Edition, December 6, 2000, Page 1
BUYS ABERNATHY MACGREGOR
Havas Advertising has acquired Abernathy MacGregor Group,
a financial PR firm with 65 staffers in New York and Los
The French firm will fold AMG into its diversified agencies
group consisting of 50+ "brands."
Jim Abernathy said he sold his firm to Havas because of
its "invaluable global resources."
He said Havas' global network will enable AMG to serve its
clients more effectively than it could by remaining independent
and called the Havas deal a "defining moment"
The New York-based firm has worked for Blockbuster, Mattel,
UPS, Westvaco, DoubleClick, Volvo, Hachette, Showtime and
Havas claims to be the world's No. 4 communications group,
with more than 250 agencies and 20,000+ employees. Publicis
Groupe is No. 5.
PCS CALLS METZGER ASSOCS.
Sprint PCS handed its national media relations account to
Metzger Assocs. following a pitch that came down to six
John Metzger called Sprint a leader in the wireless communications
market, one of the "hottest" technology categories.
The company's all-digital network serves more than 4,000
Metzger expects Sprint to be a sizable win for his Boulder,
Col., firm, though the final budget has not yet been determined.
MA has worked for Sprint in local Colorado and Utah markets.
Kratz & Jensen, which has been merged into Magnet Communications,
was the incumbent on the Sprint PCS account, but did not
PROMOTES ITALIAN FASHIONS
The Italian Trade Commission has selected Hill and Knowlton
to position Italy as the "fashion authority" in
H&K won the account in a pitch that included a mix of
Top Ten agencies and fashion boutiques, according to its
spokesperson Suzanne Laurita.
Roberto Luongo, ITC's Trade Commissioner, said H&K showed
the creativity needed to reinforce the prestige of the "Made
in Italy" label.
Janet Bartucci, H&K's marketing group head, handles
the account assisted by Livia Marotta, who was director
of global communications at Movado.
B-M CUTS, DOWNSIZES EXEC RANKS
Burson-Marsteller CEO Chris Komisarjevsky is either cutting
or downsizing 40 jobs in the firm's 800-member U.S. workforce
to improve client service.
He informed B-M staffers of that decision via a "Dear
Colleagues" letter distributed Nov. 29.
Some senior execs will "move out of what were their
full-time positions" to become part of a "select
group of senior professionals." Komisarjevsky said
they will become "senior advisors," a new slot
They will be expected to "continue to give clients
the benefit of their experience and wisdom, and our colleagues
the value of their counsel and mentoring," he said.
Others without client responsibilities are to be dropped
from the payroll.
The restructuring will "flatten B-M's organization
and make it less hierarchical," according to Komisarjevsky.
He positioned the reorganization as a sign of B-M's strength.
He believes it's better to shake things up when times are
good and avoid the tendency to overstaff during prosperity.
Komisarjevsky said the recent acquisition of parent company
Young & Rubicam by WPP Group had nothing to do with
White House press secretary Joe Lockhart has joined Oracle
Communications as senior VP reporting directly to CEO Larry
Oracle describes Lockhart's position as "communications
strategist" and says he will counsel the company on
a broad range of PA issues.
Lockhart says his goal is to make Oracle a "household
name." He is to remain in Washington, D.C., but will
spend at least one week a month at Oracle's Silicon Valley
Lockhart left the White House in October. He became President
Clinton's top spokesperson as the House opened its impeachment
Williams, CEO of BSMG's U.K. operation, is expected
to leave the firm by the end of the year. Tim Sutton, BSMG
Europe head, says an outsider will replace her...Dan
Klores Assocs. veteran Sal Petruzzi has joined Arts
& Entertainment cable network as PA director...Harriet
Pearson, 37, IBM's director of PA, has been named the
company's first chief privacy officer. She is to unify IBM's
various privacy initiatives in mktg. comms., sales &
Edition, December 6, 2000, Page 2
TARGETS KIDS WITH ANTI-MILK PITCH
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is
distributing "trading cards" to school kids that
warn they can get pimples, gas and become fat if they drink
The national campaign against the milk industry began last
week in Vermont and New York. PETA activists offered the
cards to seventh- and eighth-graders on sidewalks as they
were dismissed from school.
Contending that dairy cows are "treated like milk machines,"
PETA designed an initial quartet of "Milk Suckers"
cartoon characters-Windy Wanda, Chubby Charlie, Pimply Patty
and Loogie Louie-as part of its campaign to turn youth against
The Chubby Charlie card says: "Eat fat and you'll be
fat. Be kind to animals and to your butt and gut by avoiding
fattening dairy products. Try a fruity smoothie instead
of an ice-cream sundae. You'll look fabulous and have loads
of energy, too."
Dairy Group Refutes PETA
"Sensationalism, not science, is what guides PETA's
programs," according to the National Dairy Council/
National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board.
It calls PETA's effort an "irresponsible" action
that could have serious health implications for the nation's
BSMG Worldwide handles PR for the dairy industry, and its
famous "Got Milk?" ad campaign. It distributed
the dairy industry's response.
GET A TASTE OF REAL WORLD
A five-hour course at Indiana University's Kelley School
of Business requires MBA students to face a room full of
angry reporters with questions about product safety and
The program also includes exercises in budget allocation
and how to handle confrontations with employees.
Phil Podsakoff, a management professor who heads the Kelley
School's Leadership Development Institute, said research
shows that when leaders fail it is not because of technical
"They fail in areas such as communication and emotional
intelligence. Our goal is to assess the students early and
give them feedback to get them prepared for real-life events,"
he told Allison Beard, a reporter for The Financial Times,
who was allowed to cover the course.
Press Conference Is Toughest
Beard said students find the press conference exercise,
which is not listed on the schedule, to be the toughest
The students are given a scenario in which a child has recently
suffocated in a car after its air bag deployed in an accident.
The company president is stuck in a Chicago airport, so
his new VP must cover.
One student told Beard they had only 30 minutes to get ready
for the press conference, so she just read the materials
and jotted down some notes.
"In the heat of the moment, you don't have time to
go through the pages of data. But you have to make sure
you are not speaking too soon and saying something that
is not true.
"Reporters are good at leading you in the direction
they want," she said.
With cameras rolling, she made her statement, said Beard.
A reporter surprised her with an internal memo suggesting
that the company had cut corners on safety in order to save
After a pause, the student answered: "We have had some
issues with suppliers...But we have quality assurance managers
on site at every plant. I can assure you that the company
would not put a car out on the road that was not certified.'"
"Have you spoken with the families?" another reporter
asked. "No comment," the student said.
Finally, the conference ended, and the student's face broke
into a relieved smile, "I think I did okay," she
told Beard. "I didn't completely crack."
Other students were less confident about their performances,
PR EXECS TAKE WORK HOME
Almost all PR execs said they are expected to take work
home with them and are expected to do some work on their
vacations and contact the office.
A survey by Heyman Assocs., New York, said stress in the
workplace and a lack of balance between work and lifestyles
are of great concern to them.
About two out of three said they are having difficulty achieving
a balance between the two.
Nine out of ten said their employers expect them to take
some work on their vacations and remain in touch and 86%
said they are expected to carry out some work-related tasks
Three-quarters of the respondents would like to be able
to travel on company time rather than on their own time
and two-thirds would like "telecommuter priviliges."
JOINS CHLORINE COUNCIL
Ted Lapkin, who was communications director for Rick Lazio
in the congressman's Washington, D.C., office, has joined
The Chlorine Chemistry Council, which is based in Rosslyn,
Lapkin got his undergraduate degree in history from Tel
Aviv University, and a master's in government administration
from the Univ. of Pennsylvania.
Porter Novelli's Goddard Claussen unit handles PR for the
MARTIN HIRES NAVAL INFO CHIEF
Retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Thomas Jurkowsky was named
VP of communications and PA for the naval electronics and
surveillance systems group of Lockheed Martin. He is responsible
for media relations, advertising, marketing communications,
community and employee relations.
Edition, December 6, 2000, Page 3
TO BEEF UP FASHION COVERAGE
Playboy will beef up its editorial coverage of fashion next
year in an attempt to attract more apparel and accessory
Fashion has emerged as one of the biggest magazine ad categories
in the past few years. Companies selling apparel and accessories
spent $1.03 billion in magazine ads in the first 10 months
of this year, an increase of more than 16% against the same
period last year, according to the Publishers Information
Playboy will go up against strong competition for men's
fashion ads from newcomers like Maxim and Gear,
which have made big inroads into a territory once held by
GQ, Esquire and other male-targeted magazines.
Playboy plans to allocate more space for in-depth coverage
of fashion in every issue.
It will also create Playboy "events" at the bigger
fashion shows in New York, Paris and Milan as part of its
plan to boost the percentage of fashion ads from 15% to
20% of its total ad base in 2001.
One, a new design magazine, will make its
debut this week with a 194-page issue, and guaranteed circulation
of 200,000 copies.
The magazine will publish every other month before going
monthly in August.
The first issue showcases architectural and household designs,
plus it has a piece on Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant, who
designs his basketball shoes, and a feature on designer
The staff of 82 is split between the San Francisco headquarters
and an office in New York's Silicon Alley, headed by CEO
Dana Lyon, a former publisher of Wired magazine.
Marguerite Kramer, a former senior editor at Harper's
Bazaar, is editorial director. Stacy Morrison is editor-in-chief.
Franklin will conduct interviews from his new Memory
Lane Restaurant when it opens in New York's Times Square
Franklin, who has interviewed celebrities on radio and TV
during the past 50 years, is opening the 160-seat theme
restaurant with his longtime producer Richard Orstein.
Franklin, 70, will conduct occasional broadcasts from a
radio booth at the center of the restaurant.
Collins has been assigned to write a column twice a
week for The New York Times on the Op-Ed page.
Collins, who has been on special assignment for the Times
covering elections in her column "Public Interests,"
will now cover governmental and legislative issues at the
state, regional and national levels.
Carolyn O'Neil, former host/senior correspondent
for food and travel on "CNN Travel Now," has opened
her own production company in Atlanta to do food, nutrition,
cuisine and travel writing for the print media and TV production
related to food, travel and lifestyle topics.
Her company is located at 995 W. Kingston dr., Atlanta,
GA 30342. 404/497-0706; fax: 843-2759; [email protected].
Betty Cortina, who is the news editor of Oprah magazine,
is looking for human interest stories. She is more interested
in non-celebrities than film and rock stars and loves stories
about people doing amazing things. What she likes most are
"the real women stories, stories about women who have
achieved something, generally in their professional lives,
but it doesn't have to be."
AGE MAKES CHANGES
Anthony Vagnoni, who had been a senior VP and publicity
director/creative of Young & Rubicam since January,
returned to Advertising Age as creative editor, a
He will be executive director of Ad Age Best, overseeing
all aspects of the annual awards program, and will write
features with a focus on creativity.
Petrecca was promoted to senior editor. She will become
a senior feature writer for the weekly publication across
a range of topics and industries.
Petrecca will continue as deputy New York bureau chief and
will also continue to cover the sports marketing industry.
Wayne Friedman, a reporter, was promoted to Los Angeles
bureau chief. He will continue to cover the TV industry
and entertainment marketing beats.
David Doss, former "NBC Nightly News" executive
producer, was named executive producer of ABC's "PrimeTime
Thursday," anchored by Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson.
Wallace is celebrating 10 years as editor of Conde
Nast Traveler, whose circulation of 768,547 still trails
Travel Leisure's 961,211. Traveler's ad pages are
up more than 100 pages over 1999.
Tom Foreman, a Denver-based ABC News correspondent the
past 10 years, is expected to be named an anchor for "National
Georgraphic Today," the nightly news hour that will
be a major part of the new National Georgraphic Channel
when it starts Jan. 7.
Tang was appointed op-ed editor of The New York Times,
replacing Katy Roberts, who was recently named national
editor. Tang, who has a law degree from NYU, has been an
Nelson, 59, who had been a columnist for The New
York Daily News and its Washington, D.C., bureau chief
for about 10 years, died Nov. 20.
news continued on next page)
Edition, December 6, 2000, Page 4
REPORTERS GET TECH COVERAGE TIPS
Cisco Systems, the San Jose, Calif., maker of routers and
servers, created and sponsored a week-long training seminar
in Miami and Silicon Valley for a group of 13 Latin journalists
from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and
Alberto Arebalos, Cisco's Latin America PR director, said
the purpose of the seminar was to widen the journalists'
understanding of technology as a whole.
The journalists came from major newspapers and magazines
such as El Clarin in Argentina, El Tiempo
in Colombia, El Diario in Chile and Reforma/El
Norte in Mexico and from more focused publications such
as Net@ in Mexico, which focuses on telecommunications
and technology, El Financiero in Costa Rica and Computer
World Brazil, which covers computers and technology
Their schedule included three days of classes at Florida
International University, where journalism professors offered
tips for making their coverage more appealing to their various
audiences, and a two-day visit to San Jose to get a better
understanding of the technological developments they write
Carballo Meza, editor of Net@, said many U.S. companies
continue to regard Latin America as "one package"
instead of treating each country differently. He said the
regional approach has backfired on some firms.
STATION FOUND GUILTY OF LIBEL
WJLA-TV, Washington, D.C., was found guilty of libeling
an orthopedist in a news report.
The station, an ABC affiliate, was ordered to pay $2.5 million
to Stephen M. Levin, 68, for monetary damages.
The Fairfax County jury of four women and three men, also
agreed the station "knew the defamatory statements
were false" or were made "recklessly with wilful
disregard to the truth."
Levin was the subject of a report, entitled "Dirty
Doc" that aired on the station's 11 p.m. newscast on
Nov. 18, 1997.
The report was promoted by ads that asked, "When does
a physical examination become a sexual assault? When you
go to the `Dirty Doc.'"
The story was reported by Archie Kelly and producer Candace
Mays, who wore a hidden camera into Levin's examination
room and had him treat her ailing shoulder.
SERIES ON SCIENCE PLANNED
National Geographic and the TV production unit of The New
York Times will collaborate on a weekly science program
that will be shown on NG's new cable channel, which is scheduled
to start in June.
Richard Flaste, managing editor of the New York Times TV
Enterprises, said the show will be largely based on articles
that the Times' science section either has run or plans
David Bumke, formerly executive editor, was promoted
to editor of Institutional Investor, replacing Paul
Libassi, who left. Stan Luxenberg, who was senior
editor, was named executive editor.
Stephanie Izarek, 34, previously a tech writer for Foxnews.com,
to PC Magazine as exec. editor.
Dottie Enrico, 41, formerly managing editor at Parent
Soup, iVillage's parenting website, has joined Primedia
as director of content development of AmericanBaby.com.
Kevin Knapp, who was associate editor of Crain's
Chicago Business, has left.
Christina Kelly, 39, previously deputy editor at
Jane magazine, was named executive editor of YM magazine.
NEW YORKER REGAINS ADS AND READERS
The New Yorker has recently hired fashion writer
Judith Thurman and rock critic Nick Hornby as editor David
Remnick continues to reposition the magazine.
Both readers and advertisers are being attracted by Remnick's
brand of journalism, according to Crain's New York Business.
Remnick, who has avoided celebrity coverage, has refocused
the 75-year-old magazine's editorial content on more "thought-provoking
pieces," and expanded coverage of cultural topics,
Weekly circulation has risen to 843,151, a gain of 4%, since
the former reporter for The Washington Post replaced
Tina Brown as editor two years ago.
While the magazine is still operating in the red, ad pages
are up 15% to about 2,378, and ad revenues will top $100
million for the first time in 2000, according to the publisher's
PHOTOS NEED TO BE SIMPLE
David Duprey of Internet Photography, which is opening a
studio in New York this month, said images shot for the
Internet need to be kept simple because they are often first
viewed as thumbnails measuring no more than an inch across.
"We shoot with the idea that we are creating an icon
for the product image. Even in its smallest version, the
main selling points of any given product should be clear
and readable," said Durpey, who co-founded IP with
IP's photo business is booming with assignments from e-commerce
businesses liket eToys, cooking. com and garden.com, according
"Using our site as a portal, clients can review the
work almost the instant it's shot. They can have images
sent to their server or e-mailed to their location half
a world away. Traditional film photography is going the
way of the dinosaur," he said.
Edition, December 6, 2000, Page 7
ADS PLACED BY TOP 10 AGENCIES
Upwards of three-quarters of commissionable ads placed in
the U.S. are handled by the top ten ad/marketing conglomerates,
according to statistics compiled by Advertising Age and
used in a report by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
The top ten holding companies and brands, including Havas,
Dentsu, Publicis and Cordiant, had $14.3 billion in U.S.
fees in 1999. The U.S. income of the top three, WPP, Interpublic
and Omnicom, was $8.7 billion or 61.4% of this total.
IPG said it agrees that more than one third but less than
one-half of commissionable U.S. ad billings are handled
by the top three. More exact statistics are difficult to
obtain, it said.
A similar tabulation by Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette
five years ago estimated that the top nine U.S.-based conglomerates
(not counting Dentsu and Havas) accounted for 65% of the
"implied universe of ad agency fees" of $18.8B
The top nine had a 34% share in 1985.
About 80% of the total of $31.2 billion in gross income
in 1999 of "the top 500 U.S. agency-based brands"
as tabulated by AA was handled by the top ten and 48% of
this total was handled by the top three-WPP Group, IPG and
With the intended purchase by IPG of Deutsch Inc., described
as "the last of the big independent ad agencies,"
the percentage of ads in the hands of a few agencies will
spurt even higher.
Deutsch, with income of $133M, is being bought for an estimated
$200M-$250M in stock.
Top Three Account for Half of Gross
WPP, IPG and OMC had 17.9%, 15.6% and 15.1% (total of 48.6%)
of total gross income (including marketing services) in
the group of 500 ad agencies measured by AA, according to
figures in the Morgan study published Nov. 21.
The other seven conglomerates are Havas, 6.1% market share;
BCom3, 5.2%; Dentsu, 5.0%; True North, 4.6%; Publicis, 3.4%;
Grey, 3.2%, and Cordiant, 3.1%. The portion assigned to
the remaining ad agencies in the 500 was 20.7%.
Morgan estimates that 1999 U.S. ad revenues, including print
and broadcast media but not direct mail, marketing services
and PR, totaled $150B.
DL&J estimates 1999 worldwide traditional media advertising
at $225B. Marketing services such as direct mail and PR
make up about half of the fees of WPP, IPG and OMC. Thirteen
of the 14 largest PR operations are ad-agency owned. With
virtually no more big ad agencies or PR firms to buy, DL&J
said in May that the top ten will probably start buying
Causey, who was a senior director of Hill and Knowlton's
technology practice in Washington, D.C., has left to join
Ruder Finn/D.C. as a senior VP and director of that firm's
BEWARE OF FLATTERERS, SAYS BOOK
The United States is undergoing an "epidemic"
of flattery in business and private circles and recipients
should be wary of it, says You're Too Kind: a Brief History
of Flattery, by Time, Inc. senior editor Richard Stengel.
Flatterers have many techniques, he noted, including:
-Sending you gifts.
-Smiling at you a lot (smiling means "I like you").
-Listening intently to what you have to say; letting you
do most of the talking.
-Using your name a lot (people "love" to hear
-Protecting you from unpleasant facts ("Don't tell
your boss his name was not enough to get a table").
-Dressing extra special for you.
-Giving you "red carpet" treatment.
-Spending a lot of time with you.
-Praising you, as opposed to what you did, when you do something
-Asking your advice; telling you a secret, or deprecating
his or her own self (only successful people can do this).
Stengel says flattery "thrives" in "hierarchical
settings" like Fortune 500 boardrooms.
Only the most fulsome, energetic flattery is acceptable
in entertainment circles, he noted.
"You look good!" or, "Hey, you look great!"
has replaced "How are you?" as the universal greeting
in such circles. These phrases must be delivered with "real
enthusiasm" if they are to register, he advises.
Hollywood studios outdo each other in sending expensive
and interesting gifts to stars at Christmas. Director Steven
Spielberg once gave his stars Miata sports cars, he reports.
A $100,000 gift is "a trinket" to stars making
millions in a few weeks, he notes.
Hollywood journalists are "groveling" to the stars
because there's little to be gained by being adversarial
with an actor, Stengel observes.
Preemptive Conformity Is One Technique
Flattering those above you is difficult because the flatterer
looks like a "toady."
One technique is "preemptive conformity," where
the flatterer anticipates the client's or boss' opinion
and states it before one of them does. Another technique
is disagreeing with the client at first but gradually coming
around to his or her opinion.
The root problem of flattery is that it could be insincere,
cautions Stengel. The flatterer could "steal your heart"
while "picking your pocket."
Quoting the Greek philosopher Plutarch, Stengel says flatterers
reveal their true selves in several ways. A real friend
will befriend your friends while a flatterer "will
covertly try to steer you away from them." Flatterers
tend to be extra nice to you but rough to those below them.
Flatterers are friendly in a serious way. Said Plutarch:
"Flatterers act the part of the friend with the gravity
of a tragedian."
Edition, December 6, 2000, Page 8
considerations, not legal technicalities, will be decisive
in the battle over the counting of Florida's presidential
votes. Both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Florida Supreme
Court must render decisions that will be judged fair in
the court of public opinion.
The Democrats were waging more of a PR battle last week
as Al Gore appeared on numerous nightly TV shows Nov. 29
while George Bush appeared on none. Bush gave a brief interview
the next night from his farm. The Democrats are using every
debating technique they can think up including comparing
miscounted ballots to dollar bills that are rejected by
vending machines and grocery items that have defective bar
codes and are thus not counted at the check-out counter.
The prices for such items are then punched in by hand, it
Dimpled and incompletely punched chads, at first the object
of ridicule, are increasingly getting serious attention.
Since the message to voters over the years has been that
every vote is sacred, it's hard now to ridicule someone
who has tried to vote but whose efforts may have been frustrated
by faulty alignment of a ballot in a form, or holes in the
form that have been worn and widened, thus causing the stylus
to miss its mark in punching out a chad.
The concentration of advertising buying power in a few
giant ad agencies (page 7) is cause for concern. Suppose
these agencies decide that certain media are more "supportive"
of a particular industry, or business in general, and favor
such media in placing ads? The economically secure media
can withstand such pressure but there are plenty of ad-dependent
media that can't. The ad conglomerates often maintain they
have no relationships with their numerous owned companies.
But Omnicom CEO John Wren played a "key role"
in BBDO's recent pitch for the $2.3 billion Chrysler ad
account, making "regular visits" to Chrysler's
marketing execs in Detroit, reported the Wall Street
Journal. Interpublic itself has been named as global
ad strategist for Coca-Cola, supervising the work of ten
is an "epidemic" of flattery going on, especially
in the business world, says author Richard Stengel in
a new book (p. 7).
He should visit Madison Ave., where flattery is one of the
main industries, if not the main industry.
Stengel writes about the prevalence of "stroking, sucking
up, schmoozing, snowing, kissing-up," and numerous
other phrases that describe what flatterers do to clients,
Flattery is laid on much thicker in the ad world than in
the PR world, based on our experience.
We covered the ad industry daily for four years for the
former New York Journal-American and another four years
for the Chicago Tribune.
Assigned to the J-A ad column toward the end of the year,
we were shocked to receive nearly 200 bottles of liquor,
wine, liqueurs, fruit baskets, etc., as holiday gifts from
ad agencies and PR firms. The receptionist openly bragged
he kept many bottles himself. Gift-giving in adland (to
clients, media buyers, etc.) was normal, we were told. As
an example, a big media buyer might get a car.
agency execs not only took us to lunch at the finest restaurants
but often hosted us in their private dining rooms. During
agency tours, staffers stopped what they were doing and
practically saluted when we came by. After lunches and evenings
with top ad execs, we practically floated back to office
or home on a tide of good fellowship. Never had we met people
who were so cordial. On occasion we would accompany
agency execs when they took ad clients "on the town."
Then we saw the true meaning of "red carpet treatment."
Not only are ad agencies and PR firms stroking their
clients to an unprecedented degree these days, they
are urging their clients to do the same with their own customers.
PR is no longer seen as education or providing information
but "building relationships with client audiences."
PR firms spend a great deal of time with clients (which
can be a form of flattery) crafting strategy and coordinating
PR with ads, direct mail, graphics, etc.
All this stroking between agencies and their clients<%0>
and the customers of the clients works well until the press
intrudes. Stroking and other forms of flattery no longer
work. The press mostly stopped accepting gifts many years
ago and many reporters won't even let subjects pick up the
lunch tab. Reporters want as many hard facts as possible
and will get them from the Internet, public documents and
other sources if they are not provided by PR. Press relations
has become a much smaller part of PR than it once was.
13 of the 14 biggest PR firms now in the hands of ad agencies,
advertising type devotion to client aims and schmoozing
the client have greatly increased. Speeches by PR firm presidents
on current topics, which used to be a frequent occurrence,
have all but disappeared. The big PR firms, like their ad
agency owners, mostly seek to gain attention by moving up
in the industry rankings, winning awards, and via ad campaigns.
The big firms will again rank themselves by submitting their
figures to the Council of PR Firms, which allows ad commissions
to comprise up to 49% of their totals. The CPRF will then
dole out the figures to the media. Last year no proofs of
the claimed income or employee totals were supplied to the
media by the big firms.