NEW YORK, March 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Weber Shandwick, one of the world's leading global communications and engagement firms and part of Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), has been granted a specific license by the U.S. Department of the Treasury authorizing the company to pursue opening operations on-the-ground in Cuba. The license opens the door for Weber Shandwick to proceed with discussions with the Cuban government to secure the permissions necessary to be among the first marketing services and global public relations firms to establish an office in Havana.
With operations already extending to 81 countries around the world, Weber Shandwick is seeking to establish a presence in Havana to provide counsel to clients that can do business legally in Cuba.
"We are delighted to be one important step closer to our goal of opening an office in Havana," said Jack Leslie, Chairman, Weber Shandwick. "Communications is the currency for change, and for a global firm such as ours, this is a unique opportunity to facilitate engagement at this historic pivot point in U.S.-Cuba relations."
The license granted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury Department gives permission for Weber Shandwick to "engage in all transactions necessary to establish and maintain" an office in Cuba, including marketing its services, employing professionals, and opening and maintaining an account at a financial institution in Cuba. Weber Shandwick has submitted an application to the Cuban government, and is awaiting an invitation for an official visit with Cuban authorities.
"President Obama's leadership in reestablishing U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba has created a high level of interest from U.S. companies and organizations wanting to engage with the Cuban people," said Micho Spring, a Cuban-American and chair of Weber Shandwick's Global Corporate practice. "Our goal is to open an office to help our clients do this as soon as it is legally permissible."
About Weber Shandwick Weber Shandwick is a leading global communications and engagement firm in 78 cities across 34 countries and operations extending to 126 cities in 81 countries. The firm's diverse team of strategists, analysts, producers, designers, developers and campaign activators has won the most prestigious awards in the world for innovative, creative approaches and impactful work, including being honored as an Ad Age A-List Agency in 2014 and 2015, The Holmes Report's Global Agency of the Year in 2014 and 2015 and PRWeek's 2015 Global Agency of the Year. Weber Shandwick and its Prime unit have won a combined 25 Cannes Lions since 2009. Weber Shandwick was also named a Best Place to Work by Ad Age in 2014 and 2015 and PRWeek in 2013 and 2014. The firm deploys deep expertise across sectors and specialty areas, including consumer marketing, corporate reputation, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, corporate social responsibility, financial communications and crisis management, using proprietary social, digital and analytics methodologies. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit www.webershandwick.com.
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