Award-Winning Astroturf – Finn Partners & the International Council of Shopping Centers

I guess you have to respect the quality (if not the truthiness) of the campaign being waged on behalf of the Marketplace Fairness Act by Finn Partners.  They’re the company who owns the domains for the Marketplace Fairness Coalition ( and  But that’s what mega-funding can buy.

They proudly show what looks to be stock photographs of stereotypical small-business business owners while their actual sugar daddies are far from small businesses.

Finn Partners just won (in May) an award for their PR work for the International Council of Shopping Centers, a promoter of MFA.

“The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Finn Partners’ 21st Century Retail campaign took home top honors at The Homes Report’s SABRE Awards dinner in New York City on May 7th, receiving a Gold SABRE Award for best public affairs campaign.”


“Finn Partners, together with ICSC, developed and executed an integrated public affairs campaign to push Congress to enact legislation that restores the rights of states to enforce sales tax collection for all retailers”

Who is ICSC?

“Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 60,000 members in over 90 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials.”

Here they brag about the effort they’re putting into lobbying for MFA in their most recent annual report.

“Since last year, ICSC has made enormous strides in the fight for sales tax fairness. Backed by the investment approved by the Board of Trustees, ICSC put significant resources towards educating Congressional offices and the public about sales tax fairness and the outstanding tax burden that consumers currently owe on online purchases. This campaign has translated into myriad media opportunities for ICSC and has created significant momentum for legislation at a federal level. ICSC continued its leadership on this issue by formalizing the Marketplace Fairness Coalition; a unified voice for the proponents of Marketplace Fairness. The members of the Coalition represent nearly 3 million businesses, associations, and organizations located in every state throughout the country.
The push on this issue will continue; thus far ICSC’s efforts culminated in a huge win in early 2013 in the form of a 69-27 vote to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act out of the U.S. Senate.”

“Recent efforts to champion Sales Tax Fairness has gained greater traction than ever before in the u.S.
Congress. Robust public affairs campaigns and aggressive advertising have garnered legislative support and raised public awareness.”

“We blend experience from every aspect of public and private sectors to influence public opinion, promote legislative and regulatory initiatives, build reputations and manage issues. Whether the goal is entering a new market, enhancing reputation among Washington influencers, or shaping policies—we’ve done it and will do it again for you. Welcome to the Partnership”


  1. […] 21st Century Retail – International Council of Shopping Centers – Run by Finn Partners (who won an award for the astroturf site).  ICSC seems fond of misleading “polls” that lack credibility – but good for press releases. Medium-level tweeter. @efairness […]

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