"Missions that might be considered conflicting are not new for Porter Novelli," a PR firm that "has worked for both the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and for Guinness stout and Johnnie Walker Scotch." But Porter Novelli's $2.5 million contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update the food guide pyramid concerns some. "You have a company on one hand pushing McDonald's or almonds or whatever, and on the other providing objective advice on government nutrition programs," said the director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The New York Times reported that "several former or current Porter Novelli clients," including Campbell Soup and Dole, "offered formal comment on the guidelines and the new icon." Co-founder William Novelli said the firm's combination of private and government accounts "benefits both clients. Consumers are not purists."
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