Duffy Leaves The Tribe

Faced with the choice of representing the Narragansett tribe’s effort to build a casino in Providence, R.I., or working for a state-run group that opposes the initiative, Duffy & Shanley has elected to stay in good stead with the powers that be.
The agency will no longer provide public relations counsel to the tribe because of a potential conflict with the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp., which oversees tourism business development promotions for the Ocean State. The Providence shop has handled that account, worth about $1.5 million in annual billings, for more than 10 years.
The Economic Development Corp. is chaired by Gov. Lincoln Almond, who has vociferously opposed the casino.
In a recent news release prepared by Duffy & Shanley in support of the proposed gambling facility, tribal official Matthew Thomas was quoted as saying, “How can [Almond] believe he has any credibility on this issue?”
After being grilled about the potential conflict by the Providence Journal-Bulletin, agency chairman David Duffy decided he would no longer represent the Narragansetts. For the record, Duffy & Shanley is the Journal-Bulletin’s agency as well.
–David Gianatasio