"Titled 'Rhode Island Positioning,' the memo distributed two weeks ago by public-relations consultant Jody Powell to the dozens of lawyers and consultants representing the nation's lead-paint companies was a straightforward exposition on how to spin public perceptions," writes the Providence Journal. "Unfortunately, it seems for Powell's firm, the memo actually became public." A former press secretary to President Jimmy Carter, Powell is now an executive with Weber Shandwick, where he is helping the lead-paint companies fight off a potentially massive product liability suit. Apparently he accidentally emailed his strategy memo to a reporter, who promptly published it in its entirety in the Feb. 15 Rhode Island Law Tribune. Result: Weber Shandwick was fired from the account, and the PR defense of lead has been handed to Robert Dilenschneider (whose previous projects include Three Mile Island and the war in the Persian Gulf). Dilenschneider's man in charge of the lead paint account is Matthew Swetonic, former director of the Asbestos Textile Institute.
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