Facing Congressional investigation, Postmaster General DeJoy hires a consulting and PR firm with deep Trump administration ties
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US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy hired a consulting and PR firm with deep ties to the Trump administration as he faces allegations that he violated campaign fundraising laws as a private businessman and Republican fundraiser, Business Insider has learned. Since his nomination to lead the US Postal Service as Postmaster General was announced in May, DeJoy has been embroiled in political controversies regarding the role USPS will play in the coming election and his financial interests as a private businessman who invested in companies that compete directly with USPS. On September 6, The Washington Post reported claims that employees of DeJoy's former shipping company, North Carolina's New Breed Logistics, had been pressured to donate to Republican candidates and compensated with bonuses, in violation of state and federal law. Two days later, Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, announced that she would investigate the report. A Committee spokeswoman did not provide an update on the status of that investigation. Spokesman Edward McFadden said the PR and consulting firm, DC-based Patomak Global Partners, now handles all queries regarding DeJoy's personal business. Those could involve the Washington Post article and DeJoy's multimillion-dollar holdings in USPS competitors like UPS and XPO Logistics, which acquired New Breed in 2014. DeJoy previously used North Carolina-based PR firm RLF Communications on matters from the fundraising allegations to Democrats' claims that DeJoy's appointment was a reward for raising money for Trump. RLF CEO Monty Hagler declined to say if he still represents DeJoy in any capacity and referred further queries to Patomak. Patomak's founder is an advisor to President Trump who specializes in financial deregulation The Wall Street Journal describes Patomak Global Partners as a "behind-the-scenes consulting business" founded by Paul Atkins, a former attorney and regulatory expert appointed to the SEC by George W. Bush in 2002. It specializes in helping businesses navigate and minimize government regulations. After the 2016 election, Trump named Atkins, who has reportedly criticized labor unions, LGBTQ rights groups, and others for encouraging shareholder activism, to a key role on his transition team overseeing regulatory agencies as the incoming administration looked to roll back the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Atkins later joined Trump's business advisory forum along with the CEOs of companies like Disney, Blackrock, and Walmart and continued to speak on behalf of the administration as a top advisor advocating for financial deregulation. Patomak is not a registered lobbying firm so it does not have to disclose its clients, but they reportedly include government entities like the US Chamber of Commerce as well as private equity, investment, and Chinese accounting firms seeking assistance in disputes with US government regulators. As DeJoy battles personal controversy, PR giant Weber Shandwick works to counter messaging efforts from the White House A USPS spokesman said Patomak doesn't do work related to DeJoy's duties as Postmaster General and that USPS refers all queries about his business dealings to his personal representatives. The USPS's PR agency of record is IPG's Weber Shandwick, which said it doesn't represent any USPS employees, including DeJoy. CNN reported that Weber is also handling crisis communications to counter the White House's own anti-election-mail messaging and promote the USPS, whose board is Trump-appointed and which is run by DeJoy, a Trump donor, after he testified to Congress that he took actions that slowed mail delivery. It's unclear exactly what Weber does for the USPS because the USPS wouldn't release its unredacted $4 million contract in response to a Business Insider FOIA request. It has, however, promoted a PSA-style ad campaign promoting voting as safe. The USPS rejected an appeal by Business Insider to release the full contract, arguing that the redactions were the product of contract negotiations between USPS and Weber Shandwick and should not be disclosed "under good business practice" because they would weaken USPS' ability to negotiate future deals with other vendors. Got more information about this story or another ad industry tip? Contact Patrick Coffee on Signal at (347) 563-7289, email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter DM @PatrickCoffee. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.SEE ALSO: The top advertising accounts agencies are watching, from Visa to T-Mobile, as reviews heat up again Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What makes 'Parasite' so shocking is the twist that happens in a 10-minute sequence
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Summary List PlacementHi! Welcome to the Insider Advertising daily for October 12. I'm Lauren Johnson, a...Summary List PlacementHi! Welcome to the Insider Advertising daily for October 12. I'm Lauren Johnson, a senior advertising reporter at Business Insider. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every weekday. Send me feedback or tips at email@example.com. Today's news: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy hires a consulting firm, Beyond Meat bets big on breakfast, and Instagram adds audio features to Reels. Facing Congressional investigation, Postmaster General DeJoy hires a consulting and PR firm with deep Trump administration ties Patrick Coffee reports that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy hired a consulting firm with ties to President Trump to represent him after the House Oversight Committee launched an investigation into his private business. The investigation follows a Washington Post report that the longtime Republican fundraiser may have violated campaign fundraising law. Patomak Global Partners was founded by Paul Atkins, a former SEC executive who has advised Trump on financial deregulation and served on his business council. Read the full story here. Beyond Meat thinks breakfast is the next big battlefield for plant-based meat makers — its CMO explains why Alex Bitter spoke with Beyond Meat's CMO Stuart Kronauge about why the brand will start selling breakfast sausage links at retailers like Kroger and Whole Foods, the plant-based meat company's fourth product introduction and second breakfast-themed one so far this year. Rival Impossible Foods has also spent 2020 breaking into breakfast sausage, though the company has focused on restaurants instead of retailers. Sales of fresh plant-based breakfast meats nearly tripled in the 12 weeks ending August 9, according to data cited by Beyond Meat from provider SPINS. Read the full story here. Instagram has added new audio features to Reels that solve a major pain point for music marketers and could help it compete with TikTok Instagram rolled out new products last week to make it easier for people to find trending songs on Reels, reports Dan Whateley. The company created a new song discovery page featuring "trending" tracks, added the ability to share audio pages with friends in direct messages, and created an option for users to bookmark songs for later use (similar to the "favorite" feature in TikTok). The features could help Instagram compete more with TikTok, which has a heavy focus on music. Read the full story here. More stories we're reading: Amazon is giving free Prime Day credits worth $200 to first-time ad buyers, as it tries to leverage its retail muscle to boost its advertising business (Business Insider) Shaq, MLK's son, former Disney executives team up to create SPAC (Wall Street Journal) Google tries to turn YouTube into a major shopping destination (Bloomberg) TikTok spins Ocean Spray-Fleetwood Mac viral video into a commercial (AdAge) Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow! You can reach me in the meantime at firstname.lastname@example.org and subscribe to this daily email here. — LaurenJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why electric planes haven't taken off yet
Louis DeJoy’s policies, which he said were intended to boost efficiency, led to widespread outcry this...Louis DeJoy’s policies, which he said were intended to boost efficiency, led to widespread outcry this summerThe United States Postal Service (USPS) saw a severe decline in the rate of on-time delivery of first-class mail after Louis DeJoy took over as postmaster general, according to new data obtained by the Guardian that provides some of the most detailed insight yet into widespread mail delays this summer.Shortly after taking the helm, DeJoy - a major Republican donor with no prior USPS experience - implemented operational changes he said were intended to make the financially beleaguered agency more efficient. Those changes, which included an effort to get postal trucks to run on time, led to severe delays and widespread public outcry this summer. Continue reading...