Edition, July 10, 2002, Page 1
EDELMAN EDGES BURSON-MARSTELLER
Edelman PR Worldwide
has edged Burson-Marsteller for the $2 million PR campaign
to show that lower Manhattan is back in business following
the devastation of the World Trade Center. Richard Edelman
heads the core team from the firm's corporate and PA groups,
Justin Blake, VP at Edelman, told this NL. He is assisted
by EVPs Loretta Ucelli and Russell Dubner; Blake, and sr.
A/S Jonathan Hotz.
Edelman's job, according
to a statement from NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, is to get
the word out that "roads have been repaved; bridges,
tunnels and subways reopened and that Lower Manhattan is
open for business." The Federal Emergency Management
Agency is funding the PR effort, which is being coordinated
by the Mayor's office and the Lower Manhattan Development
Company 39, a "global
technology solutions firm," is working with Edelman
on the campaign.
MARTHA STEWART HIRES BRUNSWICK
Martha Stewart Living
Omnimedia has hired Brunswick Group, a financial PR, IR
and crisis specialist, to deal with the media onslaught
over Martha Stewart's trading in ImClone Systems stock.
Steve Lipin, the former
Wall Street Journal finance editor who heads Brunswick's
New York office, is heading the account. He also spearheads
London-based Brunswick's drive to build up its U.S. business.
Brunswick is located
on 57th st. as is MSLO's agency of record, Susan Magrino
DAVIDSON DEFENDS AUSTRALIA
The Australian Tourist
Commission has renewed its three-year $775,000 contract
with Laura Davidson PR after a competitive pitch.
Davidson told this NL
she was gratified in beating Weber Shandwick, Ruder Finn,
LaForce + Stevens, Saxton Group, and M. Silver Assocs. for
PR Worldwide named Stephen Jones co-head of its high-tech
practice responsible for the Sun Microsystems account. Jones
helped manage the Sun account when it was at Burson-Marsteller.
He joins from Ketchum...PwC
Consulting has named Steven DeSutter senior VP-corporate
communications and Bennett
Machtiger as chief marketing officer. DeSutter joins
the PricewaterhouseCoopers corporate spinoff from TurnWorks
Inc. He also spent 18 yearsat British Petroleum. Machtiger
was at WPP's Young and Rubicam shop.
2002 PR DIRECTORY IN CD-ROM
The 560-page 2002 O'Dwyer's
Directory of PR Firms, listing 2,900 firms including 2,150
in the U.S., has been put on a CD-ROM.
Clients, people, PR firms
and words or groups of words can be searched instantly and
all pages in the directory can be printed out.
Users now have an easily
portable version of the Directory that will allow them to
do research wherever they are, said publisher Jack O'Dwyer.
The pages are in PDF form, an Adobe Acrobat program that
can be downloaded without charge from the Internet if users
don't already have it, he noted.
The CD weighs less than
an ounce vs. three pounds for the printed directory, which
has been published annually since 1970.
Besides the listings of U.S. firms, there are listings on
750 firms in 77 foreign countries.
Nearly 500 firms display
their logos and describe their specialties and business
There are 15 pages of
rankings by overall size, location, specialties and whether
the firm is ad agency-owned or independent.
The CD-ROM version of
the Directory is $175 plus tax if New York resident.
'FED UP' CRAMER SAYS AVOID
Jim Cramer (Kudlow & Cramer and TheStreet.com) put Omnicom
at the top of his list of "stocks to avoid" in
a radio show June 18. He said he is "tired" of
Omnicom saying critics "don't know what they're talking
"I love these guys...I
really do like these fellows," said Cramer, who is
known for his free-swinging style. But he said he is "worried"
about the stock because of accounting problems and the fact
that OMC is a "serial acquirer."
He's also annoyed that
OMC blasts anyone who criticizes it.
on his "Real Money" radio show of TheStreet.com,
said that after Robert Callander quit as audit chairman
of OMC, "The company came out and said the guy doesn't
know what he was talking about, the press doesn't know what
it's talking about, the critics don't know what they're
talking about, and the short sellers don't know what they're
"Well, aren't you
tired of being told you don't know what you're talking about?
I mean that's what
(continued on page 7)
Edition, July 10, 2002, Page 2
EX-POWs HIRE D.C. LOBBYIST
Seventeen U.S. airmen
who were shot down over Kuwait and Iraq in the early stages
of the Persian Gulf War, claim they were tortured by Iraqi
intelligence agents, and are suing to receive compensation.
Steptoe & Johnson,
representing the group, filed a lawsuit against the Republic
of Iraq, the Iraqi Intelligence Service and President Saddam
Hussein for "acts of torture" described in the
suit as "barbarous" and what they say are violations
of the Geneva Convention governing treatment of POWs.
The firm is in the process
of interviewing the plaintiffs in the case, which could
be heard in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
by the fall, Molly Poag, an attorney for S&J on the
case, told this NL.
The former POWs seek
$25 million each in compensatory damages plus $5M for each
immediate family member, and $300M in punitive damages.
S&J will pursue those
damages from Iraqi assets frozen in the U.S. since the war
or via a Congressional bill appropriating money for the
POWs and their families.
The servicemen were captured
from mid-January to the end of February in 1991- and claim
they were the victims of "severe beatings, systematic
starvation, systematic exposure to freezing cold, deprivation
of medical care, electric shock, cigarette burns, mock executions,
threatened castration, threatened amputation and dismemberment,
and continual death threats" at the hands of Iraqi
Stephen Fennell, partner
at S&J, heads the lawsuit for the firm.
RX FIRMS HIKE MARKETING SPENDING
CenterWatch, a Boston-based firm that monitors the pharmaceutical
industry, said drug manufacturers spent $1.5 billion in
2000 to test medicines already approved by the Food and
Drug Administration primarily so they could make new marketing
claims to sell their products.
It said spending on "post-approval" drug studies
tripled in the last half of the 1990s, growing faster than
other clinical drug research.
While these studies can yield new information on safety
and uses of drugs, such as a 2000 study that found the hypertension
drug Ramipril could reduce the risk of heart attacks, regulators
and consumer advocates say the studies are helping increase
healthcare costs, can put some patients at risk, and may
taint the public's view of safety testing necessary to get
new drugs on the market, according to The Boston Globe.
The paper said the bulk of testing after FDA approval
is being done so companies can differentiate their drugs
from competitors and generate more demand.
Some recent examples of market-driven research studies
were drugs for Alzheimer's disease, hypertension, arthritis,
and heart disease.
EXXONMOBIL SUES GREENPEACE
Greenpeace, which is urging a boycott of ExxonMobil because
of its anti-global warming treaty stance, has been sued
by the energy giant in France for trademark infringement.
That has provided a rich PR opportunity for the media savvy
Greenpeace was sued because it has replaced the two "letters"
in the Esso logo with dollar signs. Ex-xonMobil says the
doctored logo resembles the "infamous SS" insignia
of the elite troops of the Nazi army. That is a "repulsion,"
according to ExxonMobil, and will drive consumers away from
Gerd Leipold, Greenpeace executive director, calls the suit
"ridiculous." He says ExxonMobil is trying to
gag Greenpeace, rather than hold an open debate about whether
burning fossil fuels leads to higher global temperatures.
Greenpeace says the public's repulsion with the Esso brand
should be "based on the facts of ExxonMobil's record
of endangering our future."
Greenpeace is featuring the E$$O logo on its website,
and has prepared an e-card with it so viewers can send it
WS MAKES CUTS IN BOSTON
Weber Shandwick sliced 14 staffers in Boston in response
to the continued high-tech market slump. New England CEO
Micho Spring said the firm is trying to offset the tech
slump but stepping up activities in the biotechnology category.
Interpublic consolidated its Boston/Cambridge units last
year by folding Miller/Shandwick Technologies, Weber Group
and BSMG Worldwide into a single entity. WS has about 100
staffers in the area.
F-H SENDS PALMER TO MINOR
Fleishman-Hillard is handling baseball Hall of Famer Jim
Palmer's summer tour of minor league ballparks raising public
awareness of acid reflux disease on behalf of AstraZeneca,
maker of Nexium.
The grassroots campaign, "Pitching in for Community
Health," is being conducted in conjunction with the
Coalition for Healthier Cities and Communities. Palmer discusses
the importance of recognizing and treating everyday health
PR VETERAN BARTIKOSKI IS DEAD
Veteran PR counselor Tom (Barto) Bartikoski died June
26 on the Dutch-owned Caribbean island of Bonaire, where
he retired to in October after 26 years in PR. The former
Padilla Speer Beardsley senior VP and PRSA official was
"Tom's contributions to our firm and to the PR field
as a whole were extraordinary," said Lynn Casey, PSB
CEO. She will miss Bartikoski's "passion, intelligence
Bartikoski joined PSB in 1983, as director of its PA practice.
He was a strong advocate of PRSA's national accreditation
standards, serving nine years on various panels and committees.
He was on PRSA's national board of directors in 1999-2000.
Edition, July 10, 2002, Page 3
EDITORS CATCH FAKES
Wire said it gets several "fake stories" every
month that are caught and killed by its "sharp-eyed,
in its June newsletter that it got the usual number of fake
stories on April Fool's Day, including one from "one
of the big fast food companies," which has been banned
from ever doing business with BW again.
tried to pawn off a release announcing a name change. Our
first check with their spokeswoman led to her insisting
the name change was for real and they're still in shock
about it," said BW.
did not believe her and kicked the release upstairs to a
senior manager who suggested a request be made for a signed
letter from a company officer stating that the release was
food company's VP of PR, when asked if the release was for
real, finally said "No."
WHY IPG WANTS TO OWN A BOOK
It was recently reported that Interpublic Group of Cos.
hired an investment banking house to help it buy a major
The ad/PR holding company also hopes to buy a significant
Hollywood talent agency.
While neither Interpublic nor its banker, Allen &
Co., would comment, Tim Rutten, a writer for The Los
Angeles Times, said IPG's goal seems clear.
"Increasing numbers of viewers use new technologies
to skip the ads on cable and free TV. As a result, advertisers
have become preoccupied with weaving their products directly
and visibly into films, miniseries and dramatic specials,"
As an example, Rutten cites English novelist Faye Weldon
who agreed to write a novel commissioned by the Italian
jeweler Bulgari. In return for her fee, the writer promised
to mention the firm's product at least 12 times in the course
of her narrative.
"Such 'product placement' could be undertaken on
an unprecedented scale by an ad agency not only able to
control the content of books and stories through ownership
of a literary agency, but also able to steer the right properties
to its own talent agency and out the other end of the electronic
pipeline," wrote Rutten.
"At each phase of the process, `the content' could
be studded with clients' products," said Rutten, who
notes a lot of Fortune 500 companies already pay
major Hollywood agencies money for advice on just such marketing
ORBITZ FOCUSES ON GAY MARKET
Orbitz, the Chicago-based online travel company, is starting
a website for gay and lesbian travelers.
The site, which will be identified by a tab on the home
page, will feature information about cities with major gay
populations and events on several continents. Other content
on the site will include specially tailored travel deals
and tips for gay and lesbian parents traveling with their
Orbitz will run print ads this summer in gay lifestyle publications
such as Out, Curve, And Baby and Passport. The ads feature
the rainbow colors adopted by the gay community and use
the tagline: "See the world on your terms."
The New Island
Ear, a 40,000-free
circulation paper on Long Island, is starting a biweekly
column written by Amy Fisher, who went to prison for seven
years for almost killing her boyfriend's wife.
Now 28 and a single mother of a 14-month-old son, Fisher
said in her first column in the June 20 issue that potential
employees thought she was "rich and applying for the
job as a publicity stunt. They didn't understand I was destitute."
is starting a new column in September written by Pamela
Anderson, the former star of "Baywatch." She is
expected to cover issues such as motherhood, women's health
and domestic violence.
Philip Lempert, who
publishes SupermarketGuru.com and The Lempert
Report, a newsletter for the food industry, has begun
publishing a weekly e-mail newsletter called Newsflash.
Lempert, who is based in Santa Monica, said the ad-free
newsletter will provide news, tips and features about food,
shopping and health issues.
Subscribers will have the opportunity to participate in
Consumer Panel where they can offer feedback about the latest
food issues and products.
More information is available from Amy Goldsmith at 310/451-5427.
Dow Jones is starting
a version of The Wall Street Journal Online devoted to healthcare
Healthcare will be the focus across many of DJ's editorial
products in the months to come.
Alex Steele's automotive
column, which has been syndicated by Crain's News
Service for several years, helps readers cope with the mysteries
of automobile maintenance and repair.
Using a question-and-answer format, Steele helps people
work with and understand the technical and confusing aspects
of owning and maintaining today's technically advanced cars
He interviews the manufacturer's top engineers in order
to track down the correct repairs for problems, which in
some cases have yet to reach the dealership floor.
Steele's column is currently published in many newspapers
across the country along with major worldwide automotive
magazines such as Motor Trend's Truck Trend.
Info.: Joe Hanley, CNS/New York, 212/254-0890.
news continued on next page)
Edition, July 10, 2002, Page 4
PR FIRMS ARE REDEFINING PRESS
PR pros are increasingly distributing their clients' news
not in printed form but through several digital means, according
to Annie Deck, a reporter for The Buffalo (N.Y.) Business
As a result, PR pros are "taking the press out of press
kits," said Deck, who noted PR material incorporating
text, graphics and even audio components can all be sent
electronically, using electronic mail; incorporated into
an organization's website; or produced in the form of a
CD-ROM or DVD.
Jonathan Gill, a senior A/E at Eric Mower & Assocs.,
Buffalo, told Deck that each approach has its own advantages
Gill said electronic press kits offer an opportunity to
present information in a visually appealing way with a much
lower distribution cost than print.
Kits and press releases sent in PDF format are ideal for
small businesses with limited resources because they can
be reproduced from printed materials at nominal cost and
they can be read using Adobe's free Acrobat Reader software
by virtually every computer user, said Gill.
CD-ROMs and web-based media rooms involve more expense,
but add much greater flexibility in terms of graphics, photos,
video, illustrations and audio elements, according to Gill.
While a website has the advantage of being easily updated,
this is not the case for CD-ROMs, which get older by the
day. The online newsroom can be updated on a moment's notice,
One advantage of a CD-ROM kit is it is portable without
requiring an Internet connection.
Mary Summers, director of communications for the Buffalo
Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau, said CVB's press
kit has been downloaded more than 1,200 times so far this
year from its website (www.buffalocvb.org).
Gill, who contacts media outlets by phone to find out
their preferred means of receiving releases before sending
any kits out, has found more recipients are willing to get
the information by e-mail.
Many reporters will not open an e-mail attachment sent
by an unfamiliar user, he said. "That's why you call
first. Very rarely do cold e-mails or mailings result in
anything positive," he told Deck.
E-mail distribution and digital recording technologies
are also useful for targeting information to investors,
donors or potential clients.
In light of the SEC's new "Fair Disclosure"
regulation requiring equal access to corporate information
for all current or potential shareholders, Mike Barone,
a senior A/E at Collins & Co., where he works in the
IR department, told Deck when they speak to anybody, or
make a presentation to a room full of 50 investors, that
same presentation is available on the client's website within
Terry Fisher, president of Full Circle Studios, a Buffalo
production company, said DVDs are more flexible and can
reach a wider audience than CD-ROMs because you can use
them not only on a computer terminal but also on a TV-compatible
CNN.COM LEADS TOP NEWS WEBSITES
The top three news websites in terms of "unique audiences"
in April were (1) CNN.com-15,300; (2) MSNBC.com-14,845,
and (3) Yahoo! News- 12,455, according to statistics provided
by Nielsen/ NetRatings.
Rounding out the top 10 were: NY Times.com- 7,569; ABC News-7,281;
Gannett Newspapers- 5,995; Washingtonpost.com-5,415; Time
Magazine -3,472; Fox News-2,988, and MSN Slate-2,976.
The next ten websites were: Netscape News, Belo Newspapers,
Cox Newspapers, CBS News, SF Gate, New York Post, iWon News,
Reuters, USA Today News, and drudgereport.com.
The rankings of current events and news sites were based
on a panel of 60,000+ Americans accessing the web at work
and at home.
Dow Jones Newswire,
a real-time business and financial news provider, has expanded
its Spanish-language, U.S. and Latin American news service,
DJ en Espanol, to include company news and stock market
commentary from Spain and Europe.
Luce Press Clippings'
chart of the circulation of America's top 100 daily newspapers,
which was compiled from the Audit Bureau of Circulations'
figures for the six months ended March 31, 2002, can be
obtained free by calling 800/528-8226.
The Chicago Tribune's Spanish-language publication,
has moved to the Tribune Tower: 435 N. Michigan, 3rd fl.,
Chicago, IL 60611. 312/527-8400; fax: 527-8468.
will make its publishing debut in the first quarter
of next year with a rate base of at least 250,000, according
to Randall Lane, who is the former editor-in-chief of P.O.V.,
and a co-founder of the new supermarket magazine. JM will
cover crime and court proceedings involving celebrities
which publishes First for Women, Woman's World
and Soap Opera Update, is planning to start a new
supermarket magazine about celebrities, called In Touch.
The magazine, which is set to debut in October with a
1.5 million distribution, will be edited by Richard Spencer,
a former editor of SOU and J-14.
The James Beard Foundation
awarded the M.F.K. Fisher Award, its top food writing award,
to Alan Richman of GQ magazine.
Edition, July 10, 2002, Page 7
CRAMER SAYS AVOID
from page 1)
to so many good people when they criticize companies. They
are immediately told they don't know what they're talking
listeners to avoid the stock, which has dropped nearly 50
points to around 45 since a Wall Street Journal article
June 12. About $9 billion of OMC's previous capitalization
of $18B has drained away at current prices. In addition,
the entire ad conglomerate stock section has taken a hit
because of the publicity on OMC, said Bear Stearns June
his warning when OMC was trading at about $57. The stock
later dipped to as low as $35.50, recovering to around $45
as of July 8.
John Wren charged that the WSJ article contained "numerous
inaccuracies and some improper innuendoes." But OMC,
when pressed by the WSJ, was unable to provide any specifics.
Resignation Is Key
whose comments were repeatedly referred to on the Yahoo!
message board for OMC, said the resignation of Callander
as audit chairman must be taken with utmost seriousness.
was formerly president of Chemical Bank and at age 71 "had
seen everything," said Cramer.
guy Callander had a conscience and he came out and said,
`I don't like what's happening,' and he quit. And...the
WSJ terrifically picked that up and wrote a story about
it and the stock went down 25 points but it's bouncing now."
that when he expressed doubts about Tyco, the company called
him and said, "Hey, you don't know what you're talking
about (moans). I could've saved a fortune. And that's what
I'm trying to do for you. I think OMC is going lower and
on Jim Cramer's Real Money we put Omnicom on top of the
`Danger Zone' list."
Message Board Is Active
12, more than 1,500 messages have been posted on the Yahoo!
OMC message board. In contrast, less than 20 messages have
been posted on the Interpublic board on Yahoo! since that
date. WPP's Yahoo! board has drawn only about 170 messages
since March 6, 2001.
The messages describe analyst views on OMC; provide links
to articles on the company; report actions of the ratings
agencies, and give opinions on the executives and policies
of OMC. Many of the messages simply urge readers to buy
or sell the stock or sell it short (borrow stock and sell
it in the hope of buying the stock back at a lower price).
Employees who are worried about OMC stock in their 401K
plans are among the participants.
claim that OMC monitors the site and may even be posting
messages. Almost all the message writers use pseudonyms.
run high and name-calling is popular. "May thirty dogs
eat your face," said one contributor in criticizing
A June 25
message said: "Wren and company need to do more to
restore confidence. Send a note to OMC IR as I'm sure thousands
of others have. Simple question: what are they doing to
restore credibility? I'll post it here if I get a response."
OMC has neither an IR nor a PR pro on staff; Patricia Sloan,
a PR executive at the DDB unit, performs some PR duties
message addressed to "Any OMC employees," asked:
"What has the company done to reassure you that this
situation is under control? Has Wren done his...employee
morale speech yet?"
Wren and CFO Randall Weisenburger each purchased 20,000
shares of OMC at $55.10 on June 13, the day after the WSJ
208,712 shares owned outright were worth $18M when the stock
was $90, had been granted options on two million shares
at $79.50 in 2001. He already had options on 4.4 million
shares that would have given him a profit of $84 million
at OMC's price of $89 on Dec. 31, 2001. His salary in 2001
was $875,000 and he was also paid a $1.3 million bonus.
If OMC stock
were to reach $165 in February, 2003, the target price for
the $850 million in zero-coupon convertible bonds that were
sold via Merrill Lynch, his "in-the-money" gain
from the options on the two million shares would have been
about $85 a share or $171M. The zero-coupon bonds give the
holders the right to buy OMC at $165 a share in February
2003 (the strike price having risen at the rate of 5% per
quarter starting at $110 in February 2001).
who are being paid no interest, have the right to demand
their money back next February. A similar $900M zero-coupon
offering via J.P. Morgan Securities also can be "put"
back to OMC next July.
Sees 'Communications Breakdown'
20 Economist, under the headline, "Communications
Breakdown," said that "for a company whose business
is marketing and PR, OMC looks unhappily in need of the
services it dispenses to others." It also questions
the rationale for the ad/PR giants.
said the "saga at OMC" started after the WSJ "suggested
that, while not infringing American accounting standards,
OMC flattered its accounts." It says the growth of
the "vast, global" ad conglomerates has "depended
on a steady diet of acquisitions."
buying gives the ad agencies "volume discounts,"
said the Economist, "it is less clear there are any
benefits for the creative side."
says some companies like to pick from a variety of agencies
and don't want one conglomerate handling their business.
It notes that the big independent agency Aegis is ahead
of OMC in winning new accounts so far this year (in third
place behind IPG and WPP).
Edition, July 10, 2002, Page 8
Yahoo! message board for Omnicom is performing for the press
what the PR department of OMC would be doing if OMC had
a PR department--tracking media, analyst and other mentions.
We learned of Jim Cramer's blast on OMC from Yahoo! Important
materials from the U.K. Financial Times and other
media are also found there.
In normal times, before
war was declared between the media and PR, reporters would
tell PR pros what they had read about their companies and
PR would reciprocate by tipping reporters off to articles,
analyst reports, etc., that the reporters may have missed.
The press and PR pros "traded" information so
that both were kept up to speed. Reporters fact-checked
with PR what they were going to write and in return, expected
to be informed of any important company developments, upcoming
The PR pros didn't want
their bosses picking up the paper and being shocked by some
unexpected story. Reporters didn't want their editors coming
over to them and saying, "Why didn't we have this?"
This system worked well
for many years since both sides benefitted. Sometimes one
side benefitted more than the other but things were thought
to "even out" over the long run.
along came the "go-go" years when sales executives
rose to the top of many companies and the stock market
boomed. The press got increasingly confrontational with
business and companies decided that what with the Internet,
SEC filings and numerous other sources, reporters did not
need more help, especially from the company itself.
We hoped this might be
different with a giant company like Merrill Lynch. We called
up PR looking for the literature on its complicated LYONs
offerings (ML had done an $850 million zero-coupon LYONs
bond deal for OMC). We got some materials from PR but wanted
more, especially the New York Times column by Floyd
Norris that said such bonds could be disastrous if the stock
drops. We also wanted to discuss the LYONs with an expert
at ML. The result of these questions is that PR decided
not to speak to us anymore. (We got the Norris column via
our own search of the Times archives.)
companies got the notion that since PR wasn't dealing with
the press anymore, who needs PR at all? They either
dispensed with PR or staffed it with neophytes who had basically
no knowledge of the company and were incapable of telling
reporters anything substantial. One PR pro said, "We
are professionally dumb."
Some execs, including
those at OMC, decided that to save money and keep tight
control of the information flow, they themselves would deal
with the press.
This has proved to be
disastrous for OMC and the ad/PR field. CEO John Wren and
CFO Randy Weisenburger, in an analyst teleconference June
12, the day a Wall Street Journal article stripped
20 points off OMC's stock, accused the WSJ of printing "numerous
inaccuracies" and causing "key misperceptions"
Wren at the outset of
the conference (the press and public were barred from asking
questions) gave the traditional OMC beef about the press--"it
lacks an understanding or might have a biased point of view."
This is a particularly galling remark coming from a company
that has enriched its top executives by the tens of millions
(even with the stock drop) but which refuses to spend a
penny explaining to reporters the many complexities of its
financial statements (including the LYONs bonds).
role of PR has no place in OMC's universe. For many years
it has opted to deal only with analysts who have remained
loyal. Despite the halving of OMC's stock value, there is
not one "sell" recommendation among the ten analysts
who cover OMC. The chief supporter is ML's Lauren Fine,
who gives the stock a long and short term "strong buy."
ML not only did the LYONs offering, but holds 739,000 shares
of OMC. There are two other "strong buys," six
"buys" and one "hold" among the other
contemptuous, in-your-face attitude to the press is getting
on the press' nerves.
Jim Cramer , in calling OMC a stock to be avoided, said
he is fed up with OMC and other companies telling critics
"they don't know what they're talking about."
The Economist, chiding OMC for its lack of good PR,
says the company "looks unhappily in need of the services
it dispenses to others."
More is at stake here
than just OMC's stock price. The entire ad/PR field including
the other public conglomerates is suffering. With at least
14 lawsuits charging improper financial reporting now lodged
against OMC, and major media pounding at OMC's doors, the
company should give up its incestuous love affair with the
analysts and face the public aided by expert PR advice.
WPP Group and Publicis are just as uncommunicative as OMC.
IPG executives, after refusing to be interviewed by us after
the annual meeting May 20, promised to answer questions
we presented in writing. None has been answered. WPP stopped
communicating with us after we pointed out in February that
its confusing earnings reports contradict CEO Martin Sorrell's
pledge in a NASDAQ ad not to disseminate such reports. Publicis,
which only reportsfinancially once a year under French law,
has no one in the U.S. with whom we can discuss its finances.