Shakers". Campaigns & Elections. p. 12.(subscription required)
- "TW's Brophy to Glover Park". Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter. 4 January 2006. p. 1.(subscription required)
- Thrush, Glenn (23 November 2005). "An unlikely connection; Clinton and Murdoch linked by lobbying firm that's been dubbed 'the White House in exile'". Newsday. p. A30.
- "Sodexho hires Glover Park Group to lobby federal government on food service issues". Associated Press Financial Wire. 26 June 2007.
- "The Glover Park Group hired by Whole Foods Market" (Press release). PR Week. 5 January 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2011.(subscription required)
- "Glover Park Group Gets $600k Pact From Turks". Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 10 July 2011.(subscription required)
- Jack O'Dwyer (8 June 2005). "GLOVER PARK PROMOTES TAIWAIN [sic] TIES". Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter. Retrieved 11 July 2011.(subscription required)
- Glenn Thrush (14 September 2006). "Aides Had Hand In Dubai Deal". Newsday. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- Judy Woodruff (8 June 2001). Inside Politics (TV). Washington, DC: CNN.
- Sudhaman, Arun (29 November 2011). "Glover Park Acquired By WPP". The Holmes Report. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Fogg, Piper (9 June 2001). "Consulting Game". The National Journal.
- "New Group Fits Like a Glover". The Hotline. 15 June 2001.
- "Gore, Clinton vets set up new shop". O'Dwyer's PR Services Report. July 2001. p. 13.(subscription required)
- Stone, Peter H. (8 September 2001). "K Street for September 8, 2001". The National Journal.
- O'Connell, Vanessa (3 January 2002). "Landmark TV Liquor Ad Created By D.C. Insiders". Wall Street Journal.
- Stamler, Bernard (7 February 2002). "Campaign Aims To Demystify And Popularize High-Definition Television". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- Bush, Bernard (21 May 2002). "Ad Campaign Promotes Tire Safety". The Tennessean.
- Jim Rutenberg (6 May 2004). "Disney Takes Heat On Blocking Bush Film". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- "Clinton: Might It Be A Metamorphosis". The Hotline. 15 November 2004. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- Cowles Smith, Sarah (24 April 2008). "Glover Park Group Launches West Coast Office". Politico. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- Lee, MJ (10 August 2010). "Suite Talk". Politico.
- Ackley, Kate (8 February 2010). "Street Talk: Brian Gaston gets it". Roll Call.(subscription required)
- "Public Relations Campaign Team for Al Gore’s Oscar-Winning Film "An Inconvenient Truth" Named Public Relations Professionals of the Year by the 31,000-Member Public Relations Society of America" (Press release). Public Relations Society of America. 15 June 2007. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "The Glover Park Group Named 2007 'Public Affairs Agency of the Year' and 'Specialist Agency of the Year'" (Press release). Business Wire. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
- "Bulldog Award Winners Announced". Bulldog Reporter's Daily Dog. 2 June 2009.
- Holmes, Paul (10 May 2011). "North American Gold And Silver SABRE Winners". The Holmes Report. Retrieved 22 July 2011.