California is a hotbed for political messaging, as same-sex couples get married and conservative groups try to stop them with a November ballot initiative. Equality for All, a coalition supporting same-sex marriage, has hired Ogilvy PR Worldwide, the Democrat-leaning firm Dewey Square Group and the polling firm Lake Research Partners. Dewey Square's Steve Smith is the coalition's lead campaign consultant, while Ogilvy's Maggie Linden, a ballot initiative veteran and former political aide, is heading media outreach. On the other side, ProtectMarriage.com has hired Schubert Flint Public Affairs. The firm's Jeff Flint is leading the effort in support of the ballot initiative, called the California Marriage Protection Act. Flint used to work at Russo Marsh & Rogers, the Republican-leaning political firm which counts the pro-war group Move America Forward among its clients. Other firms are focusing on the burgeoning same-sex marriage industry, with Manning, Selvage & Lee promoting Chemistry.com to Californians and Laramore Communications promoting marriage and honeymoon packages in "gay-friendly" Sonoma County.
By Diane Farsetta on June 18, 2008