Edition, May 24, 2000, Page 1
MARKETING ASSN. SHOPS FOR PR
American Marketing Assn., Chicago, with 80 staffers serving
40,000 individual members nationwide, is shopping for outside
PR counsel after having had an internal PR staffer for five
years. She left about nine months ago.
Dunlap, paid president, said there were no plans to have
another internal PR director.
elected chair is Frank Haas of Ogilvy & Mather, Hawaii.
Chair-elect is Robert Lusch of the University of Oklahoma.
The New York chapter of the AMA is its largest. Elliot Savitzky,
SVP of Opinion Research Corp. International, is president.
PR Worldwide may add parts of Rowland Communications Worldwide.
Neither Edelman nor Saatchi & Saatchi, parent of Rowland,
would discuss the possible deal. Rowland executives could
not be reached but S&S has confirmed that it has discussed
realigning Rowland. The PR firm was merged with an S&S
ad unit last year... Fortis Financial Group, Woodbury,
Minn., and New York City, owned by a Dutch/Belgium company,
named Colle & McVoy PR, Minneapolis. Also pitching the
$100,000+ accountt of the mutual fund and variable annuity
company were Shandwick and Andrew Edson & Assocs...
Tom Drohan, who was VP-communications at United Technologies
from 1984-88, when he opened his own firm, has handled PR
for the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., for 11 years, counseling
Bishop Edward M. Egan, successor to Cardinal John O'Connor
of the Archdiocese of New York. Drohan said he is not following
Bishop Egan to New York and that Joseph Zwilling, who handles
PR for the Archdiocese, is known for his excellent PR counsel.
Drohan has been quoted in a number of articles about the
new Archdiocese leader... George Rosenberg, managing
partner of KCSA and former CEO of Cohn & Wolfe, opened
The Rosenberg Group handling corporate and marketing communications
for emerging and established businesses. He was president
of C&W from 1986-92, when he became CEO. He was previously
at Burson-Marsteller 15 years, rising to SVP. Offices are
at 51 E. 42nd st., #1100, NY 10017. 212/856-9573... MRI
International, New York corporate barter firm, to The
Lund Group. MRI turns excess inventory, unwanted real estate
or under-used manufacturing capacity into trade credits.
Also a new client is FreshLoc Technologies, which
monitors temperatures of food from farm to consumer.
REPORTER AT OMINCOM MEETING
one publication (this NL) covered the annual meeting May
16 of the Omnicom Group, the company controlling the most
PR fees ($700 million).
of WPP Group's acquisition of Young & Rubicam by WPP
Group this fall would put WPP close to OMC in total PR fees.
owns Hill and Knowlton ($243M) and Ogilvy PR Worldwide ($125M),
and would add Burson-Marsteller ($274M) and Cohn & Wolfe
($47M) for a total of $690M.
23-minute meeting was uneventful but leaflets criticizing
OMC's finances and its investments in dot-com companies
were distributed by two union representatives to those entering
1285 Ave. of the Americas, where the meeting was held.
Hotel and Restaurant Union is trying to gain recognition
from Restaurant Assocs., which handles the restaurant at
the Metropolitan Opera.
Seeks to Embarrass Crawford
Bruce Crawford, chairman of OMC, was long the chairman of
the Met and is now honorary chairman.
union's stated aim is to "shame" the wealthy patrons
and leaders of the Opera into recognizing the alleged plight
of the 95 restaurant workers.
have been held in Lincoln Center on Opera nights and have
won headlines in the N.Y. Times.
wants to conduct a secret ballot but the union has rejected
this, saying it has 76 signed membership cards and that
workers would be pressured to reject the union.
told the meeting that the dispute had nothing to do with
Omnicom or him and that a court order had forbidden union
representatives from harassing him this way.
president and CEO John Wren, asked if company officers might
hold a press conference since ad conglomerates such as OMC
are in the news because of WPP's proposed acquisition of
Y&R, said OMC officers are "not government officials"
and that they speak to the press when there are business
reasons to do so.
O'Dwyer, editor of this NL and owner of 20 shares of OMC
stock (required to attend an OMC annual meeting), told the
meeting that OMC officers, to his knowledge, had never held
a press conference.
Wren said no one had ever requested one. Wren said he held
a video conference in New
(continued on page 7)
Edition, May 24, 2000, Page 2
WINS YAHOO! ACCOUNT
Yahoo! tapped Fleishman-Hillard, San Francisco, to be its
PR agency-of-record for an undisclosed amount.
Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Shandwick and incumbent Niehaus Ryan
Wong were finalists.
Beginning June 19, F-H will work on all aspects of Yahoo's
communications efforts, including corporate and property
The account will be managed out of F-H's San Francisco office.
The core team, still being selected, will be comprised of
staff members from F-H's offices in California, New York
and Washington, D.C.
STINSON TO RETIRE AS AT&T SPOKESMAN
Burke Stinson is retiring in June 2001 as senior
PR director of AT&T, Basking Ridge, N.J.
Stinson was given the nickname "Bad News" by reporters,
who he notifies and explains changes taking place at AT&T.
Stinson was a general assignment reporter for The Associated
Press in New York from 1967-70, before joining AT&T
as its spokesman for the international division.
He was named media relations manager in 1986, and was appointed
to his current position in 1997.
Stinson reports to Adele Ambrose, who is VP/media relations
and employee communications.
Stinson said he plans to lecture on journalism and PR ethics
at several universities in the New York/New Jersey area.
He has been outspoken in his opposition to using PR for
marketing, which he blames on the takeover of PR firms by
organizations run by ad people.
He knocks PR firms, who "dumbed down" in the 1990s,
for "de-emphasizing such disciplines as writing incisively,
thinking objectively and speaking publicly."
"Instead, they became 'strategic thinkers' and 'facilitators',
" said Stinson. "In other words, PR people stopped
bringing strengths to the table and became internally focused
folks who would rather meet with managers than meet the
"Having worked with a number of PR people from ad agencies
over the years, allow me to observe that many have scant
credentialsbesides cleverness and swell clothes.
Nonetheless, they are conversant in marketing-speak,"
MCGEACHY LEAVES MPA AS PR HEAD
Mary C. McGeachy is no longer VP/communications
for the Magazine Publishers of America.
McGeachy, who joined MPA in 1998, said she left last week
under good terms.
Nathan Christopher, who had been working for McGeachy, is
manager of PR.
McGeachy said MPA has been reorganized by the new president
Nina Link, who does not want to focus on media relations.
Instead, Link is concentrating on advertising and promotional
activities, according to McGeachy, who established MPA s
PR committee, currently headed by Diane Stefani who was
recently named PR director, Yahoo + eshopper magazines,
which is owned by Ziff Davis.
"The fate of the committee is up in the air,"
said McGeachy, who is consulting from 212/874-3561.
RHYS-JONES' LONDON PR FIRM FOR SALE
Sophie Rhys-Jones, who is married to Prince Edward,
is putting her London-based PR firm up for sale.
Press reports said the Countess of Wessex hopes to get at
least $5 million.
As part of the deal, she will continue to work for the new
owners for three years.
Rhys-Jones was recently criticized by Queen Elizabeth for
posing for publicity photos after her firm won the Rover
INTERNET EXPO TO DEBUT IN NEW YORK
PR executives trying to help clients break through the dot-com
clutter may learn more at eShow, the first-ever Internet
expo aimed soley at the consumer.
Eshow will debut at Madison Square Garden in New York on
Michael Kaminer PR is handling PR for the show, which will
be sponsored by The New York Times and Yahoo! Internet Life.
The show will feature exhibits by more than 150 web companies,
along with a wide selection of how-to seminars.
More than 20,000 are expected to attend the two-day event.
Bob Zuckerman, president of eShow, plans to hold shows in
major cities, such as Los Angeles, Boston and Washington,
PR TRENDS _________________________
survey of 100 top companies shows 67% have an
interactive version of their annual report, and 25% have
a downloadable version.
Only 8% have no online annual report, said Addison, which
specializes in annual reports, corporate literature, interactive
media and corporate branding.
Rivkin & Assocs.
survey of communications managers at 600 U.S. companies
with 200+ employees found 85% created a new name for a product,
service, company or division during the last two years.
In 1999, 265,000+ new trademark name applications were added
to the 1.16 million active and pending trademarks already
registered in the U.S., reports the Glen Rock, N.J.-based
Worldcom PR Group's
national poll of 122 U.S. executives shows companies plan
to increase use of direct Internet retailing by an average
of 35% and reliance on web-based marketing by 39% over the
next six months.
Worldcom, which is a network of PR firms, found 52% of senior
operating officers view the Internet as "very effective"
or "somewhat effective" in helping to generate
leads and/or new business.
In the financial services and healthcare sectors, the percentage
drops to 36%.
Edition, May 24, 2000, Page 3
THOMAS RESIGNS FROM U.P.I.
Helen Thomas has resigned from United Press International,
which has been acquired by News World Communications, publisher
of The Washington (D.C.) Times.
Lee Katz also quit as UPI s international editor.
Thomas, 79, had covered the White House beat since 1961.
She has been a journalist since 1943.
News World Communications was started by the Rev. Sun Myung
Moon, who founded the Unification Church.
Arnaud de Borchgrave is president/CEO of the news service.
REAL SIMPLE GETS A NEW MANAGING EDITOR
Carrie Tuhy, who was an assistant managing editor
at In Style, was named managing editor of Real Simple, replacing
Susan Wyland, who resigned after three issues.
Isolde Motley, who is the former managing editor of the
now-defunct Life magazine, will oversee Real Simple.
Alex Kucynski, who covers magazines for The New York Times,
said some advertisers have criticized the magazine as "overly
spare and unwelcoming."
Wyland was editor of Martha Stewart Living.
FINANCIAL JOURNALISTS ARE NEEDED
Several job openings exist for financial journalists in
the New York area.
The New York Financial Writers Assn. has listed the following
American Institute of Certified
Public Accountants: Wants a freelance writer
to handle writing financial columns, speeches, issue briefings,
annual reports, etc.
Fax resume to Marsha Bonner, at 201/938-3783.
Bloomberg Wealth Manager:
This Princeton, N.J.-based monthly magazine for
financial planners, wants to hire an executive editor and
is giving assignments to freelance writers.
Exec. editor: Human Resources, 100 Business Park dr., Princeton,
Freelancers can submit story ideas and an application to
Bob Casey, Wealth Manager s editor, at [email protected].
US Banker: New
York-based monthly magazine is looking for a writer/reporter
to cover all types of financial companies. [email protected].
The Walden Group:
Tarrytown, N.Y.-based corporate merger and acquisition firm,
which specializes in the healthcare industry, seeks a writer
to assist in writing business plans and offering memoranda
describing companies the firm represents for sale or investment.
Resumes to Richard Cohen at 914/332-9700 (fax), or [email protected].
Media s business, career and finance site, is looking for
a producer for its "Your Money" segment. [email protected].
new financial services website, which is located in White
Plains, N.Y., is looking for reporters to write news, columns
and feature stories across the service, in every major area
of the website.
Salary range: $75,000+ with stock options, benefits and
Resumes and clips to [email protected].
New York recruiter is searching for a senior proposal writer
for a consulting firm, with offices in N.Y. and Jersey City.
The writer can sometimes work from home. The job pays $80,000.
Trade paper is hiring reporters, editors and a copy editor
for its Hoboken, N.J.-based editorial office.
Sam Friedman is accepting resumes by E-mail or fax at [email protected]
The Journal of Lending &
Credit Risk Management: Philadelphia-based publisher
is seeking a free-lancer to produce a monthly 3,500-word
article, possibly on a topic related to the editorial calendar.
Resumes, writing samples and salary requirements to Beverly
Foster, editor, One Liberty pl., 1650 Market st., #2300,
19103; 215/446-4101 (fax); [email protected].
previously "Marketplace" editor, was named Page
One editor of The Wall Street Journal, succeeding John Brecher,
who is now writing for the "Weekend Journal" section.
Roberta Myers, who lost
her job as editor of Mirabella when it was closed down last
month, was named editor of Elle, which is also owned by
Hachette Filipacchi. Myers replaces Elaina Richardson, who
is joining Yaddo, an artists colony (NL,
Anna Maria Virzi, who
was executive editor of Internet World, has joined Forbes.com
as assistant managing editor, finance and technology.
Edward Carr, previously
business editor of The Economist magazine, has joined The
Financial Times as the newspaper s "Inside Track"
who is editor-in-chief of Kuwait-based Al-Watan, a daily
newspaper, was appointed editor of Newsweek s new Arabic-language
edition, which goes on sale June 6.
Julstin Doebele was
named Asia senior editor of Forbes Global, based in Singapore.
an associate editor and op-ed columnist at The Washington
Post, will become executive editor of The International
Herald Tribune in September, succeeding Michael Getler.
Edition, May 24, 2000, Page 4
WINS TOP TRAVEL AWARD.
Peter Guttman, a freelance writer, won the Grand Award as
the top travel journalist of the year in the 16th annual
Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, which is sponsored
by the Society of American Travel Writers.
Guttman topped two travel writers for The Chicago TribuneRobert
Cross, who was awarded the silver, and Alan Solomon, who
took the bronze.
The Grand Award is based on a portfolio of work throughout
the preceding year.
In the competition for the best travel section, The Baltimore
Sun won the gold for newspapers with more than 500,000 circulation;
the silver went to The Chicago Tribune, and The Cleveland
Plain Dealer won the bronze.
In the 350,000-499,999 circulation category, The St. Petersburg
Times won gold, followed by The Miami Herald and The San
The winners for travel sections under 350,000 circulation
were The Los Angeles Daily News (gold), The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
(silver) and The New Orleans Times-Picayune (bronze).
In the magazines category, Hemispheres: The Magazine of
United Airlines won gold for best monthly (or more frequent)
travel magazine, while National Geographic Traveler and
Caribbean Travel & Life shared the gold for best travel
magazine appearing on a less than monthly basis.
Microsoft Expedia won the gold as best publication/website
on the Internet.
The judging was done by the journalism department at the
Univ. of Florida. There were 1,447 entries for the year,
the most in the competition s history.
WRITERS WIN JAMES BEARD AWARDS
Gourmet and The San Francisco Chronicle each
won two first place awards in the 10th annual James Beard
Foundation Journalism Awards.
Gourmet won in the categories of "Magazine Writing
on Diet, Nutrition and Health" for an article by Perri
Klass, entitled "The Lunch Box as Battlefield,"
and "Magazine Feature Writing With Recipes" for
a piece written by James Villas, entitled "P.C. and
Proud of It."
The Chronicle received two first place awards in the categories
of "Newspaper Feature Writing Without Recipes"
and "Newspaper Feature Writing About Restaurants and/or
Chefs, with or without Recipes."
Cited were Robin Davis article on "Sushi American-Style,"
and Kim Severson s report on the "The Rise and Fall
of a Star: How the King of California Cuisine Lost an Empire."
Journalist Greg Atkinson, Food Arts magazine, received the
M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award" for his
article called "Diary of a Stagiaire."
The other winning publications and journalists by categories
--Magazine Feature Writing without RecipesBoston Magazine
--Magazine Feature Writing About Restaurants and/or ChefsVanity
Fair (Mimi Sheraton);
--Magazine Restaurant Review or CritiqueGQ (Alan Richman);
Magazine SeriesSaveur (Colman Andrews);
--Magazine Writing on Spirits, Wine & Beer Wine
& Spirits (Rod Smith);
--Internet Writing on Food, Nutrition, Restaurant Review,
or Beverage Not Previously Published food.epicurious.com
--Newspaper Writing on Diet, Nutrition and HealthThe
Boston Globe (Michael Apstein);
--Newspaper Feature Writing with RecipesThe Dallas
Morning News (Cathy Barber);
--Newspaper Restaurant Review or CritiqueThe Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette (Marlene Parrish), and
--Newspaper Writing on Spirits, Wine & Beer The
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Michael Skube).
The winners in the broadcast category of awards which are
sponsored and funded by Viking Range were:
--Best Local TV Cooking Show or Segment "Bay
Cafe," KRON-TV, San Francisco (Janette Gitler, exec.
producer; Bertrand Pellegrin, producer);
--Best National TV Cooking Show or Segment "The
Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter," APT, Honolulu
(Melanie Kosaka and Robert Bates, executive producers);
--Best TV Food Journalism"American Eats: History
on a Bun," The History Channel (Ted Schillinger, journalist;
Susan Werbe and Bruce Klien, executive producers);
--Best Radio Show Long Form on Food"848,"
WBEZ, Chicago (Tish Valva, executive producer, and Justim
Kaufman, producer), and
--Best Radio Show Short Form on Food"Weekend
All Things Considered," NPR, Washington, D.C. (Walter
Watson, executive producer).
and The Economist are
sponsoring a new international writing prize dedicated to
the theme of "The World in 2050."
The contest, which is open to anyone, was established to
encourage and publicize "other people s views on the
rapid pace of technological change and the controversies
over the pace of globalization and the sort of world it
may be creating."
The first prize essay will be published in an annual publication
from The Economist, "The World in 2001," and all
eight finalists will be featured in an announcement in the
Custom Communications, Boston,
is featuring original articles about the custom publishing
industry and marketing trends on its revamped website (www.custcomm.com).
David Brittan is editor, 617/437-9977.
The Gift List's
new edition lists editors of holiday gift guide editorial
It includes national and regional magazines, top 250 newspapers,
major wires and news services, and national TV, according
to owner/president Amy E. Bernhard.
Priced at $349, the guide will be shipped to customers in
two waves: Magazines in mid-June, followed by short leads
a few months later.
Berhard, is taking orders by phone (626/797-8877), fax (797-2801),
mail 2950 N. Maiden la., Altadena, Calif. 91001-1725) or
online at www.giftlistmedia.com.
Edition, May 24, 2000, Page 7
MEETING (cont'd from page one)
the previous day to announce OMC's co-sponsorship of an
Israeli technology venture fund.
answer could be heard when O'Dwyer said he would make a
request for a press conference.
Weisenburger, CFO, turned down a request by O'Dwyer for
a list of all of Omnicom's acquisitions in 1999. Half of
the group's revenue growth in 1998 was from acquisitions,
he told last year's meeting. The cost of acquisitions in
1999 was $748M in cash or stock. The 20.7% increase in U.S.
revenues included 6.1% from acquisitions while 10.9% of
the 18.4% jump in international revenues was due to acquisitions.
which acquired 55 firms in 1999, had also turned down a
request by this NL for a list of the 55. WPP Group and True
North provided lists of their 1999 acquisitions when requested.
OMC meeting stressed the growth in revenues, profits and
OMC's stock price over the years. Revenues and profits have
gained for 35 straight quarters and the group has scored
high on rankings published by Fortune and Forbes magazines
based on quality of management and return on investment.
slides with numerous statistics were displayed but no copies
were made available to the press. Wren and Weisenburger
also spoke but no texts were supplied. They were asked for
copies of the slides but the reply was that normally slides
were only made available to security analysts.
Has Been Made on Dot-Coms
While OMC's dot-com investments have declined lately, the
original investment of $17 million is now worth about $700M.
Omnicom sold four million shares of Razorfish at $35 on
March 14, recording a pre-tax gain of $110M on the sale.
Weisenburger pointed out that this means Omnicom has
a net profit on its dot-com investments, wiping out any
in which OMC has a large stake, went public at $26 in December,
hit $98 and is now $15.50; Organic reached a high of $59
in February but is now $14; Razorfish reached $56.94 but
is now $15, and L90, which went public in January at $15,
is now just over $9.
the union leaflet claimed that current liabilities exceeded
current assets by $1.2B as of Dec. 31, this had shrunk to
a $562M gap by March 31, a figure that had been filed with
the SEC the day before the annual meeting.
OMC owed media $755M more than clients owed it on Dec. 31,
this gap had shrunk to only $18.4M by March 31. OMC's cash
and marketable securities declined from $600M to $392M.in
the three-month period.
Criticized OMC in 1997
The union based its criticisms of OMC's finances on a 1997
article by Christopher Byron for MSNBC, who wondered, "How
long can (OMC's) gobble-up game go on?"
The article claimed OMC had a "weak and strained" balance
sheet, noting the gap between accounts receivable and accounts
observed that OMC's intangibles were $1 billion in 1996
and that under accounting rules, they had to be written
off against earnings at least 2.5% each year (40-year write-off).
He said the intangibles don't matter if the company is growing
rapidly but that unless OMC keeps replacing the written-off
intangibles with new acquisitions, "the company's assets
will eventually shrivel. The intangibles were $2.49B as
of March 31. IPG's intangibles were $1.7B as of March 31.
which employs 43,000 people, is a tightly held company,
reporting 3,721 shareholders as of March 15. This does not
reflect the total of individual stockholders because employees
may own stock via company purchase plans rather than their
own individual accounts and some stock of non-employees
may be held in the names of brokerage houses.
MARKETING WINS APPLES
Cause-related marketing was the most effective
PR technique among winners of PRSA/N.Y. s 2000 Big Apple
Awards, presented May 23.
Of 28 awards, 13 are for PR activities related to causes
such as the World War II Veterans Memorial, domestic violence,
blindness prevention, children and mentoring.
The Internet also emerged as a factor in the annual awards
competitionwhich is now in its 13th yearwith
four web-based programs from Levi Jeans Online Challenge,
handled by Ketchum, to the Victoria Secret s webcast (The
Ketchum won three Big Apples for campaigns involving Levi's
Jeans; Vision 2020, and Aventis, and an honorable mention
for its Halogena campaign.
Other big winners were Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Ruder Finn,
and Burson-Marsteller, which each won two first place awards
and an honorable mention, and Stanton-Crenshaw and Cohn
& Wolfe, which each won two Big Apples.
Other winners are: Alan Taylor Comms., Christian Torsney
Complete Comms., Creamer Dickson Basford, Fleishman-Hillard,
Hill and Knowlton, Maloney & Fox, Manning, Selvage &
Lee, PaineWebber, Patrice Tanaka & Co., PepperCom, Porter
Novelli, Rowland Comms., The Full Picture, Viviani Assocs.,
and West Glen Comms.
Honorable Mentions were: Cooney Waters Group, Edelman PR
Worldwide, H&K, MS&L, Prudential Insurance, Publicis
Dialog, Warschawski PR, West Glen, and Zlokower Co.
Center for Media and Public Affairs, Washington,
D.C., found national media coverage of religion has doubled
during the 1990s, but most of the coverage deals with political
issues rather than matters of faith or spirituality.
The most frequently debated topics concerned sexual morality,
church-state relations, women s issues, church goverance,
and minority issues.
The CMPA examined a random sample of 2,365 religious news
stories that ran from 1969 through 1998 in The New York
Times, Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News &
World Report, and on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts.
Edition, May 24, 2000, Page 8
the biggest owner of PR (although WPP is close on its heels),
simply doesn t want to be covered by the press. That
s the only conclusion we can reach after attending our third
annual meeting as a stockholder and reporter.
We arrived about 20 minutes early this year and asked CEO
John Wren if we could have a "photo op" with him
and Chairman Bruce Crawford. We said this would eliminate
the taking of pictures during the meeting which might be
Wren said Crawford would never agree to it.
As usual, no other reporters were present and there is every
indication none were invited. Nothing had been done to accommodate
the press such as providing copies of slides and texts of
speeches made by Wren and CFO Randall Weisenburger.
Last year Crawford objected to our statement that OMC had
no PR person representing it, saying Pat Sloan of the DDB
unit did this. We told the meeting this year that Sloan
was not doing PR by our definition. We said we learned very
little from her and never even went to lunch with her. Sloan,
former New York editor of Advertising Age, once set up a
lunch with this editor but we ended up eating alone. She
said she had a sudden doctor s appointment and arrived after
we left. No other lunch date was ever made.
don t fault Sloan for this. She's just doing what she has
been told. When we asked her at the meeting for a copy
of the slides, she said ask Wren or Weisenburger ourselves,
which we did. Wren promised to send the slides but we never
got them. When we called Sloan the next day (Wednesday),
her voice mail said she would be out the rest of the week.
Calls to OMC executives were not returned.
find a similar shunning of the press at Interpublic, which
is close to OMC in size. We were the only publication
that covered the final details of IPG's $675M acquisition
of NFO Worldwide. No one else made any attempt to analyze
IPG s biggest acquisition by far, an acquisition that initially
took $5 billion off IPG s capitalization. IPG stock is climbing
back but NFO s research business faces severe challenges
by the Internet and other forces. This lack of coverage
of OMC and IPG is beginning to make us feel spooky. Sometimes
we feel we re like Mulder in one of the X-File episodes.
What gets us is that marketing organizations and the owners
of them study consumers in endless detail but bitterly resent
anyone asking them questions.
attitude that "we don t want or need press relations"
is encountered often. Companies and institutions, puffed
with pride at their financial success and confident they
re offering excellent products or services, feel they don
t need any "third party endorsements." They don
t want anyone coming between them and their customers, stockholders,
etc. The marketing dept. in particular does not want stories
going out that are not "consistent" with the corporate
A simple device is not to have a PR person for the press
to call. Almost all the major PR firms and all the ones
owned by OMC follow this policy. The American Marketing
Assn. itself, a 40,000-member group with 80 staffers based
in Chicago, has no PR staffer and no intention of hiring
one. It took us a week to get a return call from president
and top staffer Dennis Dunlap. He said he was busy with
a board meeting. He said the AMA will not replace a fulltime
PR pro who left nine months ago but instead is interviewing
PR firms. Thus, neither the marketers, PRSA, nor IABC has
an on-staff PR pro.
Hammond--now 92 and living in Mystic, Conn.--who headed
Carl Byoir & Assocs. for many years until he sold it
to Foote, Cone & Belding in the late 1970s, said
he wonders what clients make of mega-mergers like WPP and
Y&R. He said the sale of Byoir to FC&B worked fine
for a year or two but then "blew up." He said
the ad people resented PR because the latter dealt with
CEOs while the ad people dealt at the sales and marketing
level. Also, he said, ad people typically define PR as "publicizing
the ad campaign." Byoir, once the No. 2 PR firm behind
Hill and Knowlton, was cut down to the last 2-3 staffers
by the early 1990s. Burson-Marsteller s sale to Young &
Rubicam "worked" because Harold Burson kept B-M
independent, said Hammond.
offices in Britain and Belgium were raided last week by
antitrust officials of the European Commission, who
are looking for evidence that Coke is offering retailers
discounts or rebates that block competitors products. Coke
s market share in five European countries runs from 33.3%
to 62.4%. The file on Coke is 100,000 pages and climbing,
said the Wall Street Journal May 19. Coke is judged by some
to be the No. 1 "brand."