Former Wall Street Journal ad columnist Joann Lipman, writing in the April 11 Newsweek, says that the WPP Group, whose clients spend $72 billion yearly on media and PR, "can practically make or break any media operation."

Together with Omnicom ($60B) and Interpublic ($30B), the spending of these giants totals more than $160B.

They can decide who lives and who dies.

Their ad/PR units as well as many others decided that PR Reporter, PR Quarterly, Reputation Mgmt., and four other PR publications should die. They did.

We're not talking just ads but subscriptions since almost no individual these days will fork over personal money for a business publication. PRQ, a good outlet for PR professors and PR pros and which died in its 50th year, had less than 900 circulation and was lucky to have one ad per issue.

Its ad salesman told us he pounded on doors up and down Madison ave. for years and got nowhere.

Enormous power over media is in the hands of a few individuals. The ad buying arms of the conglomerates have multiplied this power.

Lipman, interviewing WPP's Martin Sorrell, found he is concerned over the plight of media since subscription and advertising are no longer sufficient to support them.

Sorrell favors paywalls for websites, consolidation of media, and government subsidies such as received by the BBC and Australia's free-to-air TV and radio stations.

Lipman notes that National Public Radio and public TV are the object of a "Republican outcry" about their government subsidies.

Because of the miracle of debt (banks lend to ad/PR conglomerates because they are confident of getting the interest paid), conglom execs are among the highest paid. Debt of WPP is $6.29B, Omnicom, $3.20B, and IPG, $1.74B for a total of $11.23B. Revenues of WPP are $15.2B, OMC, $12.5B, and IPG, $6.53. Since total income is about $34B, debt is about one-third of that.

Would banks allow a PR firm with $10M in income to have a debt of $3M?

Yale Features 'Sex Week' Each Spring

The spin last week on sexual behavior at Yale was enough to make anyone dizzy.

The New York Times April 8 said women were being mistreated by men and that 16 have complained to the Dept. of Education.

This surprised Meghan Clyne of National Affairs who said Yale women themselves are part of an "anything goes" sexual climate at that includes a "Sex Week" each spring. (Image via Ivygateblog)

Classes include talks by porn stars, lessons in masturbation, "erotic piercing," and a "fetish fashion show." Males parade around the campus shouting "No means Yes" and "Yes means any orifice."

The Women's Center at Yale has hosted films on lesbian pornography, "how to get the most out of sex toys," and workshops on drag.

Dr. Leonard Sax, in "Girls on the Edge," says drinking by college women, which lessens their inhibitions, has skyrocketed in recent years and that more women than males now "meet the clinical criteria for alcohol abuse."

Concentration of wealth in the hands of the top one percent of the U.S. population comes under attack in an article in the May Vanity Fair by Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.

Stiglitz says the top one percent of Americans take in nearly a quarter of the nation's income and control 40% of the wealth (vs. 12% and 33% 25 years ago), and are inviting revolts of the type that have rocked the Mideast.

The article is the most popular one in the issue, VF reports.

The April 10 New York Times had a major article on soaring CEO pay.

Among those taking good care of themselves are Connecticut State employees. reports that 1,126 make more than the governor ($150,000).

The 12 top paid include UCONN doctors and administrators: Cato Laurencin, dean of the Med School, $918K; Dr. John Nulsen, lead physician, Center for Advanced Repro Services, $881K; James Whalen, assoc. prof., dermatology & surgery, $839K, and eight others making $500K+.

Jim Calhoun, basketball coach, makes $2.3M; Geno Auriemma, women's basketball coach, $1.6M, and Randy Edsall, football, $1.5M. Police chief Robert Hudd gets $246,961 to boss 76 cops while NYC's Ray Kelly gets $189K to boss 37,838 cops. The UCONN board has no power over pay scales.

It's no wonder UCONN undergrads are paying $100,000 for an education, a price 24X the price level of the 1950s although the CPI only rose eight times since then.

The Communication Sciences Dept. lists 49 undergrad courses including those on mass media's impact on "individuals and society"; TV, pornography and alcohol on TV; video games; ability to engage in small group situations; "frightening media, violent TV"; "communication technology in social change," etc.

The profs and the 450 undergrads in the dept. should examine the rankings of PR firms by this company and PR Week/U.S. because that's where a lot of PR jobs will be.

Required reading should be "Deadly Spin" by Wendell Potter, 20-year PR vet of Cigna of nearby Hartford, who shows the fierce pressures at work in politics, PR and the media. This book is worth more than all the PR texts combined.

PR Society of America has created "The Business Case for PR."

This is an unfortunate title even though, as far as we can determine, no elected leader or staffer is preaching it in person.

The word "business" has a lot of bad meanings. When you give someone "the business," you are doing them harm.

The "business end" of something is the part that hurts them such as the head of a hammer.

If you are "all business," it means you are cold and officious.

There is a harsh, hard sell quality about the word when PR is supposed to mean conciliation, compromise.

A better title would be: "PR: America's Corporate Conscience," or "PR: Corporate Truth-Teller."

How about just "The Case for PR." But no "PR for PR" program is going to work if PR Society leaders/staff stay in seclusion or cloistered talking to themselves.