Ogilvy gets Holmes Report Specialty Agency of the Year

Ogilvy may not seem an intuitive choice for the public affairs honor, but a summary of its 2011 record reveals a depth of performance that puts specialist and network rivals to shame. Ogilvy Government Relations racked up $20m in lobbying fees, making it the highest-ranked PR firm on the list, thanks to big-budget retainers from such clients as Blackstone Group, Chevron and Highstar Capital. The lobbying arm was in fine fettle, but it was Ogilvy’s broader public affairs offering that caught the eye. The firm consolidated its reputation as a go-to-player for high-profile government work, reeling in major new assignments for California’s new health insurance exchange; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the Essential Health Benefits Coalition. The firm’s work for Mexico, overseeing efforts to reinvigorate the country’s global reputation and tourism appeal, took place at the highest levels of that country’s government. And, Ogilvy probably deserves some measure of credit for extricating itself from California’s ill-fated high-speed rail project.—AS