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Internet Edition, July 17, 2002, Page 1


Edelman PR Worldwide has been awarded the more than $1 million Puerto Rico Tourism Co. account, Cathleen Johnson, head of the tourism & lifestyle group, told this NL.

PRTC had been a long-time client of WPP Group's Hill and Knowlton unit until it was switched to sister PR firm Ogilvy PR Worldwide in January. Ogilvy's Washington, D.C., office had been handling industrial development work, and then added tourism to its PR duties.

Johnson said Edelman also will be involved in issues management and government affairs work for the island-the Navy's use of Vieques for target practice is a key bone of contention between the U.S. and its commonwealth.

Johnson said Edelman vice chairmen Leslie Dach and Mike Deaver, and D.C. general manager Jere Sullivan were members of the firm's pitch team.


Qorvis Comms. edged A&R Partners and Ketchum to handle IR for network security specialist SafeNet.

SafeNet, which specializes in virtual private networks, won a multi-million dollar contract from the Defense Department in June to incorporate its security technology into the government's systems and is charged with developing a device for encrypting classified communications.

The Baltimore-based technology company likes Qorvis' commitment to IR, its security history, and its location across the river in McLean, Va., SafeNet's director of marketing and PR, Tom Serio, told this NL.


Hill and Knowlton's Chris Kircher has been named VP-communications at ConAgra Foods, the $27 billion company that counts Bumble Bee tuna, Butterball turkey, Hebrew National hot dogs, La Choy and Chef Boyardee among its brands.

Kircher worked at H&K from 1989 to 1996, and rejoined the firm during 2000 following a stint at Philip Morris, where he handled financial/corp. PR.
Bruce Rohde, ConAgra's CEO, said communications is a key priority.

Kircher also worked at The Hooper Group and Icon Group.


Porter Novelli and Fleishman-Hillard (Omnicom) battle Interpublic's Carmichael Lynch Spong for Minnesota's Blue Cross and Blue Shield anti-smoking communications campaign.

The health group is committed to spending $252 million for health improvement and prevention programs during the next decade.

PN, which recently acquired anti-smoking specialist Nixon Group, is paired with Miami's Crispin Porter + Bogusky. That ad agency created the Florida "Truth" anti-tobacco drive, which it says reduced the number of high-school smokers by 17 percent over an 18-month period. F-H is teamed with sister ad agency BBDO. Minneapolis-based CLS is partnered with its ad unit.


The National Constitution Center, which opens in Philadelphia next July 4, has selected Dan Klores Communications to pitch features about the Center and promote the museum's educational outreach activities.

Liz Barszczewski, PR manager for the Center, said Tierney Communications and Smith Fairfield were runners-up for the account.

The Center will join the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall on Independence Mall. DKC plans a series of pre-publicity events leading up to the grand opening. Ground was broken for the Center on Constitution Day, Sept. 17, 2000.

Bruce Bobbins, senior VP at DKC, called the Center a "one-of-a kind destination." DKC plans to incorporate various "headline makers" from the political, entertainment and sports worlds into some of the special events that it will conduct for the Center.

Mark McKinnon, managing director at Public Strategies Inc. and media director for President Bush's presidential campaign, is receiving a $5,000 monthly fee from Vanity Fair to provide it access to the White House.

He told the Wall Street Journal that his job is to make Bush "look good." McKinnon lined up the front page January VF cover that featured Bush and his "war team" photographed by Annie Liebovitz. PSI's website plays up McKinnon's close ties with the President. It includes a quote from Bush calling McKinnon a "friend and trusted ally."

Internet Edition, July 17, 2002, Page 2


PR is the "closer medium" that turns a budding relationship a marketer has with a consumer into a long-lasting romantic union, Rance Crain, editor-in-chief of Advertising Age, said at an Edelman PR Worldwide conference in New York on July 11.

Crain is astounded at how dramatically the marketing landscape has changed, and feels that PR is ready to shoulder a bigger presence in the overall mix. He faulted ad agencies that haven't been able to see beyond the traditional 30-second TV commercial. He said participants at a recent Ad Age conference talked about the need to build relationships with consumers, which is a strong point of PR.

Marketers, according to Crain, are cutting back on ads in magazines and TV while opting for sponsorships, special events and product placements to help build "warm and fuzzy images" for their brands.

The Edelman session-unfortunately for Crain-was called "Marketing in a Post-Advertising Age." One Edelman exec said, "We should have called it "Marketing in a Post-Advertising Era."

PR Helps Build a Brand

Al Ries, who wrote "The Fall of Advertising & The Rise of PR" with his daughter Laura, said advertising lacks credibility with consumers, especially in the current age of Enron. In Ries' view, PR should be used to establish a brand, while advertising is in tune with maintaining the brand. He questioned the wisdom of marketers such as General Motors which has spent billions for advertising. The automaker, said Ries, spent $23 billion for ads during the last eight years. The result: its market share plummeted to 28 from 34 percent.

Pam Talbot, president of Edelman U.S., spoke about how PR can weave messages into people's lives. Dan Edelman, who founded the firm 50 years ago, said he would like to see more balance between spending for ads and PR. He noted that companies may spend $100 million for ads, while doling out only $1 million for PR.

His firm is going to run a special section in Ad Age in October as part of its anniversary celebration. Edelman said he has been trying to convince Crain for the last 25 years that PR stories should be in Ad Age.


Coca-Cola has created a website to debunk or refute some of the many reports about the company and its brands.

Kari Bjorhus, who is Coke's director of interactive communications, said the company decided to post its information after noticing how rumors are fueled via the Internet.

Some of the false rumors are funny, like the one that Coke will quickly dissolve nails or teeth, while others are serious, such as the one that Coke donates profits to support Israel.

Coke's rumors page is at contactus/myths_rumors/index.html.


Terence Fane-Saunders, CEO of London's Chelgate Ltd., is looking for U.S. PR pros to help promote its "Save Zimbabwe" campaign that aims to restore democracy and human rights to that African nation.

Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost a March "rigged" presidential election to Robert Mugabe, and his Movement for Change, are among those behind the Save Zimbabwe effort.

The campaign wants new elections under international supervision, and calls for the restoration of freedom of speech.

"It is an obscenity that a country which used to be a food exporter with rich and productive farmlands and an intelligent, hard-working people, should now be reduced by this evil regime to the point where millions are facing starvation," Fane-Saunders said via e-mail to this NL.

Fane-Saunders believes there may be U.S. PR pros "who recognize the historic importance of this battle to save Zimbabwe, and would like to offer their help. All offers of assistance (as distinct from offers of fee-based services) will be warmly welcomed by the campaign."

His goal is to send the SZ message to the United Nations, European Union, NGOs, human rights groups and Washington.

BSMG did project work for the Movement last year.

Cohen & Woods International and Dickens & Madson-which spread allegations that Tsvangirai was behind a plot to assassinate Mugabe just prior to the election-represent Zimbabwe's government.
The 78-year-old Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since it gained independence from the U.K. in 1980.


A lawsuit has been filed against Pennsylvania's Department of Revenue seeking to overturn the awarding of the state's $30 million Lottery ad contract to Marc Advertising, a Pittsburgh-based agency.

Tierney Comms., which has held the lottery ad contract for the past 25 years, is involved in the suit.

Brian Tierney, chairman of TC, is one of the 12 petitioners in the suit, which also includes Sen. Vincent Fumo (D-Phila.) and Sen. Joseph Conti (R-Bucks Cty.).

The suit, which was filed on July 10 by Sprague & Sprague in Commonwealth Court, alleges mishandling of the RFP process.

Earlier this year, Tierney's firm, which is owned by Interpublic Group of Cos., filed a protest with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Dept. of Revenue concerning the RFP then underway for the lottery ad contract.

The complaint accuses the Dept. of Revenue of "failing to discharge its duties so as to assure fair, competitive access to Commonwealth agency procurement by responsible contractors, all to the detriment of the petitioner taxpayers and other taxpayers throughout the Commonwealth."
A spokesman for TC said the firm has continued to handle the ad contract.

Internet Edition, July 17, 2002, Page 3


Paul Bogaards, SVP/executive director of publi-city, promotion and media relations for book publisher Alfred A. Knopf, said the two new media-sponsored book clubs are driving "explosive sales in the retail marketplace."

Last month, ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" launched its "Read This!" Book Club segment. The first selection was "The Dive from Clausen's Pier" by Ann Packer, published in April by Knopf.

The book had an initial printing of 30,000 copies. When GMA contacted Knopf to say the book was the first "Read This!" selection, the publisher printed an additional 75,000 copies.

The live segment, which aired on June 13, featured a book club from Jefferson, Tex., recommending the novel to GMA's viewing audience.

"The sales from GMA's `Read This!' segment were immediate and extraordinary," said Bogaards. "Based on sales of stores on the day of the announcement, we reprinted an additional 110,000 copies. We now have nearly 250,000 copies in print."

Immediately after the segment, Bogaards said Packer's book went to #1 on In subsequent days, the book went to #1 at Ingram, the largest book wholesaler in the U.S., #8 at Barnes & Noble, #8 on BookSense, a consortium of 1,200 independent booksellers, and it debuted on The New York Times bestseller list on June 30 at #9.

NBC-TV's "Today's Book Club" made its debut on June 20. The first selection, which was chosen by bestselling author John Grisham, was "The Emperor of Ocean Park" by Stephen Carter.

Published June 4 by Knopf, the book had a first printing of 240,000 copies and it is already a national bestseller, according to Bogaards.

When Knopf was notified by Today about the Carter selection, they ordered an additional reprint of 250,000 copies.

Other Clubs Drive Sales

Other book clubs driving sales include USA Today Book Club and "Reading with Ripa" Book Club, which airs on "Live With Regis and Kelly."

USA Today's club was started with the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Empire Falls" by Richard Russo, while Ripa's club has featured "If Looks Could Kill" by Kate White, followed by "Confessions of a Sociopath Social Climber" by Adele Lang.

Each of these books became bestsellers after they were selected by these book clubs, according to Bogaards.

"Media-sponsored book clubs seem to work on three levels," said Bogaards. "They drive book sales in both independent and chain bookstores, and on-line retailers, as well; they reinforce viewership, readership and listenership, depending on the host media; and they bring together readers, both on the local and national level."

When Oprah Winfrey suspended her book club in April, booksellers feared business would suffer.


Tracy Wood was appointed editor-in-chief of Ms. magazine, which is owned by the Feminist Majority Foundation in Los Angeles, headed by Eleanor Smeal.

Wood was a reporter for The Los Angeles Times and for the past 17 years has been at The Orange County Register, where she was investigation editor.

As a combat correspondent in Vietnam for United Press International, Wood covered the fall of Saigon and the release of the American prisoners of war in Hanoi. She is co-author of "War Torn: Stories of War from the Women Reporters Who Covered Vietnam," which will be published in August by Random House.

Wood said she will pursue hard-edged stories, and will cover everything from sports to current events and even the features will have a news edge.

The magazine, which was started in 1972 as a feminist publication by Gloria Steinem, will continue to expose wrongdoing and to spur reactions to overt abuses of women's rights, Wood said.

Wood lives in Fullerton, Calif.


Anthony DeMaria, MD, vice chairman of medicine at the Univ. of California-San Diego and a cardiologist, was named editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Bethesda, Md.

Rick Wartzman, a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal's Los Angeles bureau, was named business editor of The Los Angeles Times, succeeding Bill Sing, who has been appointed senior editor in charge of editing and creating special editorial sections for the paper. The changes will occur in mid-September.

Terry Neal was appointed chief political correspondent for, based in Arlington, Va. He is a former Washington Post reporter.

Jane Cook, 90, a retired director and major shareholder of Dow Jones & Co., died July 1. She was a descendant of Clarence Barron, the Boston newspaperman who acquired Dow Jones on March 31, 1902, and the last surviving child of Jane Bancroft, the step-daughter of Barron to whom he left control of Dow Jones.

Karen House, 54, formerly president of Dow Jones & Co.'s international group, was named a SVP of the company and publisher of all print editions of The Wall Street Journal.

House is the wife of Peter Kann, 59, who will remain as chairman/CEO of Dow Jones and as editorial director of all DJ publications.

Rorie Sherman, 43, has joined Travel & Estates magazine as editor-in-chief. She was previously executive editor of Corporate Counsel magazine.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, July 17, 2002, Page 4


Catherine DeAngelis, who is editor-in-chief of The Journal of American Medical Assn. (JAMA), has instructed AMA's PR department to drop The Detroit Free Press from its press release mailing list for breaking a news embargo earlier in the month.
DeAngelis claims the paper broke an embargo on an important study about hormone therapy for women.

DeAngelis said a 9:30 a.m. (ET), July 9, embargo time had been placed on the findings of a study on hormone replacement therapy to coincide with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's news conference and release of information.

"While we recognize that this time may not have been ideal for many of you, we felt it was important that the public and their physicians have full access to this information at the same time it was being shared with media," said DeAngelis, who said JAMA did not break the embargo agreement with the NHLBI, and published the full report of the study and an accompanying editorial on its website at 9:30 a.m. ET.

DeAngelis said the FP will no longer be sent JAMA news releases, articles or advance copies of the Journal. In addition, no future interview requests from the reporter, Patricia Anstett, will be granted, she said in a memo to reporters.

Anstett said she had developed the report on her own.

DeAngelis said she appreciated the cooperation the "overwhelming majority" of reporters show each week in respecting JAMA's news embargoes. "Your cooperation allows us to send our weekly JAMA media packet out days in advance."


The second edition of "Many Voices, One City" lists 270 ethnic press outlets in New York, up from 198 in last year's guide.

The Independent Press Assn., which publishes the guide, said the publications, which are essential reading in New York communities, are published in 42 languages by more than 60 ethnic groups.

IPA said immigrant New Yorkers comprise almost 40% of the city's population, making this directory a must for publicists which are trying to reach new immigrants.

The new edition, which includes the new Serbian daily and the daily Dominican newspaper, also reveals:

-74 publications are based in Queens, 46 in Brooklyn and 12 in the Bronx.

-27 are dailies, 134 are weeklies, 25 are biweeklies and 37 are monthlies.

-49% are published in languages other than English, 37% in English, and 14% in multiple languages.

The new guide, which sells for $20, is available on CD or via a web interface from Abby Scher or Gilliam Andrews at IPA-N.Y. at 212/219-3976.


Mort Hochstein, a freelance writer, is preparing a feature on hotel restaurant resurgence for Beverage Media magazine.

He is seeking information and help from publicists for the article which is scheduled to run in 2003.

Hochstein, who resides at 70 E. 10th st. in New York, prefers to get information and inquiries by e-mail at [email protected].

He can also be reached at 212/420-2270.

Hawaii Woman, a monthly magazine targeting 35 to 64-year-old women in Hawaii, will hit newsstands next week in Honolulu.

The magazine will serve as a source of information for women, with features and columns that showcase Island women, as well as recurring sections devoted to travel, food, home design, career, finance and beauty.

The first issue has a cover story on Billie Takaki, who is managing editor of the magazine and a former Miss Hawaii.

More information is available from Samantha Park at 808/394-8600 or at

Bookmarks, a magazine based in San Mateo, Calif., will be available on newsstands in September.

In the meantime, copies of the preview issue can be obtained by sending an e-mail to [email protected].

Each issue of the bimonthly magazine will feature "book-by-book profiles" of classic authors and publishing news in addition to a staple of excerpts from book reviews from other publications, and recommendations of which books to buy, using a star-based rating system.

Jon Phillips, who spent several years working for Silicon Valley firms, is editor.

Travelhost, a publisher of hotel travel magazines, will relaunch a Chicago edition in August.

Native Chicagoans (and brother and sister), Bill and Kelly Rourke, are the associate publishers of the new monthly magazine. Their older sister, Nancy Rourke, is mangaging editor of the magazine, which has been redesigned to cater to business professionals.

The magazine will contain information on restaurants, entertainment, sports and culture in the city.

It will be available in-room and concierge desks of selected downtown and suburban hotels as well as at business centers and other highly traveled business locations throughout the city.

Travelhost has 8.5 million monthly readers and is currently found in more than 80 cities.

Crain Communications has acquired Workforce magazine from ACC Communications. The monthly magazine, which covers HR news, trends and analysis, is sent to 47,500 human resources executives.

Margaret Magnus will remain as publisher.

Internet Edition, July 17, 2002, Page 7


Morgan Stanley was the biggest institutional buyer of Omnicom stock in the first quarter, adding 1.63 million shares to bring its total to 3.23M, according to 13F filings at the SEC.

The shares were worth $290M in the first quarter when OMC was trading around $90 but are only worth about $160M at OMC's current $50 price.

Other big buyers were J.P. Morgan Chase, adding 808,798 shares for a new total of 1.99M; Putnam Investment, adding 772,581 for a total of 1.5M, and General Electric, adding 409,497 to 915,764.

Merrill Lynch, including ML Investment and ML Mercury, added 305,729 shares for a total of 2.78M.

Morgan Stanley and ML are among the staunchest supporters of OMC. MS analysts on June 6 upgraded OMC from an "equal-weight" to an "over-weight" (buy). ML dropped OMC from a "strong buy" to a "buy" on May 30 but reinstated its "long and short term strong buy" about ten days later. OMC at $47 was "an incredible buying opportunity for the patient investor," ML analyst Lauren Fine wrote July 9. On June 10 she had written "the weakness in OMC shares [then $75.95] has allowed for a rare buying opportunity."

Eight of Top Ten Bought

Eight of the top ten institutional holders of OMC purchased more stock in Q1, adding 3.14M shares.

But the two biggest holders of OMC stock, Fidelity Management and AIM Management, sold 4.2M shares.

Fidelity sold 1.05M for a new total of 13.2M or 7.07% of OMC's 182M shares, while AIM sold 3.15M for a new total of 8.4M, or 4.5% of the total.

Other big sellers were Goldman Sachs, reducing its holdings by 692,613 shares to 3.03M, and Value Line, which sold 431,001 shares, leaving 678,300.
The 85 institutions in the 13F filings own about 70% of the shares of OMC. The top ten own 41.3%. Adding OMC shares were 46 of the 85.

Second quarter transactions of the institutions are to be made public in a few days.


Keith Reinhard, CEO of the DDB unit of OMC, sold 20,000 OMC shares at $87 on May 20 for proceeds of $1.75 million after exercising options that cost him $24 a share or $485,620.

Reinhard, 67, an executive officer of OMC, was a board member from 1986 until May 20 when he resigned following the annual meeting that day.

He is the largest individual shareholder in OMC with 482,770 shares owned outright as of March 31, 2002. He also had options on 325,000 shares.

He has been the biggest individual insider seller of OMC shares since May 31, 2000, selling 333,500 shares for $29M that cost him $6.5M via options.

The 482,770 shares were worth about $43.4M at $90 a share but have sunk to nearly half that value at OMC's current price of around $50.

CEO John Wren and CFO Randy Weisenburger, exercising options, each purchased 20,000 shares at $50 on June 13, the day after a page one Wall Street Journal article on OMC. Fourteen lawsuits are charging that OMC made false statements and withheld material facts from about April 2000 to June 11, 2002.

Rosenshine Sells Stock Worth $21.3M

The second largest insider selling OMC stock was Alan Rosenshine, CEO of the BBDO unit, who sold 242,000 shares for $21.3M ($88 a share) after exercising options that cost him $1.8M.

Rosenshine, 63, left the OMC board May 20 after serving on it since 1986. Reinhard, Rosenshine and seven other insiders at OMC sold 841,439 shares worth $72M between May 31, 2000, and April 2002.

Michael Greenlees, XVP of OMC, sold 88,200 shares for $7,972,508, or an average of $90.40 a share. The latest sale was Feb. 3, 2002. As of March 31, 2002, he had 16,400 shares left.

Bernard Brochand, vice chairman of DDB who quit as a director of OMC on May 20, sold 40,664 shares for $3,605,194 ($86.58 average). He also sold 15,000 shares in a "private sale" at $15 each for proceeds of $225,000. The latest sale was Dec. 21, 2001. As of March 31, 2002, he had 84,336 shares.

James Cannon, vice chairman and CFO of BBDO, sold 100,000 shares on Dec. 7, 2000 at $88.46 for proceeds of $8,845,900. He had exercised options at between $10 and $19.71 a share. He "planned" to sell 90,000 shares for $7.9M on Dec. 5, 2001, according to the Yahoo! tabulation of insider selling. As of March 31, 2002, he had 69,200 shares left.

Bruce Crawford, chairman of OMC, sold 12,000 shares at $92.60 on Feb. 27, 2002, for proceeds of $1,111,200. He also sold 21,600 shares on Jan. 18, 2001, for proceeds of $1,945,209. He had 279,650 shares as of March 31.

Dennis Hewitt, treasurer of OMC, sold 11,300 shares in 2000 for $997,689 ($88.29 average); 18,200 for $1.4M in 1999 ($76.75 average), and 8,100 for $493,480 ($60 average) in the years 1996 to 1999. Fifteen sale transactions are listed by CBS MarketWatch from 1996-2000 and five awards of stock options totaling 35,000 shares. Hewitt held 42,215 shares as of 7/9/02.

Barry Wagner, secretary, sold 6,425 shares April 4, 2001, for $520,425, or $81 a share, and 5,500 shares for $440,000, or $80 a share, on Nov. 29, 2000. He has 128,152 shares.


Lee Bush, an 18-year PR veteran of Ogilvy PR Worldwide, GCI Group and Noble Assocs., has joined Ketchum as senior VP and head of the Chicago office's brand marketing group. She takes on responsibility for Wendy's, Lion's Club International, Schwinn, Roto Rooter and Harley Davidson's Shure Motorcycles unit.

Internet Edition, July 17, 2002, Page 8



We were shocked upon returning from a July vacation to find that AetnaU.S. Healthcare had hiked the rates for O'Dwyer Co. employees who live in New Jersey by up to 63%.

We could understand the 23% increases for New York employees because rates are soaring for all HMOs even though there is little or no inflation.

But Aetna now wants to raise the rate for a married New Jersey employee with children from $10,514yearly to $16,509, a 56% increase. The rate for a N.J. couple with no children would rise 63% to $11,731 and 56% to $5,587 for a single male in his 20s.

Oddly, the charge for a single male living in New York went up only 23% to $4,849. The family rate went up 23% to $14,338 a year. These rates are in the "small group" category (under 50 employees).

Curious about the "New Jersey penalty," we called an Aetna PR person. He couldn't explain it except to say the population is aging, drug costs are rising and New Jersey and other states have many "mandated benefits" such as minimum hospital stays.

Our Aetna sales rep had the real reason. People living in N.J. are "class-rated" by demographics such as age and gender. Those over 50 are not only socked much more, but also cause the rates to rise for younger people from that state. In New York, people are "community-rated," meaning older people and women are not charged more. Aetna rates in states not including N.Y. are higher for women. A single male aged 24 would pay $161 monthly in one state while a woman would pay $305 monthly.

Since Aetna is one of the three biggest health insurers (15 million people covered), there's no doubt many other businesses and individuals are being hit hard (especially anyone living in New Jersey).

It's no wonder that most of the PR pros we see at Publicity Club and PRSA/New York meetings appear to be in their mid-20's and probably single. Hiring a PR pro from N.J. with a family would cost the pro and the firm upwards of $16,000 yearly. The N.Y. cost would be $14,000 or so.

Aetna rates are not too different from those of other HMOs. There is pressure to hire freelancers or part-timers. Employees working less than 29 hours a week aren't entitled to health benefits. Thus, some PR firms are a few experienced people at the top and a staff that is largely young and single. PR is getting to be like the music, video, and other industries where almost no one has a "job."

For more about the healthcare mess, read As Sick As It Gets: The Shocking Reality of America's Healthcare, by Dr. Rudolph Mueller.

The Clinton Administration promised reform but gave the job to Hillary Clinton, who made political mistakes including being too secretive. The healthcare industry savaged her with the infamous $20 million "Harry and Louis" campaign warning that socialized medicine would all but destroy America. Now we have 1,500+ HMOs instead of a single-payer system and costs so high that 40 million are uninsured. Mueller says the current "insane" system costs Americans 58% more than the average spent by numerous other industrialized nations that have single-payer systems. He wants all for-profit companies bought out. Even doctors are upset and want change, he notes.

The 2,000+ messages posted on the Omnicom bulletin board at Yahoo!.com since the Wall Street Journal article on OMC June 12 show the desperate need for knowledge about the company.

The writers, most of them employees and/or stockholders, are skeptical about almost every source of information about OMC including each other; statements by OMC executives; the bobbing of the stock price (they feel it's rigged one way or another); analyst views (not one "sell" from the ten covering analysts despite the stock dip); credit rating agencies (too slow and cautious in making changes), and coverage by the media (very sparse except for the WSJ; there has been only one item in a late edition of the New York Times as of 7/14).

We don't blame them for being skeptical about anything said by CEO John Wren or CFO Randy Weisenburger. Wren denies OMC is a "serial acquirer" despite billions spent on acquisitions, or that it "swept anything over the side" despite the off-loading of a dot-com unit once worth $3.5B. To Wren, the WSJ article was "nothing."

Wren created the rabble that has now assembled on Yahoo! by telling the 1,500 agencies in the OMC system that they are as independent as ever. They are behaving just that way, demanding answers from Wren, complaining about losses in their 401K plans, layoffs at various units, cost-cuttings, and the way OMC has been keeping its books. Wren refuses to address this mob or even the press, which would hit him with much harder questions than the analysts.

Almost no one shows up at the Interpublic and WPP bulletin boards on Yahoo although both stocks have been hurt by the market decline and by being in the same industry as OMC. Both IPG and WPP are serial acquirers like OMC. "Don't buy" such companies, advised Time mag July 14. It said "great companies grow mainly from within" while acquirers "almost always end up with a nasty bout of nausea." IPG and WPP have very restrictive cultures. IPG CFO Sean Orr said July 9 that IPG will no longer be a "federation" of companies but a "singlecompany."


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