Ric Cooper is the President of Cooper DDB in Miami, whose longtime clients include Carnival Cruise Lines and the Florida Lottery. You don’t service clients like those without having a little political savvy.
Seems he may have had a role to play in getting Carnival ships rented to the government in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina–which turned out to be a $236 million contract. Now that’s a business-building marketing idea. The Galveston Daily News has more:
A top House Democrat released e-mails Tuesday detailing Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s role in pushing a $236 million federal contract for Carnival Cruise Lines to house Hurricane Katrina victims.
In a letter, Rep. Henry Waxman of California called on Bush to explain his role in the award of the ”lucrative contract,” which was given to the Florida-based company without a full competitive bid process. The e-mails Waxman released were provided to Congress by Michael Brown, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
According to Waxman, Bush forwarded to Brown, then the FEMA director, an e-mail from a Carnival advertising executive proposing that the company’s ships be used for housing two days after the Aug. 29 storm.
The Carnival official, Ric Cooper, has been a major political donor to the Florida and national Republican parties, including $65,000 to the state GOP in 2002, and $50,000 to the RNC in 2004, Waxman said.
Less than three hours later, Brown replied to Cooper, saying he thought it was a “great idea.”
Cooper is identified as a “Carnival official,” but I’m fairly certain he still runs their ad agency. In either case, advertising is a relationship-based business. Always remember that.