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Firm With Ties to Clinton Takes On Toy Recall Troubles

Mark Penn is the chief strategist for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign, but his public relations firm has just retained a client with an arguably bigger challenge. Spin Master, which distributes Aqua Dots, the toy recalled for having an exterior that can turn into the date rape drug GHB, hired Burson Marsteller to get through the communications crisis, according to people at the firm.

Penn has reduced his client work to focus on the Clinton campaign, Burson executive vice president Josh Gottheimer, said. "We as a firm have thousands of clients, more than 2,000 clients globally, and Mark's never had any contact with this client at all," Gottheimer said Friday night. But Penn has drawn fire in the past for his firm's work, including helping prepare Erik Prince, the head of the company Blackwater, for congressional testimony after the firm's employees killed civilians in Iraq. Aqua Dots have been pulled from the market after children who played with them went into comas; Spin Master distributes the toy in the United States, but they are manufactured in China.

--Anne E. Kornblut

By Washington Post editors  |  November 9, 2007; 7:07 PM ET
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Next: Grassley on the Presidential Field: Clinton Hard to Beat, Huckabee "Catching On a Bit"


Anne I normally like your stuff, but this is downright worthless info.

Posted by: thegribbler1 | November 12, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Kornblut, you have exceeded your own low standards of innuendo with this irrelevant piece. You have an important position that you cheapen with increasingly snide, lazy unimportant stories. If you are unable to file a daily posting from the campaign trail of an historic candidate who is the frontrunner in a presidential campaign that is worthy of the space in the Post and of interested reader's attention, then do the right thing and ask for a reassignment.

Posted by: rdklingus | November 10, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Can't stand Hillary, wouldn't have her as president at any price--far as I'm concerned, she's as arrogant and power mad as Cheney--but I really don't see what relevance this nugget of information has. So what?

Posted by: nicekid | November 10, 2007 6:01 AM | Report abuse

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