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Internet Edition, January 23, 2002, Page 1


The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has hired Omnicom's Clark & Weinstock as the Enron bankruptcy has "put an unprecedented focus on the accounting profession and its self-regulatory system." That's what AICPA CEO Barry Melancon and chair James Castellano said in a Jan. 16 memo to members.

Harvey Pitt, Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, recommended that a new group of outsiders should assume the watchdog role that is currently performed by the AICPA.

Melancon and Castellano warned members that Pitt's Jan. 17 news conference would result in "stories in all national and trade media. The developments over the next few weeks and months will no doubt be rapid," they wrote. They lauded the accounting profession's "100-year tradition of self-regulation."

Lynn Drake, an AICPA spokesperson, told this NL that C&W was hired to gain the expertise of Vin Weber, a partner there. Weber is a former Republican Congressman from Minnesota and ex-board member at AICPA. C&W's Anne Urban and Ed Kutler are co-leads on the account.


FischerHealth Strategic Communications has won the Blue Shield of California account, which serves about 2.3 million members. More than 10 firms pitched.

The Los Angeles firm will assume media relations, corporate communications and philanthropy duties that were handled by BSC's eight-person staff.

Tom Epstein, VP-PA at BSC, cited FischerHealth's "effective healthcare consumer marketing" skills in announcing the win. The shop handles WellPoint Health Networks, Blue Cross of California and PacifiCare Health Systems' initiative with the American Diabetes Assn.

Roger Fischer says his firm will "create a deeper bond and higher level of understanding between Blue Shield and its many constituents."

GCI Group picked up Cap Gemini Ernst & Young account, which is expected to bill in the $2 million range. Tom Reno, GCI New York president, is to play up the firm's "intellectual capital."... Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Assocs has been retained by embattled Andersen, which was fired by Enron last week.


Staples has awarded Manning, Selvage and Lee its $1 million-plus PR account in a competitive pitch that came down to two other finalists.

MS&L, which had been doing retail PR for Staples, will expand its portfolio to include corporate, consumer, business-to-business and e-commerce PR, said Tom Nutile, Staples VP-PR. He wouldn't name the other agencies pitching the account.

Nutile said MS&L was picked because it displayed the highest level of professionalism, has a strong Boston office and runs a global office network.

Staples had used a number of PR firms including Hill and Knowlton and Schwartz Communications.

Deborah Hohler, Staples PR manager, ran the search. Marie van Luling, MS&L/Boston managing director, heads the account.

Staples has annual revenues of more than $11 billion. Its 50,000 employees work in 1,400 office superstores in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, Holland the Portugal.


Afghanistan's Northern Alliance Junbish Party is using Philip S. Smith & Assocs., Washington, D.C., to make sure it plays a leading role in the post-Taliban government.

Smith is a former Asia policy advisor for the House Republican Research Committee and senior legislative assistant to Rep. Don Ritter (R-Pa.).

He reports to Gen. Rashid Dostum, a former Communist who switched sides and fought the Soviet Union after it invaded Afghanistan.

Dostum is the former warlord who controlled the key Afghanistan city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

Smith's firm receives about $150,000 for the work.


Michael Rosenbaum, who was president of The Financial Relations Board/BSMG Worldwide, is now CEO of Rosenbaum Advisors in Arlington Heights, Ill. He wants to counsel agencies and companies about raising their profiles with banks, venture capitalists or on Wall Street.

"Lifecycle" issues are also targeted by Rosenbaum, who says he can help clients "figure out how to get from $5 million to $10 million in revenues."

He is looking to provide counsel to agencies and companies on a project basis.

Internet Edition, January 23, 2002, Page 2


The dispute between Spector & Assocs., New York PR firm, and Grafica, Chester, N.J., ad agency, over the hiring of an employee of Spector by Grafica and the loss of the $330,000 New Jersey Lottery PR account by Spector, is continuing.

The suit was filed May 2, 2000 by Spector charging breach of contract and fraud, among other things.
A motion by Grafica for summary dismissal of the complaint was rejected by Judge Stephen J. Bernstein of New Jersey Superior Court Sept. 28, 2001.

A trial by jury may take place if agreement is not reached in an upcoming settlement conference.
Judge Bernstein found there are "genuine issues of fact as to all the potential claims" asserted by Spector and denied by Grafica.

He ruled that Grafica and Spector "clearly entered into some type of relationship in which they jointly submitted a response" to an RFP to provide advertising and PR services for the Lottery.

Contract Was $330K Yearly

The PR portion of the contract was for $330,000 yearly (plus expenses) for five years ($1.65 million). Grafica and Spector won the account but Spector later lost the PR portion. Grafica hired the Spector account manager on the Lottery, Mark Devaney.

Spector started the PR work June 1, 1999, supplying two PR pros to work on site at the Lottery.

Devaney worked on the account from June until Aug. 31, 1999, when he was hired by Grafica. Spector was fired Jan. 18, 2000. The PR account was put out for bid and the MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J., was hired as of March 2000.

Spector is saying that the loss of Devaney did not hurt its ability to handle the account but that the taking of Devaney by Grafica was part of a larger scheme for removing the business from Spector.
Judge Bernstein said, "What bothers me is that doesn't hiring Mr. Devaney undermine the relationship plaintiff had with the Lottery? This was their key person."

Devaney 'Not Key Person' Says Grafica

Grafica argued that Devaney was not the key person on the account and that Shelley Spector, president of the PR firm, was the key person.

Spector, upon the invitation of Grafica, had jointly pitched the account for about four months until March of 1999 when they won the account. The Lottery required that only the ad agency's name be on the contract and that checks would be made out to it.

The ad agency is contending that Spector was merely a vendor and not a "partner," as claimed.
Spector's attorney said vendors normally get paid for work on speculative pitches and Spector did not get paid for this work by Grafica.

The ad agency's attorney said "hundreds" of printers, graphics people and others have contributed to Grafica pitches without pay in the hopes of working on an account, if won.


Enron whistleblower Sherron Watkins suggested launching a PR and IR campaign as the "worst case" scenario in the event that the company's off-balance sheet partnerships blew up on it. In her August letter to chairman Kenneth Lay, Watkins also warned that stock analysts, reporters and hedge fund managers "will be all over Enron trying to find out the reason for the abrupt departure of president/CEO Jeffrey Skilling after a six-month stint."

Watkins wrote: "I am incredibly nervous that we will implode in a wave of accounting scandals... Skilling is resigning now for 'personal reasons' but I would think he wasn't having fun, looked down the road and knew this stuff was unfixable and would rather abandon ship now than resigning in shame in two years."

Watkins cited customer assurance plans, lawsuits, severance actions and disclosure as other worst case scenarios. Her best case scenario was to "clean up quietly if possible."

Enron filed the nation's largest bankruptcy filing in December. It has laid off more than 4,000 workers.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee released the text of Watkins' letter on Jan. 15.


Libya may be dropped from the State Dept.'s list of countries that support terrorism-thanks to a behind-the-scenes PR campaign bankrolled by oil companies with assets there, according to the Jan. 14 Wall Street Journal.

Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qadhafi used the Sept. 11 attacks to renounce terrorism in an effort to show the U.S. that he has changed his ways.

Qadhafi has offered the U.S. assistance in investigating groups that are suspected of having ties with Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network.
Libya remains a threat to the U.S. and its European allies. The CIA reported last week that Libya has stocks of chemical and biological weapons, and is in the market for long-range missile capability.

The U.S. slapped sanctions on Libya in 1986.

Duberstein, Cohen Go to Bat for Libya

Conoco, Amerada Hess and Marathon have hired Ken Duberstein, former Reagan White House chief ofstaff, to lobby on "initiatives to protect U.S. companies' assets in Libya," according to his registration filing.

Conoco estimates that it has lost $5 billion in revenues because of U.S. sanctions.

The Duberstein Group works for clients such as The Business Roundtable, General Motors, United Airlines, American Gaming Assn. and Goldman Sachs.

Veteran Washington, D.C., lobbyist Herman Cohen, who was Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, also has been working to improve ties with Libya.

Cohen and Woods Int'l works for The Ghribi Foundation, which wants sanctions on Libya lifted.

The U.K. and Saudi Arabia have urged the Bush White House to end the sanctions to show its 'war on terror' is not exclusively aimed at Muslim states.

Internet Edition, January 23, 2002, Page 3


Threads, a magazine for sewing enthusiasts since 1985, published in Newtown, Conn., by Taunton Press, is adding articles on home decorating, machine embroidery and the wealth of new materials, supplies and machines available in the marketplace.

Carol Spier, a journalist and former theatrical costumer, who was just named executive editor, has been put in charge of developing the new content.

She will continue to expand the magazine's content to complement its focus on technologies and design inspiration for garment creation and embellishment, according to Kathleen Davis, Taunton's editor-in-chief for Threads.

Davis said there is a resurgent need for solid information because many Baby Boomers are returning to sewing as a creative outlet and many others are getting into it for the first time as they start their families and move into their first homes.

Davis said Spier and the editorial staff will continue to search out experts and enthusiasts in the sewing world who can share their knowledge and experience with the growing community of sewers.

Spier, an author of several home decorating, garden design and cookbooks, was most recently Taunton's senior editor for fiber arts books and developed three upcoming books entiled "Embellish Chic," "Sew Vintage," and "Stencil, Stamp, Paint, Emboss."


Wine Country Living, a bimonthly magazine based in Sonoma, Calif., has started a new TV program.

The new broadcast magazine made its debut on Jan. 1 on NBC-3, (formerly KNTV), when the San-Jose-based station became the NBC network affiliate for the San Franscico Bay Area.

The show will introduce viewers to the people who have made California's wine regions trendsetters in food, wine, travel destinations and gracious living.

The magazine visits winery cellars, restaurants, gardens, homes, inns and gourment food sources.

Jim Gordon, who is editor-in-chief of Wine Country Living, is the program's managing editor. He can be reached at 707/935-0111; fax: 935-4848.

Program information:

Bloomberg Television is producing a new syndicated weekly report, called "On the Weekend," for local TV stations' weekend programming.

The report will provide an overview of the major stories that moved the financial markets and a look ahead to the upcoming week's action and issues. The consumer-oriented report also features new product launches.

Karen Toulon is producer of the new show.

The Santa Monica (Calif.) Daily Press has begun publishing editions every day except on Sundays.

The free circulation paper was started by Dave Danforth, who has helped start seven free daily papers since he co-founded the Aspen Daily News in 1978. His other papers are: The Conway Daily Sun and Berlin Daily Sun in New Hampshire, and The Palo Alto Daily News, Berkeley Daily Planet, and The San Mateo Daily Journal in California.

Santa Monica, a city of 84,000, has not had a daily newspaper to call its own since The Outlook was closed in March 1998, and The Los Angeles Times shut down its neighborhood supplement that focused on Santa Monica.

The Daily Press, which is printed in Gardena, has a press run of 4,000.

Carolyn Sackariason is editor of The Daily Press.

The Park Slope Paper, a weekly newspaper, has begun covering news in the Windsor Terrace, Sunset Park and Prospect Heights neighborhoods of Brooklyn, N.Y. Three weeklies, which had been covering these communities, were recently merged into the Park Slope Paper.

The PSP, a broadsheet, is competing against The Park Slope News, a tabloid weekly, published for many years by the Home Reporter, which also publishes The Sunset News. Both papers are free.

The PSP is one of about a dozen weekly papers published by the Brooklyn Paper chain for residents of the borough. Editorial offices for all of the publications are located at 26 Court st.

Neil Sloane, who is managing editor of the PSP, can be reached at 718/834-9350, ext. 119.

"Urban Latino," a syndicated weekly TV newsmagazine, will make its New York regional debut on the Metro TV cable channel in April.

The half-hour weekly program will explore the Latino world of fashion, culture and music.

Celines Toribio, who will host the program, will interview well-known and less-well-known Latino musicians, actors and cultural figures.

The show's executive producer Robert Rose, a former Univision exec, is also handling syndication of a national version to debut in October. The national version will expand on interviews and stories that air on Metro TV and add original segments as well.


Gene Smith of Utility Spotlight magazine has been nominated to become the next president of the New York Financial Writers' Assn.

He will succeed Susan Rodetis, a freelance writer, who will join the board.

The other new officers on the official ballot, which was proposed by a committee headed by Myron Kandel, CNNfn, are: VP-Richard Papiernmik, Nation's Restaurant News; treasurer-Brad Finkelstein, National Mortgage News, and secretary-asst. treasurer-Noelle Knox, USA Today.

Election of new officers will take place at the annual meeting, Jan. 23, 6:30 at the Marriott Marquis hotel in New York.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, January 23, 2002, Page 4


The New York Sun will make its debut as a broadsheet daily newspaper this spring, according to Seth Lipsky, who is the paper's president/CEO and editor.

Lipsky, former editor of The Forward, an English-language edition of The Jewish Daily Forward, said the Sun will fill a void created by the collapse of several broadsheets in recent decades and the move by The New York Times to national coverage.

The Sun, which will publish Monday-Friday, will cover New York news, including politics, business, real estate, philanthropy, education, religion, culture, entertainment and sports. It will have sections on such beats as shopping, fashion, health, technology, food and travel.

Coverage will come from the Sun's own columnists and a group of freelance op-ed contributors.

The editorial page will stand for growth, lower taxes, and will ventilate many other important issues of reform, said Lipsky.

Ira Stoll, who started, which offers a daily critique of The New York Times, is managing editor of the Sun, whose headquarters have been established at 105 Chambers st., which is adjacent to City Hall.

The paper will be sold in all five boroughs and will be a single copy purchase on newsstands and by home delivery.

The financial backers of the Sun include: Charles Brunie, chairman emeritus, Oppenheimer Capital; Andrew Cader, co-CEO and senior managing dir., Spear Leeds & Kellogg Gov't Securities; Russell Carson, general partner, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stow and chairman of Rockefeller Univ.; Richard Gilder, partner, Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co.; Roger Hertog, vice chairman, Alliance Capital Mgmt.; Hollinger Int'l, chaired by Conrad Black; Bruce Kovner, founder and chairman of Caxton Corp. and chairman, Juilliard School; Joe Reich, founding investor and director of N.Y.C. Investment Fund; Joseph Steinberg, president, Leucadia Nat'l Corp.; Michael Steinhardt, founder of Steinhardt Partners and chairman of Tel Aviv Univ., and Thomas Tisch, managing partner of FLF Assocs.

Goodman Media International is handling PR for the Sun.


Pam Abrams was named VP and editor-in-chief of Scholastic Parent and Family Publishing.

She will oversee all editorial content for Scholastic Parent & Child, which reaches 6.3 million readers, and Early Childhood Today, which goes to more than 250,000 teachers and child care directors.

Abrams will also supervise the editorial content for the new parenting section on

Abrams, previously editorial director of, replaces Judsen Culbreth, who was named VP and editorial director of Scholastic Family Custom Publishing.


Cele Lalli, 68, former editor-in-chief of Modern Bride, was killed in an auto accident near where she lived in Newtown, Conn., on Jan. 14.

Bill Colson, 51, will step down as managing editor of Sports Illustrated at the conclusion of the Winter Olympics in February. He has been SI's top editor since January 1996, and at SI for nearly 24 years. His replacement will be named within the next few weeks.

David Lear, formerly communications director of the Florida Conservation Assn., has joined Motor Boating magazine as its sportfishing columnist.

Mike Hurewitz, 57, a reporter for The Albany (N.Y.) Times Union, died from complications following surgery to donate part of his liver to his 54-year-old brother, a doctor.

Glenn Law, previously editor of Florida Sportsman, was named senior editor for Salt Water Sportsman magazine, based in Boston.

John Miller, a reporter for ABC News, who resigned as spokesman for the New York Police Department in 1994 after accusing Mayor Giuliani of trying to control information, was named co-anchor of "20/20" with Barbara Walters.

Manfred "Terry" Ehrich III, 61, publisher and editor of Hemmings Motor News in Bennington, Vt., died Jan. 10.

David Geracioti, previously with Arrow Partners, a Wall Street investment firm, has joined Primedia's Registered Rep magazine as editor. He is a former senior editor with SmartMoney magazine and a columnist at Individual Investor magazine.

John Fund, an editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal, is taking a leave of absence to write a book. He will continue to write column for Dow Jones'

David Burgin has resigned as editor of The San Francisco Examiner. His wife, Judy, handles PR for the San Francisco-based attorney who is representing John Walker, an American who was captured in Afghanistan.

Cheryl Gould was put in charge of CNBC's primetime and weekend programming. Juan Aruego, morning news editor, and Phelps Hawkins, afternoon news editor, have traded time slots.

Laura Hockridge has replaced Laura Lee as segment producer for "Business Center."

Alan Hughes was recently named business editor of Black Enterprise magazine.

Internet Edition, January 23, 2002, Page 7


A freighter which the Israeli Navy says was carrying weapons from Iran to the Palestinian Authority is sending PR waves rippling throughout the Middle East as U.S. officials express concern over an Iran-Palestinian connection. Iran called the ship's seizure in international waters in the Red Sea a PR stunt.

Iran's official radio outlet has tagged the weapons shipment found aboard the freighter Karine-A as a "false propaganda claim" of the Israeli government, while P.A. president Yasser Arafat has backed off an initial denial of involvement under pressure from the U.S. and Europe and ordered an inquiry which has pointed to three P.A. officials who have reportedly not been detained.

The Karine was stocked with 50 tons of Iranian-made small arms, mortars, rockets, rocket-propelled grenades and explosives.

Some media have questioned the coincidental timing of Israel's capture of the ship with the arrival of U.S. envoy Anthony Zinni, as well as what Israel says is proof of the P.A.'s involvement and the high risk of smuggling arms in the Middle East.

Risky Way of Shipping Stockpile

As London's Guardian points out, anyone deciding to supply weapons from the Gulf would have to take into account not only the effects of a successful delivery but also the very high probability of being caught, particularly when trying to go through the Suez Canal, where all ships are subjected to thorough inspection by the Egyptians.

The area is monitored to guard against Iraqi oil smuggling and to look for escaping supporters of Osama bin Laden, said the Guardian.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon blasted Iran's involvement, calling the Islamic country "the center of world terror."

Lebanese, Iraqi Connection

The ship's captain, Omar Akawi, said he was delivering the cargo to the Palestinian Authority and was in contact with a weapons procurement official for the P.A.

Time magazine reported that the ship's crew said the weapons were loaded from boats off the Iranian coast in an operation headed by an assistant to Lebanese militia leader, Imad Mughniyah, whose group has close ties to Iran and is blamed for the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.

Time said that Israel was "infuriated" by the muted world reaction to the weapons seizure. The Israeli government suggested last week that the U.S. is trying to look the other way so as not to derail efforts by Zinni to establish a ceasefire.

Iran, P.A. Have Differences

Iranian involvement in the episode has also been questioned because of strong differences between Iran and the Palestinian Authority.

Daniel Pipes and Jonathan Schanzer of the Middle East Forum dismissed Arab news reports that the seizure of the Karine-A was an Israeli stunt.

They compared reports that the ship was a set-up to claims that the video of bin Laden discussing Sept. 11 was a fake and that the attacks were the work of Israeli and U.S. agents.

In an op-ed piece in the New York Post, they said that as long as Muslim governments "remain in denial, the stage is set for fresh disasters."


New York's Development Counsellors International has come up with a dozen leads for the Spanish Embassy which is trying to lure U.S. pharmaceutical companies to invest there, said Andy Levine, DCI president.

"We use a predictive model that we developed with a research firm to identify U.S. companies that may be interested in moving to Europe," he added.

DCI then drew up a company profile and set up appointments with executives with appropriate Spanish officials. The firm's contact is Luis de Velasco, who is Spain's trade commissioner.

DCI has a similar investment promotion job with Manitoba's Trade and Investment Corp., which wants to develop the energy resources of that Canadian province.


A nutrition expert says in the current issue of Time magazine that potatoes are a major contributor to heart disease and diabetes.

This message is at odds with Ketchum's PR campaign for the National Potato Promotion Board, which promotes spuds in the U.S. as a source of Vitamin C and potassium. Those elements are linked to the possible prevention of stroke and cancer.

The story in Time's Jan. 21 issue quotes Meir Stampfer, a nutrition professor at Harvard University's School of Public Health, who is chair of the Department of Epidemiology, as saying eating potatoes is a "perfect setup for heart disease and diabetes" because the body is getting pure glucose.

Stampfer's controversial theory about potatoes is based on a study he and his colleague at Harvard made of the eating habits of 75,000 female nurses over a 10-year period.

He said certain foods, like potatoes, white rice and white bread, have what is called a high glycemic index. That means they cause blood sugar levels to rise faster than do other foods, like beans, which are broken down more slowly.

Stampfer now recommends foods based on their glycemic index, whole grain bread, for example, over white bread, and basmati rice instead of white rice, and he steers clear of potatoes.

According to Stampfer, when a person eats a potato and its starch mixes with saliva the tightly bundled molecules immediately get turned into sugars and make a beeline for the blood. "It's a perfect setup for heart disease and diabetes," he said.

Stampfer said the problem is greatest in people who are overweight.

Internet Edition, January 23, 2002, Page 8



Enron's board, in an act of unmitigated corporate gall, fired Andersen as its auditor last Thursday. Chairman Ken Lay, who has been the invisible man during the Enron crisis, said the firm was willing to give "Andersen the benefit of the doubt," until its special committee looking into "accounting and other issues relating to certain transactions" completed its probe. The board was compelled to get rid of Andersen following news that the accounting firm shredded Enron documents that the SEC wanted to look at.

The board seems to overlook the fact that Enron executives created the shady off-balance sheet transactions that ultimately led to the biggest Chapter 11 filing, last month, leaving 4,000 people without their jobs and many losing their life savings. They prepared the books that were certified by Andersen. Lay was warned Aug. 15 by an Enron whistleblower that the company could implode in a wave of accounting scandals. Lay's reaction to the letter: he continued to unload his stock, while reassuring employees the future was bright. "As I mentioned at the employee meeting, one of my highest priorities is to restore investor confidence in Enron," wrote Lay in an e-mail to workers on Aug. 21. "This should result in a significantly higher stock price." Andersen, of course, was wrong to destroy the documents, and should have dropped Enron when it became concerned about its risky ventures.

By firing Andersen, Enron is displaying "a heaping helping of chutzpah," wrote Dan Ackman of "Isn't Enron firing Andersen a little like O.J. Simpson evicting Kato Kaelin because he didn't wake up and catch that prowler," he wrote.

Enron has launched a search for a new auditor to replace Andersen, which isn't too broke up about the split from one of its major clients. "Our relationship with Enron ended when the company's business failed and it went into bankruptcy. Andersen is committed to continuing to address the issues related to the collapse of Enron in a forthright and candid manner," it said in response to being fired by the Houston energy company.

The Chicago-based auditor hired Omnicom's Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Assocs. unit to help restore its reputation. That won't be an easy task. Seventy percent of respondents to a poll currently being conducted by "O'Dwyer's PR Daily" believe Andersen's reputation is beyond repair.

The White House is getting a little uppity about its close ties with Enron, according to both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times-both supporters of the Bush Administration. After an initial openness, the Bush White House has shifted into a defensive crouch, said the WSJ. Spokesperson "Ari Fleischer has accused the media of embarking on open-ended fishing expeditions," reports the WT. He has challenged reporters to come up with specific accusations of wrongdoings.

President Bush, who used to refer to Lay as "Kenny Boy," is now downplaying his friendship with the Enron chief. He reminds all willing to listen that Kenny Boy was a holdover from the Administration of Gov. Ann Richards, who was whipped by Dubya. Lay, however, did have enough political juice to meet with VP Cheney a half dozen times to help him develop his "dig and drill" energy policy.

Democrat Henry Waxman is curious about those meetings and others that Lay and his executive team might have had with the Bush Administration.
The California Democrat has become an ardent pen pal to Kenny Boy, sending him letter after letter demanding information about various contacts with the Government.

He expanded his scope of inquiry on Jan. 15, asking Lay about a videotape of Enron executives rallying the troops about the company's bright prospects. Former Enron President Jeff Skilling said during a Jan. 30, 2001 video that Enron stock would trade at $116 by the end of the year. At that time, Enron shares changed hands at $80 each.

Skilling hit the road in August, retiring for personal reasons after a scant six months on the job. He wasn't around to see Enron go bust.

Burson-Marsteller is big news in the U.K. these days for hiring former Greenpeace head Peter Melchett as a consultant in its corporate responsibility unit. The Guardian's Tim Dowling revealed details of a "hush-hush memo" from B-M's corporate social responsibility unit welcoming Melchett aboard.

The one-time environmental activist is to head B-M's "'corporate conscience' desk, which will work to uncover the hidden humanity inside organizations such as Monsanto, Union Carbide, the Saudi royal family and Tesco."

Melchett is to be given free reign to criticize clients about their environmental records, profits and employment records. His role is to become the "in-house scourge dedicated to fighting short-sightedness and injustice wherever he may find it."

The reason: "Once the public sees that our clients are willing to tolerate a certain amount of constructive criticism-and are even willing to pay for it-they will realize that everybody, including Exxon, Shell and the Indonesian government, makes mistakes sometimes, and that we're all just trying to do our best in a confusing and fast-changing world," said the memo, a satirical spoof on the Melchett affair.
--Kevin McCauley


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