Edition, September 11, 2002, Page 1
EDELMAN WINS MASTERCARD/LATIN
has picked Edelman PR Worldwide to handle its Latin American
PR business.Burson-Marsteller and Brodeur Worldwide also
Jeffrey Group CEO Jeff
Sharlach resigned the "significant six-figure account"
in February after a five-year run. MasterCard had asked
his firm to stay on through August, according to Sharlach.
Edelman won the business
because it offered a compelling mix of regional and local
PR messages, according to Marcus Molina, MC's VP-PR and
communications for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Edelman, which currently
handles MasterCard in Brazil, will also do in-country programs
in Argentina and Mexico. Vivian Hirsch is in charge of Edelman/Latin
Waggener Edstrom is responsible
for MasterCard's U.S. PR account.
BAHAMAS STAYS AT WEBER SHANDWICK
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism has renewed its $50,000
a-month PR account at Weber Shandwick, Adrian Archer, the
Ministry's PR manager, told this NL. The recent change in
government spurred speculation that the travel account was
"loose," but Archer says the Ministry is quite
pleased with WS' work on the business.
The Government has given ad agency Bozell and trade promo
shop Irma S. Mann Strategic Marketing notice that their
business is being reviewed.
Rene Mack, president/travel & lifestyle marketing practice
at WS, said his practice is holding up despite the widespread
travel slump. "We are looking to hire people,"
WS travel clients include Singapore Airlines, Marriott
International, Hilton Head Island, and Canadian Tourism
BRASHEAR JOINS H&K
Albert "Rusty" Brashear, who was Motorola's global
communications chief, is now senior counselor in Hill and
Knowlton's corporate practice. Harlan Teller, H&K's
corporate practice president, hailed Brashear as a "longtime
friend and client."
The 59-year-old Brashear retired from Motorola in April.
He also was White House deputy press secretary during the
Reagan Administration and the top spokesperson for the Environmental
PUBLICIS EYES LAYOFFS
Publicis CEO Maurice Levy says a round of layoffs may be
in the works following the Sept. 20 completion of the Bcom3
The cutbacks are needed to reach Publicis' goal of achieving
a 15 percent profit margin, the Frenchman told The Wall
Neither Publicis nor Bcom3, said Levy, are that profitable
because of the "difficult" business conditions.
The firm was to release its first-half financials on Sept.
10. Employment at the combined entities is about 38,000.
Levy says he wants firms, such as Bcom3's Manning, Selvage
& Lee, to retain their own identities following the
merger. Publicis has promised Bcom3 managers that it would
respect "their personalities, clients and brand identities."
Levy, last month, said Publicis will take a breather on
the acquisition front in the wake of the Bcom3 deal. His
firm is the No. 4 ad/PR combine with revenues in the $4
F-H DOES CRISIS WORK
CryoLife, the embattled supplier of human tissue for implantation,
has brought on Fleishman-Hillard to deal with issues surrounding
an FDA recall charging that its implant products could be
linked to death or serious infections.
F-H said it was brought on after the Aug. 13 Food and Drug
Administration recall, which ordered the company to pull
all soft tissue processed since Oct. 3.
CryoLife, which has laid off a quarter of its 384 employees
because of the recall, struck a deal last week with the
FDA under which it can sell tissue for medically urgent
use if all other treatments are unavailable or inappropriate.
JACKSON LANDS AT FEDEX
Fedex Corp. has named Eric Jackson VP-communications. He
reports to Bill Margaritis, VP-worldwide communications/IR.
Jackson, who was managing director-corporate communications
at Siemens Corp., is in charge of the $21 billion delivery
service's media relations, community relations, internal
PR, issue/crisis management and executive communications.
Heyman Assocs. placed Jackson. Elisabeth Ryan, senior
VP, headed the search.
Edition, September 11, 2002, Page 2
SAUDI ARABIA SAYS IT'S A TERROR
Arabia says it is a full partner in President Bush's "war
on terror," and a victim of terrorism, according to
a document that Patton Boggs has distributed to staffers
on Capitol Hill.
Embassy's "Background FAQ" deals with "hot
button" issues such as "Saudi Support for Osama
bin Laden," "Alleged Saudi Funding for Terrorism,"
"Saudi Freezing of Assets," "Saudi Education
System and Anti-Americanism," "Saudi Arabia and
Suicide Bombers," and "Stability in Saudi Arabia."
Here are highlights:
"Osama bin Laden is a dissenter who has taken the side
of evil. His citizenship was revoked in the early 1990s
on account of his irresponsible acts and he remains unpopular
among our citizens. As a nation, we are horrified by his
actions and we reject what he and his followers stand for.
They are deviants and criminals whose actions we strongly
reject. People must understand that we are also victims
of Osama bin Laden's terrorist acts."
"The Crown Prince has said unequivocally-`No honorable
man would accept terrorism.' Saudi Arabia does not support
or contribute to terrorism. We never have, and we never
will. Terrorism is against our religion and culture, and
we have been victims of it for the past four decades. We
monitor all financial transactions to ensure that no money
goes to evildoers."
education system. "Our educational system does
not teach anti-American doctrines and hatred of the West.
Islam teaches peace, amicability and tolerance, not violence
and hatred. As Saudis and Muslims, we wish to establish
friendly relations that serve mutual interests in all spheres.
The involvement of Saudi citizens in the September 11 acts
of terrorism was shocking to us. It is important to understand
that these individuals were deviants and criminals. They
do not represent the people of Saudi Arabia or Islam any
more than Jim Jones or Branch Davidians represent America
Re: stability. "The
goal of the Saudi government is to take care of its people,
and to create the environment in which they can lead productive,
useful lives. Our achievements speak for themselves: over
the past thirty years alone, we have invested over $1.2
trillion to transform our country from a sandbox into a
modern, viable nation."
Boggs received $170K from Saudi Arabia for the first-half
of this year for distributing the statement and for explaining
the Kingdom's role in the "war on terror," its
position on human rights and the treatment of women, energy
policies and educational reform. Qorvis Communications,
a PB affiliate, does PR for the Embassy.
Dell Computer Corp.,
Round Rock, Tex., has contacted top PR executives
via a recruiter about a possible opening. Search may or
may not affect Elizabeth Allen, who joined as VP-CC more
than two years ago from Staples. Dell wouldn't comment.
N.J.'S HOMELAND SECURITY CHIEF
MWW Group has hired Golan Cipel, who was New Jersey Governor
Jim McGreevey's homeland security director, as head of its
Israeli practice. He succeeds Ronn Torossian, who last month
Cipel, 33, resigned his $110K a-year security post in March
after it was disclosed that he lacked credentials and clearance
for the post. He then assumed the role of "policy counselor"
to the Governor. The Israeli national was a key campaign
aide to McGreevey. Cipel also was a spokesperson for the
Israeli Consulate in New York, and the mayor of Rishon le
Zion. He received a job reference from the Governor.
MWW's hiring of Cipel, according to the Philadelphia
Inquirer, may spark another wave of controversy. It
noted that MWW represents Parsons Infrastructure & Technology
Group, the company that runs New Jersey's car inspection
system. Parsons has been accused of botching the state's
emission inspection system, and McGreevey has threatened
to cancel that contract.
A McGreevey spokesperson said the Administration will not
treat MWW and its clients any differently now that Cipel
is on board at the Golin/Harris International unit.
LERACH, WHO SUED OMC &
Bill Lerach, whose firm has launched class action lawsuits
against Omnicom and Interpublic, is profiled in the Sept.
9 New Yorker.
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach is portrayed as
the dominant force in securities litigation, filing half
or more of the cases nationwide and 80% of those in California,
where it is based.
The 200-lawyer firm made an estimated $650 million dollars
in profits in the 1990's. It was able to survive the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1996, commonly thought
to be a bill specifically designed to cripple the firm's
main source of income, and made a $50 million cash settlement
in 1999 after being sued for abuse of process.
Milberg Weiss sued the Chicago consulting firm of Lexecon
and Prof. Daniel Fischel of the University of Chicago law
school. They sued the firm back.
The accounting industry, National IR Institute and other
business groups called PSLRA the "Safe Harbor"
act. Lerach told the New Yorker it was "just propaganda
for the corporate community."
Defendants in class action suits can now move for immediate
dismissal of the charges, preventing firms such as Milberg
Weiss from issuing subpoenas and taking depositions at the
outset. Rather than face such a costly ordeal, many defendants
had settled out of court.
Lead law firms are now selected on the basis of which one
has signed up complainants with the biggest losses. Milberg
Weiss, with its experience and track record of success,
is handling the Enron, Qwest and other major class action
suits. The lead law firm has yet to be chosen for in the
IPG and OMC cases.
Edition, September 11, 2002, Page 3
placement" is a new PR tactic used to describe the
timing of scoops in The Wall Street Journaland The
New York Times, according to Dan Fost of The San
the start of strategic placements to May 2000 when the news
about UAL Corp.'s merger was leaked to the Journal,
The Times and The Washington Post,on the condition
that they not call anyone else for comment, or publish the
story before midnight.
such orchestrated scoops say they can be a disservice to
the public and journalism because it allows corporations
to manage the news, said Fost in his Sept. 1 article.
the phrase-strategic placement-is widely credited to Joele
Frank, a Wall Street publicist, who declined to comment.
said the leaks used to come with strings attached. "To
be fed a scoop, reporters were forbidden from talking to
other sources," said Fost. "The press ultimately
tired of such restrictions, resenting the loss of independence,
and companies rarely put such conditions on their leaks
have to, according to a PR executive, who told Fost "(Reporters)
don't want to call out (to other sources) because it'll
destroy their scoop." Thus, scoops about a pending
merger often have no critical commentary about the deal,
the unnamed publicist said.
PR PROS TAKE A VACATION FROM
Ginia Bellafante, a New York Times reporter, said
she had uncovered an unusual number of voice mail messages
this summer from people who said they could not be reached
while on vacation.
Bellafante cited two instances in which she was unable
to reach PR people.
One of them was the PR director of Barney's New York, who
informed callers that the person called was out of the office
until Sept. 3. "During this time period, I will not
be checking my messages," the publicist said.
The other was a publicist at Arista Records, who left a
message that said she was out of the country. "There
was a time when I'd go away and check my voice mail religiously.
I stopped," the publicist, Marlynn Snyder, said.
a former Time magazine correspondent, has replaced
Robert Reilly as director of Voice of America. Jackson has
been editor of the Pentagon's anti-terror website since
retiring from Time last year.
a reporter for USA Today, will participate in two
nights of preliminary competition leading up to the Miss
America Pageant on Sept. 21. She will appear in the talent
and evening wear contests.
was named editor of Time Inc.'s Wallpaper magazine,
replacing founding editor, Tyler Brule. Langmead currently
oversees the lifestyles features desk at The London Evening
radio show, which has aired for eight years on KABC-AM in
Los Angeles, will be syndicated nationally by ABC Radio
Elder is a self-described social liberal and fiscal conservative
who favors abortion rights and legalizing drugs.
National Geographic World,
a 27-year-old magazine for children, which has been renamed
National Geographic Kids, went on sale last week.
The magazine, with its core audience of 8- to 14-year-olds,
is a general interest magazine, covering science, technology,
current events, entertainment, culture and animals.
Editor Melina Bellow is located at the National Geographic
Society, 1145 17th st., N.W., Washington, DC 20036.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
is bringing back John Rosemond's parenting advice
His column, which was pulled from the Sunday paper a month
ago, will run in the new Saturday "Living" section,
which will have a page of movie reviews for kids and things
to do with children.
The newspaper said more than 300 readers demanded the return
of Rosemond's column. Many of the readers who called to
protest were adults who had no children, or parents of grown
children, the paper said.
ABC News' weblog called
"The Note" is getting more than 13,000 hits a
Written each morning by Mark Halperin, Elizabeth Wilner
and Marc Ambinder, who are veteran news staffers in ABC's
Washington, D.C., bureau, the weblog (http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics)
contains a roundup of the morning's political news with
links to newspaper articles, tied with the team's analysis.
Since "The Note" started in January, other news
organizations have started Washington weblogs, including
CBS News' "Washington Wrap" (www.cbs
news.com) and a weblog by Chris Matthews (www.msnbc.com).
U.S. News & World Report's "Washington
Whispers" column has been online for over a year (www.usnews.com).
has introduced a new online product, CQ HomelandSecurity.
A team of CQ reporters and editors will provide up-to-the-
minute news and analysis on the latest homeland security
spending and policy issues.
Jeff Stein is editor.
news continued on next page)
Edition, September 11, 2002, Page 4
PR PRO GIVES DO-IT-YOURSELF
Joanne Cole, president of Cole Communications & PR
Marketing in New York, tells small business owners how to
do their own PR in a column, called "The Flak,"
which appears on Fortune Small Business magazine's
Cole bases most of her advice on her own experiences and
campaigns handled by her firm, whose clients have included
Ann Taylor, Chanel, Black & Decker, and Natural Resources
Cole, who has been a publicist for 20 years, wrotein her
Aug. 14 column-headlined "Fire Your PR Firm"-
that hiring a publicist is not essential.
"Although many companies invest thousands of dollars
in hiring publicity firms to help them write media announcements,
many of these costly missives turn out to be duds.
"They fail because they don't tell a compelling, newsworthy
story that whets a journalist's interest. They don't offer
fresh or timely information. And they don't target their
message to the journalist's audience," said Cole, who
offers tips for creating press releases, using mostly examples
of releases written by her firm.
In her May 21 column, Cole offered a step-by-step guide
to winning national publicity, based on her work for a pro-marijuana
ad campaign in The New York Times, which was sponsored
by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana
The full-page ad quoted New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg as
saying he had tried pot and liked it.
Cole said the "techniques my company used in the campaign
would work well for almost any type of publicity blitz for
a small business owner."
PR PRO SYNDICATES MIDDLE EAST
Ray Hanania, who doesn't want it known that he is VP/PA
at KemperLesnik Comms., Chicago, recently began a weekly
column about the Middle East for The Daily Herald
in Arlington Heights, Ill.
Hanania, a Palestinian American, is afraid people will
think he has a PR agenda.
The PR pro, who is self-syndicating the column, believes
newspapers running only pro-Israel commentary are "somewhat
disrespectful to readers. They're saying, 'We know what's
good for you.' A newspaper should present a good balance
and let you make up your mind."
For his Sept. 11-week column, he plans to write about some
of the 14 innocent Americans-of Arab descent or "Middle
Eastern" appearance-killed in the U.S. in post-9/11
Before joining KemperLesnik, Hanania ran his own PR firm,
Urban Strategies Group Comms., and was a political writer
He is author of a humorous book, entitled "I'm Glad
I Look Like a Terrorist," which was published in 1996.
BYRON JOINS GAMENOW AS TOP
Tom Byron, who is the new editor-in-chief of GameNow
magazine, said video game players want a magazine that
gives them the "straight, no-hype story on the latest
and greatest in gaming."
He said GameNow, which is published by Ziff Davis Media,
will deliver previews and reviews of the hottest games and
the most accurate tips, strategies, hints and tricks in
GameNow's target audience, said Byron, is the more than
12 million electronic gamers who are 14 years old or younger.
Byron, who was director of product marketing at LucasArts
Entertainment, is a former editor of Start magazine for
Atari players, and the games editor for PC Home Journal.
Former president Bill
Clinton, who has talked to NBC and CBS about hosting
a TV talk show, ruled it out on Sept. 3 in an interview
with CNN's Larry King.
Tina Brown, former
editor of the now-defunct Talk magazine, will
write a weekly column about the U.S. for The London Times.
a lifestyle magazine for full-figured women, will
not carry weight-loss or tobacco ads in print or on its
The Weirton (WV)
Daily Times began publishing a Sunday edition
Sept. 8, that will emphasize local news & features,
said managing editor Richard Crofton.
plans to include a new section in its Asian editions
with financial stories provided by Bloomberg News.
The new four-page section, focusing on Asian companies
and Asian financial news, will appear Mondays through Fridays
as of mid-October.
will start a French edition next month, filled with
a mix of French entertainment news and articles from the
Falls Church, Va., is starting Drug Industry Daily, an electronic
daily briefing that provides coverage of what's happening
on Capitol Hill, in the courts and at the FDA, the FTC,
HHS, NIH and other key agencies and decision-making bodies
that affect the pharmaceutical industry.
European Tech Wire
has launched a free daily e-mail newsletter that summarizes
the top technology, venture capital, and Internet stories
With offices in London and Washington, D.C., ETW is a service
of CapWire Inc., which publishes Potomac Tech Wire, an e-mail
newsletter with more than 30,000 subscribers.
Stephen Johnson, editor of ETW, is based in London. www.europeantechwire.com.
Edition, September 11, 2002, Page 7
ATTACK ON USS
Liberty Incident," by A. Jay Cristol, federal judge
and former naval aviator, contends that the 1967 attack
by Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats on the USS Liberty
off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula was a "tragic
mistake" caused by numerous factors including miscommunication
by both sides.
debate has ensued since the book was published in June by
Brassey's Military. C-Span devoted a half-hour to the controversy
Aug. 22 and The History Channel aired a program on it three
times. WOR Radio in New York aired a program on Aug. 28.
BBC (U.K.) also ran a program on it.
the focus on the incident is the fact that this year is
its 35th anniversary.
is a counterpart to "Body of Secrets" (Anchor
Books) authored last year by intelligence specialist James
Bamford, who said he had new evidence that Israeli pilots
knew they were attacking a U.S. ship.
that a U.S. intelligence aircraft, flying overhead, electronically
recorded the attack including comments by the Israeli airmen.
labels the other "absurd" in a debate that has
grown increasingly heated.
Accept "Mistake" Theory
said that Judge Cristol, who serves in the southern district
of Florida, examined "ten official U.S. investigations"
of the incident that indicate the attack was the result
of a series of blunders by both the U.S. and Israel. He
noted that seven presidents (Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter,
Reagan, Bush and Clinton) accepted that conclusion.
of the Cristol book said the attack took place during a
chaotic operational environment that included the start
of the 1967 war between Israel and several of its neighbors.
Eric Margolis of the Toronto Sun, in an article found
theorized that the Liberty learned Israel was planning a
"Pearl Harbor-style attack" on the air forces
of three Arab neighbors that had yet to make any military
moves against it. This "contradicted" Israel's
claim of being attacked, he said. Israel had long wanted
to annex the West Bank, Jerusalem, Golan and Sinai, he wrote.
which lasted about two hours, killed 34 seamen and wounded
137 others in the crew of 297.
Johnson, who initially went on TV and said ten sailors had
been killed in a "six-minute accidental" attack,
accepted an apology from Israel that labeled the incident
a "tragic error." Secretary of State Dean Rusk
and Joint Chiefs of Staff head Admiral Thomas Moorer called
the attack deliberate.
The Liberty website contends there has "never been
a congressional investigation" of the incident (www.ussliberty.com).
ABC PULLS PR
HOAX ON GMA
division hired a youth marketing firm which planted actors
posed as high school hockey players from a fictional town
in the audience of its "Good Morning America"
program to promote an upcoming drama show.
Los Angeles-based Attention Deficit Disorder Marketing for
the project. "We have a very different show in 'Push,
Nevada' and we've decided to market it in a different fashion,"
the network told The Washington Post.
Tony Perkins, flanked by "members" of the Push,
Nev., high school hockey team, held up a jersey from the
fictional town, which happens to be the name of a new ABC
drama set for a fall debut.
about the team on air ("Last year they went 12-and-1)
declaring "I love Push, Nevada!" before moving
on to a weather report.
neither its entertainment unit nor its news division knew
of the promotion.
Via its website,
ADD touts marketing which "gets under and reaches deep
into the core of today's youth psyche."
which first reported the GMA promotion, received a press
release from a fictitious Chamber of Commerce and Visitors
Bureau in Push, Nev., claiming that local business was booming
since the producers of ABC started filming there, reports
the Post. Variety said hitchhikers have been spotted around
Los Angeles carrying signs which read "Push, Nevada,
ADD has worked
for Nike Soccer, Premier Snowskate*, Vespa and the "Blair
GC PROMOTES U.S.
is promoting the National Endowment of the Humanities soon-to-be
launched We the People" initiative to educate Americans
aboutU.S. history and this country's role in the world.
CEO of GC, said the program will provide grants to scholars
to explore themes and significant events in this country's
history. An annual lecture series called "Heroes of
History" and a web-based essay contest for young people
focused on the "Idea of America" are also on tap.
former Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts and Professor
of Comparative Literature at Indiana University, chairs
the NEH, which is a U.S. Government entity.
IAN NAMED TO
MEMBERSHIP POST AT PRSA
Ian, marketing and membership director for the New York
Society of Security Analysts, was named member services
director for PR Society of America. Ian, who is charged
with supervising a staff of 10 and overseeing development
and marketing of membership to the organization, reports
to executive director and COO Catherine Bolton.
marketing, membership development and retention for the
8,500-member NYSSA. Prior to that, she was marketing director
and senior research consultant at KPMG during a 15 year
an August intra-year report, reported a two percent dip
Edition, September 11, 2002, Page 8
this anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon that astounded the U.S. and the
rest of the world, we are pausing from our usual concerns
with PR to acknowledge the vast amount of suffering that
event produced and the real possibility of more suffering
Americans now realize
that the days of reading about bloodshed in far distant
countries because of one conflict or another are over. The
frontlines are right here and it behooves all of us to be
as knowledgeable as possible about the causes of these conflicts
and their possible resolution.
We hear about the 3,000
people who lost their lives on 9/11 but we believe the figure
is higher because families of the undocumented didn't want
to come forward and in any case lacked the necessary papers.
We hear little about the
14,000+ who were wounded in the attack or the 10,000+ small
businesses in and around the Trade Center that vanished
because of it.
Americans are skeptical
about many of the things surrounding the attack,especially
the failure of our huge intelligence community to find out
A story recently on the
O'Dwyer website about a seminar expressing this skepticism
turned out to be the No. 1 accessed story of the month.
There is a tremendous thirst for more facts.
Americans want to be patriotic
in this time of unprecedented assault on our homeland. But
issues are debated openly in a democracy and debates are
won by those with the most facts. The Internet, with its
input from media worldwide, provides access to numerous
schools of thought here and abroad.
The U.S. does not want
to fight the entire Muslim world but our PR efforts aimed
at this world by ad executive Charlotte Beers have been
a giant flop so far. This is a job for PR, not advertising.
Editorial-level details and thoroughness are needed, not
superficial ad slogans.
again tackling a business issue many business publications
avoid, did a positive profile of securities litigator Bill
Lerach in 1995 was portrayed
as evil incarnate by the accounting industry, Fortune
(which called him an "economic terrorist"), Forbes,
and other business publications. Supposedly, his "frivolous"
lawsuits caused budding entrepreneurs endless grief. All
a stock had to do was drop a few points and Lerach and his
goons would drag them into court and cost them hundreds
of thousands of dollars.
The accounting industry,
National IR Institute and other business groups in 1996
got the "Safe Harbor" act (Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act) passed which was supposed to usher
in "a new era of openness in corporate communications
to investors," as IR veteran Ted Pincus put it.
The opposite happened. Corporate fraud took place on an
unprecedented scale. IR people and their bossesflooded the
financial and general press with misleading if not downright
false "pro forma" earnings statements. Company
financial reports, wrested from PR pros by ex-analysts who
jumped into IR, became a swampland of obfuscation and remain
This corruption has led
to a lack of faith in accounting firms and the stock market
and raised doubts about the U.S. economic system itself.
The PSLRA was supposed to protect accounting firms but the
demise of Arthur Andersen is proof that it didn't. Bill
Lerach is riding high again.
responding in 1996 to charges that a "deluge"
of stockholder suits was being launched, said less than
1% of companies were ever sued and only those whose
principals sold stock just before it dropped. The PSLRA
was passed over the veto of President Clinton and the opposition
of 150 newspapers and numerous state pension funds.
USA Today said
the new law would "open the door to fraud."
Fortune ran what
Jeffrey Toobin, author of the New Yorker article,
refers to as a "9,000-word professional obituary"
Lerach told Toobin there
is "so much fraud" and "so little time."
The New Yorker
article does not mention the Omnicom and Interpublic lawsuits.
Milberg Weiss is seeking to be the lead firm in those cases
but the lead firm has yet to be chosen. One charge in the
suit vs. IPG is that 17 executives sold $100 million of
stock at prices inflated by erroneous earnings reports.
Nine Omnicom executives sold stock worth $72 million.
Suh, one of the founders of Agency.com,
in which OMC once had a 36% interest, told the
New York Times Sept. 7 that his "80 employees"
did not have to work Sept. 11 because it should be a "day
ACOM once had nearly 2,000
employees. It had 1,080 staffers in May 2001 (after making
the latest cut of 350) when Suh and others sold their shares
to Seneca Investments, formed by OMC and Pegasus Partners
This gave Seneca a 65.7%
stake. OMC has claimed that the Seneca deal was done in
the open but Advertising Age complained 5/21/01 that
OMC, ACOM, Pegasus and three other entities refused to answer
any of its questions about the deal.
ACOM lost $10.3M in Q1
of 2001. About 16 dot-coms were off-loaded by OMC into Seneca.
Their stock value, once worth $3 billion, had become essentially
worthless as prices plunged to the $1 and $2 range and below