Edition, August 21, 2002, Page 1
NYC ISSUES $400K RFP TO BOOST
The New York City Economic
Development Corp. has issued a six-month $400K marketing
communications RFP to attract corporate tenants to downtown
The program is especially
aimed at lower Manhattan companies that are jittery about
their locations in the aftermath of the World Trade Center
attack, and considering office space outside the city.
The RFP wants to promote
Brooklyn's advantages, such as a five-minute subway ride
to Manhattan, affordable rents, extensive mass transit,
independent phone and power grids and close access to desirable
Responses are due Sept.
6. Paul Tamboia is the NYCEDC's chief contracting officer
for the "Downtown Brooklyn Marketing Plan."
SILVERMAN SUCCEEDS SELTZER
Ogilvy PR Worldwide CEO
Bob Seltzer is stepping down at the end of the month as
CEO after a five-year stint as head of the WPP Group unit.
He is replaced by Marcia Silverman, who is president for
Paul Hicks, managing
director for Ogilvy New York, succeeds Silverman as president
of the Americas. Kym White, healthcare head, takes over
for Hicks in New York.
Seltzer said he is leaving
the firm in "good shape." His departure gives
him "one more shot" at doing what he believes
is what he does best-"fixing agencies."
His departure marks a
busy week of executive changes at WPP's PR units. Paul Taaffe
succeeded Howard Paster as CEO of Hill & Knowlton on
Aug. 9. Steve Aiello stepped down as CEO at Cohn & Wolfe
earlier this year, succeeded by Donna Imperato.
MAGNET TUNES INTO JVC
Magnet Comms. has added
JVC Americas Corp., a leading consumer electronics co.,
to its client roster. Paul Jensen, EVP and head of MC's
tech practice, and Steve Tomasco, senior A/E, handle the
Donald Trapp, JVC's corporate
communications manager, cited Magnet's media savvy as a
reason for its selection. TSI Comms., which was folded into
IPG's Golin/Harris Int'l, had the account of the 75-year-old
company that also is known as sponsor of the "JVC Jazz
Festival" and World Cup soccer.
Magnet counts IBM, Nikon,
and Seiko Instruments as other consumer tech clients.
KWE SHUTS DOWN IN NYC
Karen Weiner Escalara,
president/CEO of KWE Assocs., which is headquartered in
New York, informed the firm's 12-person staff on Aug. 12
that she is closing the firm.
Escalara told this NL
she will reopen a new firm in Coral Cables, Fla., on Oct.
1 as the KWE Group Inc., with a satellite office in New
She said the new firm
will handle PR for a select group of five or six travel
clients. Three clients have already given their commitments
to stay with the new firm.
Escalara decided to close
the New York office because the commute between her family
home in Miami and New York had "gotten to be too much."
She flew to New York every Monday and returned home on Friday.
Former KWE president
Vickie Feldman de Falco and senior VP Christina Miranda
recently set up Redpoint Marketing PR in New York.
SITRICK HANDLES US AIR'S REORG.
US Airways is using Sitrick & Co. to help communicate
its restructuring efforts, according to Michael Sitrick,
CEO of the firm. He said his firm has handled bankruptcy
filings for about 150 companies, including America West,
Hawaiian Air, National Steel and Burlington Industries.
Chris Chiames is US Air's senior VP-corporate affairs.
The former American Airlines PR executive joined US Air
this year from Burson-Marsteller, where he ran the firm's
aviation/tourism practice in Washington, D.C.
IPG RESTATES EARNINGS; GETS
Interpublic on Aug. 13 said it failed to count $68.5 million
in expenses over the past five years and was sued by Milberg
Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach (www.milberg.com/cases/interpublic).
The suit notes that IPG purchased True North, NFO Worldwide
and BrandHatch Leisure with $2.874 billion of "artificially
inflated stock" and invites those who got the IPG stock
to join in the suit.
IPG purchased TN with $2.1B in stock in 2001 that was valued
at $40.24 a share. IPG sotck has now gone as low as $12.75
recently and is now about $19.
More than 200 firms have been purchased by IPG since 1997
with stock and cash. Financial details
(continued on page 7)
Edition, August 21, 2002, Page 2
SAUDIS RENEW QORVIS' AD DRIVE
Saudi Arabia plans to
relaunch its Qorvis Communications-developed TV ad campaign
that depicts the Kingdom as a staunch U.S. ally in the global
fight against terror, Michael Petruzzello, CEO of the firm,
told this NL.
Republican party political consultant and media buyer, is
making spot media buys in 26 cities (excluding the top New
York and Los Angeles markets). Chicago, Atlanta, Boston,
Philadelphia, Houston, Phoenix, St. Louis, San Francisco
and Washington, D.C., are on the media schedule. Petruzzello
said New York and Los Angeles may be covered by a national
QC created four ads for
Saudi Arabia in the spring. The so-called "flags"
and "allies" spots will kick off the new ad cycle,
according to Petruzzello. The campaign is expected to run
through the Sept. 11 anniversary of the terror attacks carried
out by 19 hijackers, of which fifteen were from Saudi Arabia.
QC, a Patton Boggs affiliate,
gets $200K a-month from Saudi Arabia. S-I analyzes radio,
TV, magazine and newspaper data and availabilities for QC.
As a QC subcontractor, it receives a three percent commission
on media buys for Saudi Arabia.
OGILVY HANDLES CRISIS FOR
Ogilvy PR Worldwide is handling PA and crisis work for
Eurocontrol, the Brussels-based 31-nation European air safety
organization pushing for a unified air traffic control system
for the continent.
Concerned about a backlash from its push to reduce the
minimum space between airliners' flight paths, Eurocontrol
immediately contacted Ogilvy PR after two airlines collided
over Germany in July, killing 71, Eurocontrol managing director
Erik Merkel-Sobotta told this NL.
The accident, which occurred in Swiss air space between
a Russian passenger plane and a Boeing cargo 757, came six
months after European air traffic controllers reduced by
half the vertical minimum height between aircraft as part
of a program supported by Eurocontrol and publicized by
Merkel-Sobotta, who heads the Eurocontrol work from Brussels,
noted that the organization has been cleared of any fault
with regard to the incident.
Merkel-Sobotta said Eurocontrol turned to Ogilvy for the
crisis work because of its success handling media relations
and messaging for the Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum
campaign last October.
Ogilvy is currently handling a media analysis to gauge
Eurocontrol's crisis performance in the aftermath of the
The European Union is currently pursuing a plan to bring
all air traffic controllers under a pan-European command,
called "Single Sky," by 2004. The EU notes in
a report on the initiative that synergies with Eurocontrol
to establish an agenda for air traffic reform are critical
to the Single Sky initiative.
DON'T LINK TERROR IN
ISRAEL WITH 9/11
Israel and its supporters should forget about comparing
the terror attacks committed there to the horror of Sept.
11, says Republican pollster Frank Luntz in his "Ten
Commandments of Effective Communication" report that
suggests ways that Israel backers can build support in the
"Americans see their situation differently, and comparing
the two undermines your credibility," says the Luntz
Research Cos. Report.
The Arlington, Va.-based pollster says 9/11 "has
been forever implanted into the minds and psyches of the
Israeli supporters, however, can capitalize on 9/11 by
making a direct contrast between Israeli and Palestinian
reaction to that day.
"On that fateful day, Israelis shed tears of pain
for the Americans who were killed. But on that day, the
Palestinians danced in the streets in celebration,"
says the LRC Report.
Israeli groups also can empathize with Americans about
Sept. 11, the "darkest day in modern American history."
The goal is not to "make a direct comparison to 9/11,
but invoke the emotions surrounding the event," the
The LRC Report has been circulating among pro-Israel groups.
The GOP has made forging support among Jews, a traditional
voting bloc for Democrats, a No. 1 priority.
Luntz has not returned a call.
Israel is Threat to U.S.
The LRC Report, which is not designed to "judge or
recommend policy to the Israeli Government," says pro-Israel
groups must explain why a threat to them is a threat to
"The reason why Americans are paying attention to
the Middle East is not because of the rising level of violence
or a personal concern for Israelis or Palestinians,"
says the LRC Report. "The reason why Americans are
paying attention is a fear that somehow the U.S. will get
dragged into the conflict and American lives will be lost
and gas prices will be higher."
LRC calls the Report a "study of communication effectiveness."
FARR, G/H DECIDE IT'S TIME
Sue Farr, managing director of Golin/Harris International's
U.K. office and Europe regional managing director, is leaving
the company by "mutual agreement," said a statement
from the Interpublic unit. Barry Leggetter, the office's
deputy managing director, succeeds Farr.
CEO Rich Jernstedt praised Farr for guiding the office
through difficult economic times since she joined the firm
in March 2000.
Leggetter, a former joint MD at Countrywide Porter Novelli
in London, joined G/H there after working in New York for
Farr plans to take a vacation before deciding her next
PR career move.
Edition, August 21, 2002, Page 3
POLL SHOWS JOURNALISTS
the major findings from 150 travel and high technology journalists
who responded to Bennett & Co.'s 13th Annual Media Survey:
get information from PR people via postal mail.
e-mail as the preferred means of getting information, and
27% prefer regular mail. Nine percent want fax and three
percent like phone calls.
the recent anthrax scare, 82% said regular mail is still
acceptable to them for mailing packages.
travel media said they don't usually take media FAM tours.
-More than 70% of high tech journalists said having a night,
weekend or mobile phone number on a press release is "somewhat"
or "extremely" important, as opposed to fewer
than 30% of travel journalists.
of tech writers preferred graphics in jpg format, as opposed
to bitmap, tif or gif.
if they believe PR firm credibility is growing, 43% said
no, and 28% said yes-up 14 percentage points from 2001.
also reveal 44% of journalists rely on PR firms for 11-30%
of their story information and 39% for 1-10% of their story
journalists' top five wishes aside from "Don't call
to see if I got your release" were: Know your market;
create bonds built on trust; become a resource; return calls
quickly, and keep releases short and simple, using the inverted
pyramid style with the "five Ws" at the top.
SURVEY: 9/11 CHANGED PR-NEWS
A new survey shows the events of the past year, starting
with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, have had an impact
on reporters' relationships with their sources.
Among 301 reporters participating in a survey, 40% said
news events had changed the way they report permanently,
and 33% noticed differences in information provided by sources.
Changes most often mentioned were a tendency for sources
to be more careful with information, more guarded in their
comments, and more thoughtful in interviews, yet at the
same time more assertive in getting their information into
stories once interviewed.
The survey was fielded by the Center for Advanced Social
Research at the Univ. of Missouri school of journalism and
sponsored by Stanton Crenshaw Communications, a New York-based
When asked about changes in their use of sources, the
reporters were most likely to mention that they now use
a wider variety of sources; that they are more skeptical
of information provided, and they make greater use of the
Internet when researching stories.
Wayne Wanta, professor in the journalism school, who helped
create the survey, said nearly twice as many respondents
reported noticing changes in their relationships with public
sector sources as with private sources.
"Our sense is that reporters still value professional
communicators as sources of information," said SCC's
Dorothy Crenshaw. "However, the events of the past
year have raised the bar for substance and integrity on
the 28-year-old magazine famous for chronicling the
lifestyles of New York's affluent, has been acquired from
Stagebill Media by Manhattan Media, publishers of four weekly
newspapers, including Our Town and West Side Spirit.
in Ft. Lauderdale, will publish a weekly Spanish-language
newspaper, called El Sentinel, for Broward County's
growing Hispanic population beginning in October.
Deborah Ramirez, who has been an editorial writer and
columnist for the Sun-Sentinel, is editor of the weekly,
which will be distributed free on Saturdays to targeted
Knight Ridder is
accepting applications for its new four-person investigative
team based in Washington, D.C., which will pursue stories
there, elsewhere in the U.S. and in other countries.
Interested journalists should send applications to Clark
Hoyt, Washington editor, or John Walcott, bureau chief at
the K R Washington Bureau, 700 National Press Building,
Washington, DC 20045-1701.
The Christian Science
has closed its news bureau in Tokyo.
Other media organizations which have recently closed their
Tokyo bureaus include The Chicago Tribune, The
Independent of London, and Corriere della Sera
Playboy TV is starting
a weekly news program, Sept. 6, called "The Weekend
Flash" on its cable TV network. It will feature a nude
anchor, weathergirl and entertainment/lifestyle reporter,
who will cover general news, interviews, entertainment,
sports and weather.
Tampa Bay Illustrated
will be started this January by the Palm Beach Media
Group, based in Palm Beach, with an eight-time frequency
and 30,000 circulation.
Editorial offices are located in the Pinellas Business
Park, 11001 Roosevelt blvd., St. Petersburg, Fla.
Sherman Robbins, who is editor-in-chief of PBMG, can be
reached at 561/659-0210 ext. 124.
will publish its first issue on Sept. 5. Jim Dygert, formerly
publisher of two Cincinnati area weekly newspapers, is publisher.
He can be reached at 513/769-7888.
news continued on next page)
Edition, August 21, 2002, Page 4
NEW YORK TIMES NAMES NEW STAFFERS
Carolyn Curiel, 48, has joined The New York Times
as an editorial writer, and Jeffrey Gettleman, previously
Atlanta bureau chief of The Los Angeles Times, is
joining the paper as a national correspondent, based in
Gettleman will be paired with David Halbfinger, the former
metro reporter who will take over as Atlanta bureau chief.
The two correspondents are expected to range widely across
the southeastern U.S. for stories.
Curiel, who is a former U.S. ambassador to Belize and
a speechwriter for former President Clinton, has been a
visiting fellow on the Times' editorial board this
Gail Collins, who is editor of the editorial pages, said
Curiel's experience "will be invaluable, particularly
as we deal with issues affecting local government, the environment
and foreign affairs."
DWELL PROMOTES ARIEFF TO EDITOR
Allison Arieff was promoted to editor-in-chief of Dwell
magazine, succeeding Lara Deam, who was the founding
Previously, Arieff had been senior editor of the San Francico-based
magazine, which is devoted to accessible modern design.
Deam will continue with the magazine as chairman.
Dwell will mark its second anniversary when the Sept./Oct.
number goes on newsstands this week.
Dwell has boosted its rate base from 50,000 to 150,000
for the first half of 2003.
WALLACE IS EDITOR OF MEN'S
Robert Wallace, 51, is joining Men's Journal as
editor on Sept. 4, replacing Sid Evans, who is leaving Wenner
Media, which publishes the 10-year-old magazine.
Jann Wenner said he is "looking for Bob to get it (Men's
Journal) ready to become number one in the general interest
category against GQ and Esquire." The
magazine had focused its coverage on the adventure category
since it was started.
Wallace, who was executive editor of the now-defunct Talk
magazine, had been executive editor of WM's Rolling Stone
and a senior producer of ABC's "Prime Time Live."
MJ has an overall average circulation of 620,614.
BROWN NAMED NATURAL HISTORY'S
Peter Brown, who was editor-in-chief of The Sciences
magazine until the New York Academy of Sciences closed it
last year, has been named editor of Natural History
The 100-year-old magazine of the American Museum of Natural
History was recently acquired by several executives in the
science publishing community, with the backing of Exeter
ATLANTA MAGAZINE GETS NEW
Rebecca Burns is rejoining Atlanta magazine as
editor-in-chief on Sept. 3, replacing Lee Walburn.
Burns, 36, a former senior editor for Atlanta, left in
the spring of 2000 to become editor-in-chief of Indianapolis
Both magazines are owned by Emmis Communications, which
also owns Cincinnati Magazine, Texas Monthly,
Los Angeles Magazine and Country Sampler magazine.
Walburn is retiring after 15 years at the monthly.
TECH REPORTER JOINS AP
Rachel Konrad, 31, previously a staff writer and technology
reporter for CNET, has joined The Associated Press as a
correspondent in San Jose to cover news and technology in
Silicon Valley, San Jose and California's coastal region.
She replaces Brian Bergstein, who is moving to New York
to cover telecommunications for AP.
editor-in-chief of PR Week, is joining Advertising
Age as executive editor on Oct. 1.
62, who wrote a daily gossip column for The New York
Post, died Aug. 14.
49, has replaced Patrick McGuigan as editorial page editor
of The Daily Oklahoman in Oklahoma City.
52, business columnist for The News Tribune of Tacoma
and former PR director for the Oakland Athletics, died July
who covers the immigration and demographics beat for the
New York City edition of Newsday, was elected president
of the Asian American Journalists Assn., during the organizations'
15th annual national convention in Dallas.
who has been editor in charge of arts and features coverage
at The Philadelphia Inquirer, was named the paper's
who had been managing editor of IntelliHealth.com, a consumer
health website, has joined The Trentonian, a morning
newspaper in Trenton, N.J., as editor.
a recent participant on CBS' "Survivor" program,
has joined KPHO-TV, in Phoenix, as a reporter for the station's
new "Crime Tracker" report. Leitner is a former
reporter for The East Valley (Ariz.) Tribune, The
New York Post and Corning (N.Y.) Leader.
returns to the radio airwaves on Sept. 7 after an 18-month
absence as host of "The No Show" on WNYC-FM and
Edition, August 21, 2002, Page 7
from page 1)
not the names of the firms are given to the SEC.
named in the suit include CEO John Dooner, CFO Sean Orr,
and retired CEO Phil Geier. Milberg Weiss says IPG executives
made "material misrepresentations" to the market
from Oct. 28, 1997 to Aug. 13, 2002 and also showed that
they lacked "adequate financial controls."
IPG had to
increase its net loss in 2001 by $5.9M and lower its annual
profits from 1997 to 2000 by amounts ranging from $4M to
Was in McCann/Europe
Most of the
undercharging took place at McCann-Erickson/Europe. The
misreporting involved "thousands of transactions"
and the total "was much larger than anyone in their
wildest dreams had imagined," Orr told analysts. The
investigation is continuing, he said.
He gave no
hint as to whether the charges involved travel or meal costs
or bonuses to IPG staff working at offices other than their
own. He only said that "inter-office" activities
suit noted that 17 IPG executives had sold $100 million
of agency stock since 1997 at prices that were double or
more than current prices. Retired finance head Eugene Beard
sold stock worth $35.2M; Dooner, $28M; Geier, $21M in 17
transactions; Frank Lowe of Lowe Lintas, $17M; XVP Barry
Linsky, $5.1M in 16 sales, and ex-treasurer Tom Volpe, $3.2M.
Missed by 8 Cents
EPS of 31 cents was eight cents less than analyst estimates.
Revenues fell 8.4% to $1.6 billion. PR was especially hard
hit - off 19%. IPG's biggest PR units are Weber Shandwick
IPG was asked
for an explanation of the 19% drop but did not respond.
Analysts did not raise the issue at a conference call Aug.
Motorsports unit of IPG was off 18% in revenues and had
a net loss of $17M. Orr said it has high "fixed"
costs. Ad sources said IPG owns an auto racetrack and also
buys rights to ad sales at many racing events int he U.K.
Ad sales were down this summer partly because cigarette
ads are now banned at tracks (www.octagonmotorsports.com).
IPG for 1994-96
the Internal Revenue Service is auditing its 1994-96 income
tax returns and that it could be forced to make additional
payments. IPG said any payments would not be "material."
Street Journal, quoting "sources," said IPG
was trying to minimize taxes in the mid-1990s.
said it violated loan covenants and had to pay a 0.5% increase
in interest rates on $148.5 million of debt.
Robinson Humphrey cut its rating on IPG from "buy"
to "neutral," saying "confidence in internal
controls needs to be restored." Also cited was the
slow economy and problems at Octagon.
SELLS, AIM BUYS OMC
Big institutional trades were made in stock of Omnicom in
the second quarter, according to 13F filings out today.
The institutions had until Aug. 15 (45 days after the close
of Q2) to report changes in their stock holdings. OMC had
both buyers and sellers according to current filings which
are still missing some institutions.
The largest change was the sale of 7.91 million shares by
Jennison Assocs. Fidelity Mgmt. sold 5.2 million shares
leaving 7.97M, and Morgan Stanley sold 2.64M, leaving 770,768.
Eaton Vance Mgmt. added 4.7M shares for a total of 7.52M.
Wellington Mgmt. added 4.71M for a atotal of 4.78M. MacKenzie
Financial added 3.8M for a total of 7.6M.
AIM Management, OMC's largest stockholder, added 2.8M bring
the total to 11.2M. Brinson Partners added 1.45M to 2.72M;
General Electric added 1.4M to 2.3M; Mellon Bank 1.29M to
4.44M, and Renaissance Technology added 1.1M to 1.2M.
About 40 institutions added from 1.1M to 200,000 and more
The exact dates of the trades are not known. OMC stock dropped
more than 30 points after a June 12 Wall Street Journal
article that raised questions about OMC's accounting.
It fell from the $80's to as low as $35 and is now in the
About 80 institutions purchased OMC stock while about 50
ML Investment Cuts Shares
included Merrill Lynch Investment, which cut 637,579 shares
from its holdings to a new total of 1.41 million. In the
first quarter, ML Investment and ML Mercury added 305,729
shares for a total of 2.78M. ML Mercury's new total is not
Lauren Fine, analyst for ML on ad agency stocks, has been
one of the biggest supporters of OMC, giving it a "strong
buy" both long and short term.
Other sellers included W.P. Stewart, cutting its holdings
by 2.7M to 1.75M; American Century, selling 1.27M to 144,000;
STI Trust selling 826,231 to 430,981, and Harris Bretall
selling 782,087 to eliminate its OMC holdings.
About 20 institutions sold between 500,000 and 900,000 shares
while about 30 sold between 100,000 and 500,000 shares.
John Kiker, United
Airlines VP-worldwide communications, is joining
Edelman PR Worldwide Sept. 16 as EVP/GM of its New York
corporate affairs group. He joined UA in 1993 and leaves
as parent UAL Corp. says it may follow US Airways into bankruptcy...Hill
and Knowlton has registered as lobbyist for sister
WPP Group company, Ogilvy and Mather, which is trying to
remain in control of the $150M media buying account of the
White House Office of Nat'l Control Policy Office. O&M
paid a $1.8M fine to settle civil charges that it bilked
the government on the account...United
Media has retained Catan Comms. to handle media relations
for the Charles M. Schultz Museum & Research Center.
Edition, August 21, 2002, Page 8
means a new thing in the PR job market. The head
of a New York firm said that jobseekers used to ask what
"package" the firm would offer them, meaning health
benefits, vacation, 401K, etc. "Now they ask if they
can handle packages in the mail room," said the source...another
PR firm said that monthly retainers of $20,000 and $30,000
have become $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000.
The worst thing, for
those following PR, about the Interpublic conference call
Aug. 13 (page 7) was the refusal of the IPG execs
to explain the 19% drop in PR income. No analyst asked the
question so IPG execs said nothing. We gave the question
to IPG PR aide Phil Krakowsky but no answer came back, which
is typical of IPG...the
real worst thing about the call was that IPG admitted not
counting $68.5 million in expenses over a five-year
period resulting in an almost immediate lawsuit by the Big
Daddy of the stockholder litigators, Milberg Weiss Bershad
Hynes & Lerach. The suit poses a legitimate question-if
IPG's stock was so great, why did the IPG execs sell $100
million of it in the past five years?!
Another bizarre financial
question is why is Merrill Lynch ignoring the advice
of its own analyst, Lauren Fine, on Omnicom? Fine is the
most ardent supporter of OMC, constantly stressing its solid
fundamentals, etc. Yet ML's own stocktraders ignore her
and sell OMC in major quantities . If ML doesn't believe
Fine, why should anyone else? We asked ML PR about this
but the unit remains mute...OMC
appears to be in total press lockdown. AdWeek
did three positive pages on the ad giant Aug. 12 but couldn't
reach either CEO John Wren nor CFO Randy Weisenburger. AdWeek
says KPMG has given OMC "a clean bill of health"
and "absolved" OMC on Seneca, where the ad agency
deposited its dot-com companies. Asked if this were true,
KPMG said it doesn't discuss client matters. Actually, KPMG
has said nothing on the matter.
It may not have found accounting issues but Seneca is a
moral issue. OMC dumped stock of a number of dot-coms, including
Razorfish and Agency.com, into Seneca. OMC claimed it no
longer owned the firms and didn't have to deduct losses
in RAZF, ACOM, etc., from its own figures. At the same time,
it says it continues to own a major part of the dot-coms
via hundreds of millions in preferred stock.
Which is it? RAZF and ACOM were big operations. RAZF once
had 2,000 employees and had a loss of $24.8 million in Q1
of 2001. OMC was getting big numbers off its books...the
leadership of Wren and other OMC execs gets plenty of praise
from AdWeek. But the insiders at OMC are only
too well rewarded. Even Merrill Lynch's Fine has said the
amount of options OMC execs have given themselves is "staggering."
OMC in 2001 gave Wren options on two million shares at
$79.50 which would have been worth $160 million if OMC stock
reached the target price of $165 set in the $850M zero-bonds
via ML. Buyers of these convertibles, instead of receiving
interest, bet that would be the price. They get the chance
to demand their money back Feb. 3, 2003...the
OMC board this year voted to raise their pay from $24K each
to $60K a year and also pay themselves $1,000 for
"attending a special meeting by phone."
We bet there are a lot of those these days. Counting other
forms of payment to the board, each member is probably getting
more than $100K which is about double the pay of directors
of other service firms in the $5-$10B category (Conference
Board statistic). UBS Warburg has noted the large amount
of options OMC and IPG execs have given themselves (about
10% of the outstanding shares of each company).
Ad agencies and even
PR firms talk a lot about "branding" these days,
meaning creating a warm feeling towards companies, products,
etc. The latest annual report of WPP Group has a 16-page
essay on branding giving numerous definitions of it. But
the press is covering the character of a company and its
executives when news hits. Do these executives run and hide
from the press? How can these companies or their products
be good "brands" if their executives take the
Visitors to the O'Dwyer
website were asked if they approved of Edelman PR Worldwide
asking its suppliers to join it in advertising in
the Sept. 23 Advertising Age in which Edelman has
a 24-page 50th anniversary ad. The vote was 104 to 30 against
asking for such ads (78% to 22%).
Recent college grads
have been asking us for jobseeking advice. One grad,
who has spent months in a job search, said a PR firm advised
him to bring in some accounts if he wanted a job. We told
him to contact local businesses himself and join the junior
committees of local charities and political groups to make
contacts and possibly start his own business...another
grad said, "If you truly want to do well in PR, you
probably will not do it working for someone else. Learn
to get your own clients." This writer, who majored
in PR at Boston University, advised anyone studying PR on
the undergraduate level to "change your major, an undergraduate
PR degree is worthless." Employers aren't fussy about
undergraduate majors but a graduate degree in PR "can
be leveraged," said the writer.