BKSH & Associates Worldwide

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BKSH & Associates Worldwide was a Washington, DC based lobbying firm that merged in 2010 with Timmons and Company to form Prime Policy Group, a subsidiary of Burson-Marsteller Global Public Relations.[1] BKSH was described as "a Washington-based bipartisan firm providing government relations services to a select number of domestic and international clients. The firm, a part of the Burson-Marsteller family, is led by Charles R. Black, Jr., who is best known as one of America's leading Republican political strategists, having served as senior advisor to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and as a spokesman for the Republican Party. The firm's lobbyists, lawyers, communications professionals, foreign affairs specialists and researchers design and execute programs to help shape public policy. Clients include Fortune 100 companies, multinationals, small and mid-sized companies, trade and industry associations, foreign governments, state governments and municipalities." [1]

"BKSH is the name of leading-edge government relations consultancy for the 21st century. Created by the world's largest communications agency, Burson-Marsteller, it enables clients to mount US, pan-European and transatlantic campaigns. Wherever in the world BKSH operates, clients can rely on the same commitment: the promise of efficiency, effectiveness and excellence," the company boasts on its website.

BKSH & Associates Worldwide was formed in May 1996 as a result of the merger of Black, Kelly, Scruggs & Healey (BKSH) with with another lobbying firm, Gold & Liebengood.[2]

Joint venture

"Part of public relations giant Burson-Marstellar, BKSH & Associates lobbied in 2002 for TRM donors AT&T and Philip Morris. BKSH Chair Charles Black and senior counselor J. Warren Tompkins were political advisors to President [Ronald] Reagan and the first and second President Bush. Both men are elite George W. Bush fundraisers, as is Black’s lobbyist wife, Judy Black. BKSH and Stonebridge International recently launched a joint venture, Civitas Group LLC, which specializes in homeland security consulting. Joe Allbaugh and Jim Francis, one of Bush’s Texas Public Safety Commissioners, sit on the group’s advisory board," Texans for Public Justice reported October 11, 2004.

Iraq work

The New Yorker magazine reported in Feburary 2004 that Black was considering setting up an office in Baghdad. "The problem in Iraq so far is it's slow, and very confusing for people to figure out how to do business there ... One week you go to Baghdad, and they say the decisions are being made at the Pentagon. Then you go to the Pentagon, and they say the decisions are being made in Baghdad. Only Halliburton is making money now!," he told New Yorker. "Is there too much cronyism? I just wish I could find the cronies," Black said.

In July 2005 O'Dwyers PR Daily reported that BKSH had been hired by The Lincoln Group "one of three firms selected last month by the U.S. Special Operations Command to wage psychological warfare on behalf of the Pentagon in Iraq and other hot spots."

"BKSH has experience on the Iraqi front earned from work for Ahmed Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress. Col. James Treadwell, director of the Joint Psychological Operations Support Element, said TLG was selected to develop 'cutting-edge types of media,' including radio/TV ads, documentaries, text messages, Internet spots and podcasts for the U.S. military. The Pentagon expects to spend $3M in the first-year as a 'test,' and could spend up to $300M over five years if the 'psyops' operations conducted by TLG, SYColeman and Science Applications International Corp are deemed successful," O'Dwyers reported.

In February 2006 O'Dwyers PR Daily reported that BKSH & Associates, "has added the Republic of Iraq to its client roster," reports O'Dwyer's. "The Washington, DC-based firm had worked for the [U.S.-funded] Iraqi National Congress opposition group during the reign of Saddam Hussein." [2]

BKSH & Associates parent company, Burson-Marsteller has already "helped the deputy military attache do outreach to key media outlets," including the Wall Street Journal and CNN, and has contacted the U.S. State Department and National Security Council on behalf of the Iraqi Embassy. The firm's Iraq contract also includes setting up editorial board meetings, placing op/ed pieces, and strengthening "ties with organizations like the American Enterprise Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Council on Foreign Relations and Business Council for International Understanding." [3]

Clients

Disclosure of lobbying activities under the Foreign Agents Registration Act reveals clients included:

  • Government of Colombia: "The registrant provided advice and counsel relating to communications activities, developed communications materials and worked with media organizations to advance the interests of the foreign principal," the company disclosed. In the six month period ending June 1, 2002 the company was paid $232,500.00. [4]
  • His Excellency Ibrahim Saminu Turaki, Governor Jigawa State, Nigeria: "The registrant met with U.S. Government officials and congressional staffers regarding the gum Arabic project in Nigeria," the company disclosed. [5]
  • Agency for Humanitarian Technologies: "The registrant monitored news articles and political statements of interest to the foreign principal. The registrant also contacted congressional staffers and U.S. Government officials to provide an update on Ukraine following parliamentary elections and to discuss the status of U.S.-Ukraine relations," it disclosed. For this it was paid $110,000.00 for January 1 to June 30,2002. [6]

Other clients included:

According to records of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, BKSH & Associates is registered to represent 90 clients. (Accessed December 14, 2005.)

Personnel

Former contact

President and Chief Executive Officer
BKSH & Associates
1801 K Street, N.W.,
Suite 901-L
Washington, D.C. 20006-1201
U.S.A.
Tel: +1 202 530 0500
Fax: +1 202 530 4800

Jeremy Galbraith
Chief Executive Officer
BKSH Europe
37 square de Meeus
1000 Brussels
Belgium
Tel: +32 2 743 6611
Fax: +32 2 733 6611
URL: Web: http://www.prime-policy.com

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Website, Prime Policy Group, accessed December 2010.
  2. "History of BKSH & Associates Worldwide", BKSH & Associates Worldwide, accessed March 2008.
  3. "BKSH Protects Ethanol Subsidies," O'Dwyer's PR Daily (sub req'd), September 25, 2008.

External articles