Edition, February 27, 2002, Page 1
WEIGHT WATCHERS FATTENS UP
Weight Watchers International,
which completed one of the most successful IPOs of 2001,
has awarded Lippert/Heilshorn & Assocs. its IR account
after considering a "number of firms," Bob Hollweg,
WWI's VP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, told
Hollweg would neither
discuss what other firms pitched nor budget. "It's
my gut instinct not to talk about that," he said. Hollweg
said L/H&A was selected because it was "most suited
for our needs."
WWI, on Feb. 19, reported
fourth quarter net income of $81.8 million, which surpassed
Wall Street's expectations, according to Reuters.
Keith Lippert is the
son of Al, one of WWI's founders. That relationship had
nothing to do with L/H&A getting the work, stressed
McDONALD'S SERVES $5M PR PLAN
Golin/Harris International's Chicago office is handling
an internal and external PR program for McDonald's Corp.
to help the fast-food chain retain employees and improve
on staff turnover rates as high as 100 percent at some of
G/HI, an Interpublic firm which has had a long relationship
with McDonald's, was "quietly hired" to work on
the project earlier this year as part of a previously announced
plan to improve service at the fast-food restaurants, according
to the Chicago Tribune.
The campaign to retain employees could be one of the country's
biggest internal and external employee communications projects.
The campaign is said to be worth $3-$5 million.
The Mortgage Bankers
of America, which represents about 3,000 real estate
finance companies and their 350,000 employees, is looking
to hire a senior VP-communications with a minimum of ten
years of experience. The position reports to president/COO
Jonathan Kempner. Nels Olson in Korn/Ferry International's
Washington, D.C., office is handling the search.
Albert (Rusty) Brashear,
59, is retiring from Motorola, in Schaumberg, Ill., where
he is senior VP-corporate communications. Janilee Johnson,
corporate VP of communications, will succeed Brashear, who
was deputy press secretary in the Reagan Administration
before joining Motorola in 1987.
B&D PAYS BROTMAN $235K
Image Dynamics, Phyllis Brotman's defunct PR firm, has
won its four-year legal battle with Black & Decker as
Maryland's top court has refused to consider an appeal by
either party. She receives $235,000, representing a $195K
verdict and $40K in interest from the toolmaker.
Brotman had sued B&D $1.5 million after it pulled
its account from ID, and gave the business to a new firm
started by David Olsen, who had worked on the toolmaker's
account while at ID.
Brotman charged B&D with "unjust enrichment"
because it used her firm's media list, and with "tortious
interference of contract" for hiring Olsen who had
signed a nonsolicitation agreement with ID. A B&D attorney
told The Daily Record that his client won on the
interference count, but lost on the unjust enrichment charge.
He called the legal tussle a "long battle for a relatively
insignificant amount of money."
Brotman said B&D, an ID client for eight years, generated
about one-third of the firm's business. She merged ID into
Gray, Kirk/Van Sant in 1997, and became an executive VP
there. Brotman expects to reopen ID in Maryland.
ASG HIRED BY ZIMBABWE WATCHDOG
The Zimbabwe Democracy Trust has hired Alexander Strategy
Group to monitor U.S. policy toward that African nation,
and help promote freedom and economic development there.
Members of ZDT, according to its website, believe Zimbabwe
can attract foreign investment only if it can improve its
democratic record and establish good governance.
President Robert Mugabe, 78, who has ruled the country
since it gained independence from the U.K. in 1980, is a
key obstacle to that goal. A special report in the Feb.
23-March 1 Economist says Mugabe has become more
entrenched and retains power via corruption and by unleashing
thugs to attack political opponents.
ZDT and others are concerned whether the March 9-10 electoral
showdown between Mugabe and Movement for Democratic Change
leader Morgan Tsvangirai will be a free and fair vote. The
Economist reported that Mugabe has vowed that his opponents
will never, ever rule.
Ed Buckham is among the four ASG staffers that have registered
as ZDT lobbyists. He is a former aide to Rep. Tom DeLay
Edition, February 27, 2002, Page 2
SOME FEAR PENTAGON PROPAGANDA
A plan that would involve
the U.S. military in overseas propaganda efforts has generated
opposition among those who fear it will undermine the Defense
The propaganda campaign
would be run by the Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence,
which was created shortly after Sept. 11 to publicize the
U.S. government's perspective in Islamic countries and to
generate support for the U.S.' "war on terror."
The New York Times
reported Feb. 19 that the OSI is "developing plans
to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign
media organizations" in an effort "to influence
public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and
The Pentagon denies that
it would ever plant false "news" items. While
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld defended the Pentagon's
need to conduct secret activities intended to deceive the
enemy during times of war, he said "government officials,
the Department of Defense, this secretary and the people
that work with me tell the American people and people of
the world the truth." He also said on Feb. 24 the office
may be eliminated.
To help the new office,
the Pentagon has hired the Rendon Group, a Washington, D.C.-based
PR firm run by John Rendon Jr., a former campaign aide to
President Jimmy Carter.
The firm, which is being
paid about $100,000 a month, has done extensive work for
the CIA, the Kuwaiti royal family and the Iraqi National
Congress, the group seeking to oust President Saddam Hussein.
NEXIS ALLOWS FREE SEARCHES
Lexis/Nexis, which formerly cost $1,200 and more for yearly
membership and whose searches could quickly run into hundreds
of dollars, now allows free ad hoc searches of its 22,000-publication
Users only have to pay if they print out documents, which
are described in three and four-line entries. Cost is $3.25
each, which includes 25 cents tax. The charge is the same
for all documents.
Lexis/Nexis, which pioneered in providing full text of
stories in media, appears to be responding to competition
from free services such as www.google.com,
which can turn up a million or more documents in a fraction
of a second.
Included in the Nexis database is 13 years of Jack O'Dwyer's
Newsletter and O'Dwyer's PR Services Report in
full text. Lexis/Nexis can search its entire database in
a second or two but searches are cancelled if more than
1,000 entries come up. Refinement is needed.
Address is www.lexisnexis.com.
Users go to the "Sign on to your service" box
in the upper left hand corner and scroll down to the third
item, "Lexis/ Nexis by credit card." Next steps
are clicking "Pay as you go," "News sources,"
and "General news." Default time period for searches
is 60 days but this can be changed to two years or to unlimited.
Lexis/ Nexis provides assistance (800/543-6862).
BUSH WANTS CIC TO BE PERMANENT
President George Bush wants to make the Coalition Information
Center a permanent office of global diplomacy. The CIC,
which is headed by Jim Wilkinson, was formed by Karen Hughes,
senior advisor to the President, and her British counterpart
to create a more positive image of the U.S. after the Sept.
"The President believes it is a critical part of
national security to communicate U.S. foreign policy to
a global audience in times of peace as well as war,"
said Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director.
The new office will coordinate the public statements of
State, Defense and other departments like the Voice of America
to ensure that foreign correspondents in Washington, D.C.,
as well as foreign leaders and opinion-makers overseas understand
the Administration's policies.
Charlotte Beers, a former ad executive, who is now in
charge of public diplomacy at the State Department, has
also been attempting to make U.S. policies and culture more
familiar to foreigners.
ENRON TO CHANGE NAME
Enron's Mark Palmer, VP/corporate communications, said
the company will change its name and move its corporate
headquarters in Houston.
"If we're going to have a reorganized company that's
coming out of bankruptcy, we need a new name and a fresh
start," said Palmer.
Enron, which many believe is liquidating rather than reorganizing,
will leave its 50-story skyscraper and lease smaller office
Palmer said the name change will not occur right away.
An outside branding company made-up the Enron name for
the new company, which was created out of the merger of
Internorth and HNG in 1986.
The naming consultants had originally come up with "Enteron,"
but before it was made official, an employee discovered
in a medical dictionary that it was another name for the
Consultants kept the "En-" prefix, denoting
"energy," and the "-ron" suffix to connote
EC CHARGED WITH MASTERCARD
Environics Communications has added MasterCard Canada
to its client portfolio following a pitch that included
a dozen firms, Andrea Ellison, an EC senior consultant,
told this NL. The list was chopped to six. Goodman Communications
was the incumbent, but dropped out of the review, she said.
EC president Bruce MacLellan promises that his firm will
add "power and recognition" to the brand.
Purchase, N.Y.-headquartered MasterCard International
handed its $500K-plus account to Waggener Edstrom in December.
That independent PR firm won the pitch in competition with
WPP's Ogilvy PR; BCom3's Manning, Selvage & Lee and
Omnicom's Brodeur Worldwide, which was the incumbent.
Edition, February 27, 2002, Page 3
MAKES EXECUTIVE CHANGES
Teya Ryan, who remade CNN's "Headline News," was
promoted to general manager of the Atlanta-based cable TV
She succeeds Sid Bedingfield, who was appointed executive
editor of the CNN News Group.
Taking the Headline News spot vacated by Ryan is Rolando
Santos, who started and ran CNN en Espanol. Chris Crommett
becomes the new general manager of the Spanish-language
Eason Jordan will continue to oversee worldwide news-gathering
for CNN and report directly to Walter Isaacson, CNN News
William Bennett, who is co-director of Empower America and
former secretary of education and director of the Office
of National Drug Control Policy, is joining CNN as a network
Bennett will offer his commentary on social and cultural
issues, primarily on "American Morning with Paula Zahn."
Starting March 4, Bennett will work out of CNN's Washington,
D.C., bureau. He will also contribute to other CNN programming.
JOINS CNBC AS D.C. BUREAU CHIEF
Alan Murray is joining CNBC as the New Jersey-based cable
network's Washington, D.C., bureau chief.
Murray, who has been The Wall Street Journal's Washington
bureau chief since 1993, will keep his connection by writing
a weekly column for the politics page.
He will become the co-host of what is now to be called "Capitol
Report With Alan Murray and Tyler Mathisen."
Matt Cuddy, the CNBC bureau chief since 1998, is now the
bureau's news director.
TO SUCCEED WALLACE AT PEOPLE
Martha Nelson, 49, will take over as managing editor of
People magazine on April 1.
Nelson, who is managing editor of In Style, succeeds
Carol Wallace, who, at her own request, is stepping down
after five years as People's top editor.
Charla Lawson, 45, was named managing editor of In Style,
where she currently is executive editor.
'RICKI LAKE' HAS NEW
was named to replace Gail Steinberg as executive producer
of "Ricki Lake."
talk show is produced by Columbia TriStar Domestic Television.
has been with the younger-skewing talk show since it was
started in 1993, is going to work with CTDT programmers
to develop future cable and syndicated programs.
Rourke, who also
produces court series "Judge Hatchett" for CTDT,
will oversee both shows from New York.
are planned for the show, which is averaging a 1.8 rating
nationally, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Ricki Lake has
been cleared for 2002-03 in more than 90% of the country.
APPLE NAMED ASSOC. EDITOR
R.W. (Johnny) Apple
Jr., 67, was promoted to associate editor by The New
York Times' executive editor Howell Raines.
Apple, who has
been the paper's chief correspondent for the past five years,
will remain based in Washington, D.C.
Raines said Apple, who joined the Times in 1963,
will travel and write about the arts, politics, foreign
affairs and other topics.
ISHAM TO RUN NEW ABC
a longtime senior producer of "World News Tonight,"
will head a new investigative projects unit for ABC News.
The unit was formed
by the merger of three investigative news and legal teams
into one unit, called the I-Team.
Joining the unit
are the teams led by chief investigative correspondent Brian
Ross and senior legal correspondent Cynthia McFadden. The
senior investigative producers of the unit are Chris Viasto
and Eric Avram.
DONLON TO OVERSEE ONLINE
Brian Donlon was
named VP/general manager of iVillage TV, an online media
He will oversee
all programming and production of "The Newborn Channel,"
the direct satellite program shown in hospitals.
He will also manage
The Wireless Channel, which will start in fall 2002.
Donlon, who had
been executive producer of "Parent Soup" and "Newborn
Woman," spent six years at Lifetime TV, where he created
Lifetime Sports. He has been a media correspondent for CNBC,
a senior producer for CBS News' "Early Show" and
a reporter and TV critic for USA Today.
SEVENTEEN ADDS NEW
magazine has added the following new columns:
letter from Annemarie Iverson, editor-in-chief
-"Changing Room": designers dress celebrities
-"Do-over": monthly makeovers
-"William Watch": keeping tabs on Prince William
-"Scrapbook": on location with celebrities
-"Soundcheck": new musicians
-"All Access": behind the scenes entertainment
-"Almost Famous": new CD releases, and
-"My Story": true stories of teens.
Jodi LaPoint, PR
coordinator, can provide more information, at 212/204-4315.
news continued on next page)
Edition, February 27, 2002, Page 4
TV SERIES TO IMPART PATRIOTIC
producer of "Black Hawk Down" and "Top Gun,"
is teaming with ABC-TV to produce "Profiles from the
Front Line"-a 13-episode series dealing with branches
of the U.S. military engaged in various battlefield actions.
Slated to air this
summer or fall, the reality series is said by ABC to have
the "full cooperation" of the Pentagon and U.S.
Department of Defense, and will send producers and cameramen
to hot spots around the world, where American military will
be acting in the nation's security interests.
Andrea Wong, ABC's
SVP of alternative series and specials, said the series
"would not be possible without the full, unparalled
support and cooperation of the Defense Department and the
Bertran van Munster, who will work with Bruckheimer on the
series, said this is going to be a "very visual reality
show with a strong patriotic message."
EXHIBITORS CAN MAXIMIZE
whose PR firm runs the Press Center at the annual Toy Fair
in New York, gave exhibitors these tips for maximizing news
1. Ask journalists
what type of story they are working on and steer them toward
appropriate products in your showroom.
2. Make your remarks
succinct as journalists work on deadlines (let them determine
the length of the interview).
3. Have professonal
pictures of your product(s) available to give to the media
(either in person or in a media kit).
4. Have your logo
on all pictures of your products.
5. Mention the
name of your product and company frequently throughout the
6. Give journalists
a news release and brochure about the product(s) in question
at the conclusion of the interview.
7. Give them your
business card so they may contact you if they need additional
BABY BOOMER MAG SEEKS
an online magazine for Baby Boomers, now in its third year,
is seeking on-going relationships with PR professionals.
The site, which
is focused on active lifestyle, was founded by former network
news correspondents David Henderson (CBS News and recently
SVP at Edelman PR Worldwide in Washington, D.C.) and Gregg
Dobbs (ABC News and currently a syndicated newspaper columnist).
publicists to submit ideas and information for use as lifestyle,
health & fitness and travel & leisure feature stories.
The stories should
not be more than 800 words in length with accompanying web-compatible
low resolution visuals. Check BoomerCafe for submission
be e-mailed to [email protected].
No snailmail or phone calls, said Henderson, who is located
in Reston, Va.
ZIFF DAVIS TO PUBLISH
E3 SHOW DAILY
Ziff Davis Media
Game Group will publish a daily newspaper during the Electronic
Entertainment Expo (E3) on May 22-24, at the Los Angeles
The annual video
and PC game industry event attracts more than 62,000 attendees,
450 exhibitors and 1,000 product debuts.
The E3 Show
Daily will be staffed by a team of editors from Electronic
Gaming Monthly, PlayStation Magazine, Computer
Gaming World and GameNow.
John Davison said reporters will scour the show to provide
attendees with the hottest stories and news from the show
contact the E3 editorial team at [email protected].
Center" is a new section on BHG.com,
a website backed by Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
The site, which features hundreds of photographs, offers
home decorating ideas and projects.
Emily Sacher, who
is editor-in-chief of BHG.com
as well as Ladies' Home Journal online (LHJ.com),
can be pitched story ideas at 212/455-1179.
has relaunched its auto section website (www.money.com/pf/autos).
Along with automotive news, features and loan information,
the site will provide information on hundreds of different
cars. Peter Valdez-DaPena is editor of the auto section.
He is at 212/714-5777.
Motor News has a new bimonthly publication devoted to
Ford's Mustang. Hemmings Mustang & Tech Guide,
which will be dedicated to all years of Ford's Mustang,
will feature interviews with significant personalities from
the Mustang world, and a soon-to-be added new products section.
is editor-in-chief. Publicists can pitch him at [email protected].
a new weekly program on CNN, made its debut on Jan. 26.
The show, which replaces "Earth Matters," "Science
& Technology Week," and "CNNDotCom,"
focuses on consumer-driven technology, science and environmental
who is field producer, wants to get information by e-mail:
Eldridge, a reporter for WTOP Radio, in Washington,
D.C., told publicists at a PRSA/NCC meeting they should
avoid giving exclusives. He said it is "very disconcerting"
to read about what will be happening at an event, which
he plans to cover, in the morning newspaper.
Edition, February 27, 2002, Page 7
PROFIT UP BUT
EPS DOWN AT WPP
WPP Group in 2001 rose 10.8% to $390 million from $352M
in the previous year but per share net fell 20.5% to $1.71
from $2.15 because of additional shares issued for the acquisition
of Young & Rubicam in 2000.
of British pounds, per share net fell 16%.
Also a cause
of the per share decrease was losses from technology investments
made over the last four years.
not counting acquisitions, were down 3% for the year. They
were flat in the first nine months and down 9% in the last
including the acquisition of Y&R, Tempus Group (media
buyers), and other companies, rose nearly 35% to $5.8 billion.
All 2001 acquisitions were done for cash, including $558M
for the hostile takeover of Tempus (revenues: $232M).
the stock paid for Y&R in 2000 was transferred in 2001,
raising the number of shares outstanding from 865,978,000
to 1,157,080,255 under the U.K. system. Shares outstanding
in the U.S. system (ADRs or Advance Depository Receipts)
total 229 million.
rose to $1.28 billion as of Dec. 31 from $35M a year earlier.
In the first five weeks to Feb. 6, 2001, net debt averaged
$1.52 billion vs. net debt of $360M for the same period
last year at 2002 exchange rates.
of the higher debt, net interest payable rose to $102.7M
from $74.5M. The increased profitability "was more
than offset by debt acquired, the increased level of acquisition
activity, and share repurchases," said WPP.
the PR/PA sector was the "most affected by the worldwide
recession." It had a 6.7% decline in underlying revenues.
"Although Hill and Knowlton's revenue rose in 2001,
Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy PR Worldwide and Cohn & Wolfe
suffered significant revenue declines," said the report.
Lerer & Montgomery continued to make a strong contribution,
before taxes, goodwill, investment gains and investment
losses was up nearly 29% to $705.4M. Goodwill rose to 4.439
billion British pounds from 3.497B.
about 14 million sq. ft. worldwide at a cost of $466M in
2001. About one million sq. ft. rented for $39M, mostly
in the U.S., is under-used.
Sorrell said "2001 has been a brutal year" and
that 2002 will be "difficult but hopefully not as traumatic."
WPP expects ad/marketing growth to be "flat" in
2002 and "slightly better" in 2003.
PR MUST FIGHT
PR professionals must stop being "compliant communicators"
in scandalous situations like Enron and must "have
the guts to push back and risk their jobs," said Shelley
Spector, president of Spector & Assocs., and founder,
National Assn. of Independent PR Agencies.
PR Society of America and the International Assn. of Business
Communicators have as yet issued no statements on the Enron
scandal being investigated by Congress.
Jane McCahon, chairman of the National IR Institute, referred
to the scandal briefly in her "Chairman's Note"
in the February IR Update of NIRI.
Must Assert Selves
Spector said PR pros must not have a role in deceiving
"Until then, despite all our best intentions and
integrity, we can't expect bad clients to treat us like
anything more than their own tools for deception,"
she said. "Maybe next time, if given a choice, we won't
work for bad clients," she added.
The Enron case, she said, has been marked by "deliberate
The convoluted financial arrangements of Enron were enough
to foil even the brightest translator of accounting and
legal jargon, she said.
"We straddle the fence between the company and its
publics and in trying to bridge that gap, we often find
our own integrity at stake," she said.
Spector called Enron "the biggest case yet of pumping
She asked: "Are we just a mouthpiece for propaganda
or the conscience of the company? Are we just the voice
the chairman wants the world to hear? Or are we the eyes
and ears that feed back public perception, especially that
which the chairman may not want to know?"
The recently formed NAIPRA (www.naipra.org)
has more than 100 members. The web-based nationwide group
of independent PR firms has no dues or initiation fees.
Members share best practices and act as correspondents for
KMART RELIES ON KEKST, SPIKE
Kmart Corp., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on
Jan. 29, is using Kekst & Co. to help complete the restructuring
of the $37 billion discount retailer. Michael Freitag oversees
the account at Kekst.
Kmart has received interim court approval for a $2 billion
debtor-in-possession credit facility that is provided by
JP Morgan Chase, Fleet Retail Finance, and others. The Court
is expected to give final approval for the financing on
Kmart unveiled a new corporate ad campaign carrying the
"Kmart. The Stuff of Life" tagline during the
closing ceremony of the Olympics on Feb. 24. The ads, produced
by Spike Lee's 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks production
company, show how Kmart carries products to meet consumer's
The ads also illustrate how Kmart reaches the "aspirational"
wants of consumers by stocking exclusive brands, such as
Martha Stewart Everyday.
Kmart, last year, pitched the revival of its BlueLight
special promotional drive as the key to its rebound.
Edition, February 27, 2002, Page 8
26-page 2001 report that the WPP Group sent us is a good
example of what's wrong with today's earnings statements.
Buried in a table on page 14 is the most important figure
in the report-per share earnings. They're down 20% to $1.71
(off 16% in U.K. pounds).
This figure is not mentioned in any of the text and certainly
not on the first page, which talks about profit before taxes,
profit before losses on investments, profit before interest,
Nor does the first page mention that debt ballooned to $1.52B
as of Feb. 6 from $35 million on Dec. 31, 2000. Instead,
we are told that revenues have gained almost 35% to $5.7B
from $4.3B. But we are not told that all of the gain is
from acquisitions and that, by itself, WPP revenues were
down 3% for the year (including, significantly, 9% in the
We are also not told on the first page that outstanding
shares on the London Stock Exchange climbed 25% to 1.15
billion from 865 million (about 230M in the U.S. on NASDAQ
where one share equals five U.K. shares). These shares were
used to buy Young & Rubicam in 2000. The jump in interest
costs to $102M from $74.5M is not highlighted. Oddly, a
20% rise in the dividend is trumpeted. It is 32.4 cents
on a stock that sells for around $50.
So confusing are the WPP earnings that Advertising Age
and the New York Times had not covered them almost
a week after they came out.
WPP is like the wage
earner who comes home and announces that he (it could be
a she) has more money in his pocket because he has
bought a business and it throws off a little profit.
However, the husband has to explain he has taken on a debt
equivalent to more than four times his annual income (WPP
netted $390M in 2001 but now has a debt of $1.52B) to get
this 10% increase.
Then the bread winner announces he has just adopted a child
and his family of four is now five (representing the 25%
jump in WPP shares). The take home "pie" now has
to be divided five instead of four ways.
The 26-page report
lacks a candid description of last year's costly, hostile
takeover of the Tempus media buying service. WPP
paid $558 million for a company grossing $232M.. It got
into a bidding war with Havas and the price got so high
(more than 50% above the share price of Tempus) that WPP
tried to pull out of the deal. The takeover was publicly
opposed by 38 managers at Tempus. WPP got a 22% stake by
buying it from a former disgruntled employee of Tempus,
thus angering Tempus head Chris Ingram, among others.
The above description
of the WPP report only scratches the surface of the spooky
finances of the big ad conglomerates-Interpublic,
Omnicom and WPP. Even analysts have a hard time following
what they're doing (see Grant's Investor analysis
of IPG on www.odwyerpr.com).
The purchase of Tempus
shows the "gang" mentality currently at work in
the ad world and much of the business world (see
Wall Street Journal lead story 2/25 on rise of "oligopolies").
The media buying specialists (Starcom, MindShare, Media
Edge, MediaCom, etc.) use their immense buying power to
knock down the prices charged by media. The ad/PR conglomerates
have "ganged up" in the Council of PR Firms to
dictate the definition of PR as "integrated marketing"
and to take control of the rankings of PR firms (absolving
themselves of having to submit any proofs). The same philosophy
is offered in behalf of clients, i.e., a "gang"
of techniques such as ads, PR, graphics, direct mail, etc.,
is said to work better on the consumer than any one of these
working separately. Independent PR firms, knowing this is
a seductive but flawed message, are forming their own groups
to claim that PR is different from the other techniques.
Clients, aware that
some of the ad conglomerate owners are building fortunes
of $100 million+ while squeezing their employees
economically and limiting choices for advertisers, are themselves
"ganging up." The successful revolt of a dozen
PR pros in the Atlanta office of Cohn & Wolfe in 2001
was no doubt supported by clients who got fed up with stories
of tight control exercised by the parent (C&W is owned
by WPP). C&W sued the breakaway PR pros but the suit
was settled out of court. C&W later closed Atlanta,
its birthplace office...Advertisers
cooperate in many ways to pressure media. When the
New York News in 2001 reported on supermarkets failing
state inspections, every chain except Key Food pulled its
ads, costing the paper about $100K weekly. The News ran
three special sections about the markets to make amends.
Most eventually returned...Burson-Marsteller
reportedly got started in 1953 when Bill Marsteller said
to Harold Burson, "I'll send over the ads and
you send over the stories." Early clients were mostly
industrial and no trade book would ever turn down a story
from an advertiser. The same is true today only the advertisers
want much more. Many trade books have to give numerous awards
to their advertisers such as "agency" or "company
of the year"; best campaigns; top executive; most improved
company; biggest sales gains, etc...so
dominant is the WPP culture at Hill and Knowlton and Ogilvy
PR that these firms would be more aptly named WPP
PR. They should always be identified with their parents,
i.e., Porter Novelli/Omnicom; Weber Shandwick/Interpublic,
etc. Publicis uses its own name on its PR firms.