Edition, February 28, 2001, Page 1
AXES 70 HIGH-TECH STAFFERS
Ogilvy PR Worldwide CEO Bob Seltzer is eliminating "redundancies"
that exist between its own high-tech practice, and its Alexander
Ogilvy operation to better deal with the market downturn.
Seventy staffers have been laid off in San Francisco, New
York, Los Angeles and Atlanta, as Ogilvy's tech practice
is consolidated with Alexander Ogilvy. The Dallas office
is to be closed.
Seltzer told this newsletter he plans to fold AO's technology
policy group into Ogilvy's PA operation in Washington, D.C.
Investor relations work for Alexander Ogilvy clients will
become the responsibility of Ogilvy's financial group in
New York. Lisa Leukkanen, managing director of IR at Alexander
Ogilvy, will move from San Francisco to New York. She will
work with John Lovallo's IR group.
Seltzer informed Ogilvy staffers of the cutbacks in a Feb.
21 memo called "reorganization of technology."
In it, he wrote that the dramatic changes that have shaken
the technology world have "impacted our business as
While understanding "that any staff reductions are
a painful experience," he wrote that Ogilvy is not
alone "in this pain as anyone who reads the business
pages or the PR trades knows."
Ogilvy's "rightsizing" will help it get quickly
back on track in moving ahead of the wave," Seltzer
Ogilvy has 400 tech staffers.
CUNNINGHAM CUTS 40
Citigate Cunningham has cut 40 staffers from its 210-member
payroll, 30 of which are "billable"employees,
according to Joe Hamilton, CC's president and COO.
He said CC closed its one-person Chicago office following
the decision of its office head to become a "stay-at-home
Plans for a New York office have been put on hold, though
Hamilton said a Big Apple outpost remains a priority for
CC once the tech market rebounds.
The firm shut down its website last week to construct one
that reflects the streamlined CC.
Incepta acquired Cunningham Communication last year in a
deal that was worth up to $75 million depending upon profitability
EDELMAN WORKS TO SALVAGE ESTATE TAX
Edelman PR Worldwide is organizing Americans for Sensible
Estate Tax Solutions, a group that is fighting the repeal
of the estate tax. The group is bankrolled by financial
services companies and charitable groups.
It wants to get rid of the estate tax for most Americans
affected by it, while reducing the rate for others.
That's because total repeal of the estate tax may result
in the need for fewer tax shelters for the rich, and reduced
donations to charities.
Eric Hoffman, a VP at Edelman in Washington, D.C., is serving
as spokesperson for the group.
Leslie Dach, Edelman vice chairman and D.C. general manager,
is also working on the account.
GETS $1.8M U.S. LAMB PROMO PACT
BSMG Worldwide will encourage people to eat more lamb--specifically
animals raised in the U.S.--under a $1.8 million communications
campaign, according to Paul Rodgers, marketing director
of the American Lamb Council.
The ALC, he said, "talked to a number of PR firms,"
but partnered with BSMG because of its work promoting categories
such as milk and pork.
"We also liked the quality of their people," Rogers
BSMG has its work cut out. Rodgers told this website that
both "American lamb production and consumption have
been on the decline since the end of WWII." Foreign
producers from New Zealand and Australia have also made
inroads into the U.S. market.
SUZUKI DRIVES OVER TO PAINE
American Suzuki has shifted its automotive business from
in-house to Paine PR, Costa Mesa, Calif.
Cam Arnold, director of corporate brand marketing and communications
at the company, said the move increases Paine's AS business
by more than 50 percent.
She estimated that AS will be spending around $1 million
at Paine by the end of the year.
Paine, which has promoted Suzuki's motorcycle and ATV division
since 1991, will now handle car/SUV launches, concept cars
and corporate philanthropy programs.
Edition, February 28, 2001, Page 2
PR MANEUVER SUSPENDED
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has ordered all services
to keep civilian visitors away from the controls of military
Rumsfeld's order would suspend indefinitely a longtime military
PR practice that is designed to encourage public support
of the military's programs.
The suspension was imposed after the submarine the USS Greeneville,
with 16 civilians aboard, collided with a Japanese fishing
trawler earlier this month apparently killing nine of those
aboard the smaller craft.
The Navy and other branches routinely invite important opinion
leaders, including local community and business leaders,
educators, politicians and journalists onto its ships and
Last year, more than 11,000 civilians took part in 238 trips
aboard Navy ships in the Pacific fleet, according to figures
compiled by the Navy.
Of those, 13 trips involving 213 civilians were aboard submarines
stationed in Hawaii. Tipper Core, wife of former Vice President
Al Gore, cristened and rode in the Greeneville in 1999.
Civilians also drive tanks and other military vehicles,
witness live ammmunition training of ground troops and fly
in Air Force jets.
Every spring the Pentagon invites 60 prominent people from
around the country for a week-long tour of military facilities.
Last year, the group saw a night training exercise at Fort
Bragg, N.C., landed on an aircraft carrier, observed Coast
Guard and Marine Corps training exercises, and visited the
Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs.
A Pentagon spokesman said this program was started in 1949
by Defense Secretary James Forrestal.
Most of the civilians on the USS Greeneville had donated
to a group that pays for maintenance of the battleship Missouri,
the site of Japan's World War II surrender.
Like other civilian visitors, they were taken into the control
room and allowed to operate crucial controls. In this case,
that included the rudder and the levers that initiated the
Greeneville's fatal ascent.
OFFERS BRAND-BUILDING TIPS
David D'Alessandro, a former PR pro who became CEO of John
Hancock, Boston, one of the largest insurance companies
in the U.S., has written a how-to manual on building a company
brand, entitled Brand Warfare.
The book is due out from McGraw-Hill this spring, according
to Steve Bailey of The Boston Globe, who got an advance
copy of the new book.
Bailey, former business editor of the Globe, said the book
is special because PR men aren't supposed to end up running
D'Alessandro, who was an account supervisor at Daniel J.
Edelman PR from 1972 to 1974, uses a series of often comical
war stories as examples in his book. Several are built around
the theme of a "slightly hucksterish D'Alessandro improbably
coming up a winner in the end," Bailey said.
For example, D'Alessandro cites a time when he hired a trained
crow for a media party to promote a new whiskey for Old
Crow and then had the crow, on command, poop on a Penthouse
writer who was walking around with a Penthouse Pet on each
USES S&S FOR EARNHARDT CRISIS
NASCAR is using Stolberg & Siemer to handle its PR crisis
following the crash and death of top driver Dale Earnhardt
during the Feb. 18 Daytona 500, according to John Griffin,
managing director-worldwide communications of the racing
He described S&S as a crisis consultant that is based
in St. Louis.
Paul Siemer and Bill Stolberg are former Fleishman-Hillard
execs who set up their firm in 1995.
MOUNTS $6M ANTI-SMOKING PUSH
Atlanta-based Austin Kelley Advertising and Golin/Harris
International, both units of Interpublic, were picked to
handle advertising and PR for a statewide anti-smoking campaign
The 2001 budget for the campaign is $6 million, with funding
coming from Georgia's portion of the 1998 national settlement
with tobacco makers. The campaign is expected to start by
The state received 13 proposals. AK/G/H beat out two other
finalists: BBDO South and its PR partner, Porter Novelli,
and Fleishman-Hillard/Atlanta and its ad agency partner,
Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns & Assocs. of Washington,
MEDIA DISTORTS NEWS
ABC News correspondent John Stossel said the media's tendency
to intensely cover plane crashes, terrorism and other mayhem
is making viewers think such events happen more often than
"We focus on interesting things that can kill you,"
said Stossel, who spoke Feb. 20 at the Arkansas State University's
Agriculture-Business Conference in Jonesboro.
"We hype today's news," said Stossel, whose talk
was reported by The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
He also said media coverage leaves Americans fearing new
products. "Half of the country has gas stoves. But
we're afraid of something new. We are terrified of nuclear
power, but it may be cleaner and safer," said Stossel.
Stossel said the media does not cover genetically altered
food fairly. "It has a bad run in the media,"
he said. "But if a genetically altered product can
save millions of lives, like wheat once did, it may bring
the public around."
The newspaper said Stossel was paid $25,000 for his presentation.
The fee was paid by the sponsors of the conference, which
included Bank of America, Adams Land Co., Farm Credit Services,
Arkansas Farm Bureau and KFIN-FM.
Edition, February 28, 2001, Page 3
TO GET ON NEWS WIRE'S RADAR
--"Make your client more relevant to a bigger story,"
Steve Loeper, Los Angeles bureau news editor for The Associated
Press, told 100 PR pros at a Feb. 20 breakfast workshop
in Century City, Calif., which was sponsored by PRSA/Los
--"It's not the company so much, but the subject matter;
it's the product, it's the service and it's what is happening,
not the company per se," said Patrick Chu, who is Bloomberg's
West Coast bureau chief, based in San Francisco.
--"When you pitch the wire services, there are two
faxes that need to be sent: One to the photo desk, and one
to the news desk, because if one picture sticks, your client
is in," John Hayes, a freelance photographer and part-time
reporter for the AP, advised the PR pros.
Loeper said the AP tries to give its newspaper and broadcast
members the "widest possible selection of news."
He said newspapers are currently using more brief stories,
and the AP has had to respond by writing tighter reports.
As for selecting stories, he noted Bay Area stories are
put on the California state wire, and it is up to editors
at AP's New York headquarters to decide on the value of
the story nationally.
Loeper's bureau is responsible for coverage of Southern
California and Southern Nevada. The L.A. bureau has satellite
bureaus for San Diego, Las Vegas and Orange County.
Don't Call Chu
Chu gets about 500 e-mails every day. "I like it that
way. I don't like calls, especially while I'm editing 25
stories a day, and I might be up until 4 a.m. on the energy
crisis story," said Chu.
Loeper prefers to get pitches by phone, fax or regular mail,
provided each are "tightly focused."
Hayes believes "the best way to get on the wires is
to hire a professional photographer, especially one who
has a working relationship with AP."
"Additionally, if the AP or Bloomberg are not going
to cover your story, and you can get your own photographer
to shoot and pitch it again, editors will see you were at
the event and might be interested," said Hayes.
Chu said Bloomberg's money manager subscribers demand hard
news. "We have to get our stories out in 15 minutes
of knowing something, and we have to update that story constantly
if it is of major importance," he said.
"We want to work together," said Chu.
AP Writes for Broader Audience
Loeper said the AP has to "do it all. We crank out
a lot of stories, a lot of production, which is done by
our staff and our clients. We give them news, and they give
local news back from their region.
"If we pass on your story pitch, there is another avenue
to get your story on the AP wire. Watch for your client's
coverage in the local newspaper. If you discover a story
on your client, you can call our attention to it.
"We rewrite all stories we pick up to give it a broader
focus. Our basic rule of thumb is `Would I care in Peoria
if I were reading about a story in Century City?,'"
the AP has to get out the "quick stories" like
Bloomberg, it also has to step back to reflect on the news
and attempt to tell readers what the events mean to them
as consumers and business people, he said.
NEWS MANAGERS USE RNRs
A nationwide survey found radio news releases are used in
some form by 83% of radio news managers responding to a
Jack Trammell, president of VNR-1 Communications, said the
results show leaner staffs and a push for more news is driving
radio newsrooms to rely more on outside sources of news.
The Chicago Tribune said stations in several markets
have not renewed their contracts with The Associated Press,
which recently hiked its rates.
According to the Tribune, four CBS stations in Chicago-WUSN-FM,
WJMK-FM, WXRT-FM and WSCR-AM-have dropped AP, leaving WBBM-AM
as the city's only all-news station with the AP.
VNR-1 surveyed 328 stations in Dec. 2000/Jan. 2001. The
survey findings are based on responses by news staff members
at 132 radio stations.
Other findings from the study:
-One in three stations (34%) say the printed information
in news releases that accompany an RNR can prompt the news
department to turn the material into a local news story.
-Thirty-four percent of the news departments say when it
comes to RNRs there must be local or regional tie-ins before
they will even consider it for use; followed by health-related
stories (23%), financial (11%), children's issues (8%),
technology (6%), and politics (4%).
-Eighty percent of the stations responding to the survey
do not surf web pages looking for stories;
-Only 18% of those in the survey prefer to get notification
of an RNR through e-mail;
-Ninety-one percent of those in the survey want a sheet
of paper off the fax machine or a phone call where questions
can be answered;
-Nearly four out of every 10 news directors <%-2>made
a point of volunteering that they don't like and<%0>
will not use any RNR that sounds like a commercial.
VNR-1 specializes in getting exposure in TV, radio, Internet
and digital news media for its clients.
Woman's next issue has President George W.
Bush on the cover, making it the first time a man has appeared
on the cover of the 628,000-circulation magazine in five
years. Bill Gates was the last one.
news continued on next page)
Edition, February 28, 2001, Page 4
ACCESS IS UNHINDERED BY REG. FD
The impact of the Securities & Exchange Commission's
Regulation Fair Disclosure on the financial press has been
positive, although companies are participating in fewer
one-on-one meetings with both reporters and analysts as
they try to comply with the ruling, according to a panel
of media and financial specialists.
"The observable impact has been very positive. People
are, I think, responding in the way we hoped," said
Richard Levine, assistant general counsel for the SEC. "It
looks like issuers are putting more information and detail
into their press releases."
Levine and other members of the media and financial community
discussed the impact of Regulation FD during a meeting hosted
by PR Newswire on Feb. 14 in New York.
"I think the biggest thing that FD will bring is recognition
that analysts have to go back to doing what they used to
do somewhat well, which was actually researching their companies,"
said Jonathan Krim, executive editor of TheStreet.com.
Don Blake, U.S. equities editor for BridgeNews, said Regulation
FD "has leveled the playing field for the media and
analysts by allowing more clients access to conference calls."
The downside is the informal communications; people are
now reluctant to give exclusive news, he said.
"My reporters are getting those conference calls and
webcasts. They are getting the same background as analysts
and are better prepared when they call companies,"
said Michael Clowes, editorial director for pensions
"The bad news is that the reporters find when they
want one-on-one interviews with a senior executive, they
are delayed until a day or two after a company makes an
announcement through a webcast or conference call,"
STANDARD CUTS 18 IN NEWSROOM
The Industry Standard, a weekly news magazine about
the Internet economy, is laying off 69 employees, including
18 newsroom staffers.
The San Francisco-based magazine now has laid off 22% of
its staff since Jan. 1 due to an ad slump which has affected
a broad spectrum of media, but particularly print publications
and website dedicated to tech news.
Business 2.0's British owners announced plans to lay off
90 workers last week, and the publisher of Red Herring
has laid off 54 workers since last fall. Upside's
publisher has pared its staff from 120 to about 90 since
Industry analysts predict that two or three of the tech
magazines will disappear this year, either through sales
Through March 6, total ad pages at the tech magazines were
down anywhere from 25% to 60%, according to industry reports.
BINN TO START PHOTO MAGAZINE IN N.Y.
Gotham was launched on Feb. 21 in New York by Jason
Binn, a Miami-based publisher.
The new monthly magazine will be patterned after Binn's
weekly Ocean Drive magazine in Miami, and Hamptons,
a seasonal weekly, which the 32-year-old native New Yorker
took over in 1998.
Binn's magazines feature a mix of interviews and photographs
of the jet-setting, party-going, high-fashion crowd.
Joseph Steuer, who had been executive editor of Interview,
is executive editor of Gotham, which will publish nine monthly
issues in its first year.
Binn has developed a database of 30,000 New York residents
who will get Gotham through its controlled circulation,
and copies will also be delivered to elite buildings picked
by zip code and 55 of the city's top hotels.
Kelly Bensimon, who is fashion director of Hamptons, will
also have that title at Gotham, and online columnists Horacio
Silva and Ben Widdicome of Hint Magazine, will update
their "Chic Happens" column into a monthly feature
TO PUBLISH PICTORIAL TABLOID
Avenue, a local magazine for upscale New Yorkers,
is starting a new pictorial tabloid on March 1, called On
The weekly will publish photos taken at social, business,
cultural, and educational events in the New York area. The
48-page weekly will feature up to 50 events of the past
Melinda Myers, who is photo director, wants to get photos
as soon as possible after the event from publicists. For
weekend events, there is a noon Monday deadline.
OTA will be delivered to 1,200 buildings in New York every
Thursday with the morning newspapers.
Editorial offices are located at 950 Third ave., 5th floor.
Myers' e-mail address is [email protected].
TRAVEL MAGAZINE PLANS TO LAUNCH
Endlesstravel, a bimonthly, will make its debut this
summer with distribution to 250,000 adults aged 34-54 nationwide,
according to Linda Packer, who is editor-in-chief of the
San Diego-based magazine.
Packer is interested in getting information about unusual
destinations, restaurants and property openings, statistics
or survey results relating to travel, and other travel news
for an upfront "Travel Buzz" section.
Unusual spas, cruises, restaurants, etc., will be profiled.
The magazine is also accepting ideas and information that
will cover family travel, adult getaways, adventure travel,
shopping tips, nature destinations, and educational travel
Send info to Packer at [email protected]
and managing editor Jaye Hilton at jhilton@end lesstravel.com.
3131 Camino del Rio N., #550, 92108.
Edition, February 28, 2001, Page 7
URGED TO BAN ADS IN SCHOOLS
Maryland lawmakers are weighing a proposal (Senate Bill
435) to ban advertising everywhere in public schools, including
textbooks and the sides of school buses.
Sen. Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George's), is chief sponsor
of the proposal that would require local school boards to
develop policies to keep students from being the targets
of advertising in school; ban exclusive agreements with
soft drink companies and others who sell in vending machines,
and prohibit advertising on school buses. Virginia has outlawed
The Washington Post said Pinsky's proposal has run
into harsh criticism from some educators, who say the proposal
could cost them money needed to help students.
The proposal is also opposed by vending machine operators,
soft drink manufacturers and the nationwide education TV
programmer Channel One, which includes commercials in its
daily newscast for schools.
The Post said Eastern Technical High School in Baltimore
recently signed a five-year, $50,000 agreement with Coca-Cola,
and Montgomery Blair High School got a one-time payment
of $100,000 from Pepsi-Cola and annual payments of $55,000
for allowing only Pepsi to be sold in the school.
BETS $150M ON HARRY POTTER
Coca-Cola will be the sole global marketing partner with
Warner Bros. for the upcoming "Harry Potter and the
Sorcerer's Stone" movie and video.
Coke's investment in the multi-year deal, which includes
a second Harry Potter film and a major marketing push behind
Coke Classic, Minute Maid and Hi-C juice drinks, is believed
to be about $150 million, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Potter film, based on the first of British author J.K.
Rowling's bestselling children's novels, is scheduled for
release Nov. 16.
KEEPS EARNINGS RECORD INTACT
Omnicom reports that fourth-quarter net jumped 19 percent
to $142 million on a 20 percent hike in revenues to $1.8
The company earned 78 cents a share during the period compared
to the 76 cents that was forecasted by Wall Street.
Omnicom, according to James Dougherty, an analyst at Prudential
Securities, has a track record of beating the consensus
number on the Street by a "penny or two."
CEO John Wren predicted that the first-half of this year
will be a "difficult" one for ad agencies.
For the full-year, Omnicom earned $498 million, which was
up 37 percent. That included a $110 million gain from the
sale of Razorfish stocks.
Omnicom announced that it won $5 billion in new business
CFO Randy Weisenburger said Chrysler, which last year consolidated
its account at Omnicom's BBDO unit, accounted for $650 million
of that total.
VS. 'SELLERS' DESCRIBED
"Tellers" give information, leave decision-making
to the prospect, "try to win by displaying knowledge,"
and are "reactive."
"Sellers," on the other hand, "solve problems,"
gain commitment from a prospect, "win by closing sales,"
and are "pro-active."
The above differences between "tellers" and "sellers"
were described by Ross Kenneth of Affinity Model & Talent
Agency in a news release entitled, "The top 10 ways
to know if you are a teller or a seller."
Tellers, says the release, "avoid rejection" while
sellers "risk rejection."
Other points made included:
-"Tellers identify needs. Sellers intensify needs and
-"Tellers present product or service features; sellers
translate features into benefits."
-"Tellers operate on the rational level of prospect
interaction. Sellers deal with prospects' emotional and
personality needs as well as their rational needs."
-"Tellers believe that by creating a better product,
the world will beat a path to your door. Sellers believe
that you have to convince the world that it needs the better
product by beating a path to every door."
APPEALS IS ACADEMY THEME
The annual conference of the Counselors Academy of PR Society
of America May 6-8 in Puerto Rico, will focus on "gaining
the consent of target audiences by persuading their senses
and touching their emotions."
Lynn Casey, Academy chair, said the conference, called "Appealing
to the Heart," does not advocate "replacing rational
thought but it does acknowledge that for all the scientists
can tell us about the heart, the emotionalist can touch
Speakers include futurist Rolf Jensen, author of The
Dream Society; Christopher Locke, one of the authors
of The Cluetrain Manifesto, and Carol K. Goman, author
of The Human Side of High-Tech.
The conference is open to members only but a special membership
offer is available in connection with the meeting.
Deborah Radman of KCSA PR Worldwide, New York, is conference
"This conference invites PR firm leaders to consider
the seductive strength of mind-over-matter in framing messages
we send on behalf of our clients, our firms and our industry,"
Strait, who was a medical and health news correspondent
for ABC News from 1993 until 1999, has joined Hyde Park
Communications, Washington, D.C., and New York, as senior
media counselor. Strait will continue as senior VP of media
distribution at drSpock.com.
Edition, February 28, 2001, Page 8
Kenneth has drawn a sharp distinction between "tellers"
(PR people) and "sellers" (sales people).
Why bother with namby-pamby, pussyfooters like "tellers"
who only provide information and talk rationally when you
can have "sellers" who provide information but
also close the sale?
Do you want someone who is "pro-active" (seller)
or someone who is "reactive?" (teller). Someone
who not only identifies needs but "intensifies"
them, someone who also deals with the "emotional and
personality needs" of clients?
In the same vein, the theme of the Counselors Academy meeting
in San Juan (page 7) is "Appealing to the Heart,"
i.e., stressing the emotional in communicating to target
audiences. Jack Bergen, who heads a group of firms practicing
integrated marketing, has made a similar point: the group's
members are in the business of creating "campaigns
that require a strong visual and emotional component."
A communications Gresham's law is at work here. The
19th century economist found that if you circulate wooden
nickels and metal nickels, pretty soon only wooden nickels
will be in circulation.
Similarly, if you have "PR" people offering to
boost sales, attack audiences through their emotions, translate
features into benefits, convince "the world" to
beat a path to your doorstep, and on and on, you will not
want to hire a mere PR person who only promises to put out
facts and help reporters. Emotional appeals and good graphics
are staples of ads.. Why are PR people selling advertising
reporters are a fly in the ointment to emotion and graphics-based
"PR" campaigns, one result is an increase
in efforts by some PR pros to marginalize or even demonize
the media. A mailing by PR counselor James Lukaszewski takes
this tack. It says, "Journalism today is relentlessly
competitive, amoral, aggressive and negative. Survey after
survey demonstrates the public's belief that reporters use
deception and practice reckless reputation destruction."
Lukaszewski provides 11 "Truth Index Test Questions"
to apply to a story such as whether the reporter personally
witnessed the event, whether both sides are told, whether
anonymous sources are used, etc. He also quotes author Janet
Malcom as saying a journalist is "a kind of confidence
man, preying on people's vanity, ignorance, or loneliness,
gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse..."
We pointed out to Lukaszewski that reporters rated pretty
high on the 1999 PRSA Foundation's $150K study of 46 credible
spokespeople (12, 15, 19 and 23) vs. 43 for "PR specialist."
PR author Fraser Seitel, in an opinion column for the
O'Dwyer website, gave the Bush team a "C"
for its handling of the crisis caused by the sinking of
a Japanese ship by a U.S. submarine. The Bush team "started
slowly and made some fundamental errors, then recovered
nicely and hit its stride," he wrote. "First impressions
were miserable" because of mistakes made about whether
the sub was in its training area, how much aid was given
to crash victims and what the sub was doing (the "rapid
ascent" being practiced was far from ordinary). Bush
was also not prepared for the "firestorm" that
hit when the Navy said civilians were aboard, Seitel added...IABC
COO Lou Williams has told members of an "unbelievably
sloppy level of accounting practices, misjudgments and
faulty financial and member projections" at IABC dating
back to 1998. Two "huge" errors were made, one
for $200K and another for $666K, said Williams. PRSA this
month admitted failure to pay proper taxes on ad revenues,
mistakes in valuing inventories, failure to pay $100K in
1999 bills, double-counting of certain revenues, and overestimating
profits on its conference by $345K. One question is, where
was outside CPA Deloitte & Touche in all this? D&T
is the CPA for both IABC and PRSA. The presence of a big
CPA is no protection for members of groups. The board, in
effect, hides behind the "audit," which can be
a very late, surface-skimming, uninformative document...PRSA
and IABC, the two industry trade groups, have lost about
$1.4M each in the past two years and appear to be in
grave danger. Meanwhile, the major PR firms are spending
about $1M yearly in their own new group; at least $3M yearly
in ads in trade publications (with few ad bucks going to
PRSA/IABC publications) and another $1 million in award
entry fees and award banquet tickets. However, given the
irresponsible manner in which PRSA & IABC have handled
member funds, we can't urge the big firms to support the
groups unless strict controls are put in...Prudential
Securities dropped coverage of two Omnicom dot-com investments-Organic
(81 cents last week vs. $38.50 last March), and Razorfish
(now $1.44 vs. $56). OMC, a 10% owner of OGNC, bought 300,000
shares at $7.75 last August ($2.32M). OMC paid $22,300 on
12/29/00 to exercise warrants on 2,232,000 shares of Agency.com
at one cent each. Interpublic insiders, since Jan. 1, have
proposed the sale of 393,461 shares worth $16.3M while buying
none.."The Price of Being Right" is the six-page
history in Fortune Feb. 5 of star analyst Mike Mayo,
who lost his job at DLJ/Credit Suisse First Boston after
being correctly bearish about bank stocks in May 1999. The
piece concluded that "if stocks are headed for disaster,
you won't hear it from the analysts." First Call found
57 sells vs. 7,033 buys by analysts at the top ten investment