Edition, January 29, 2003, Page 1
AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES FTA PUSH
Australia, a key ally
in President Bush's 'war on terror,' has retained Mayer,
Brown, Rowe & Maw to build support in the White House
and Congress for a free trade agreement with the U.S. The
$175K contract runs through the end of March. That's when
the countries are expected to begin formal negotiations
on the pact.
trade runs at $44 billion a-year. The U.S. is Australia's
No. 1 trading partner. Australia estimates an FTA would
bolster its GDP by $4 billion.
Prime Minister John Howard,
on Jan. 23, bid farewell in Sydney to the HMAS Kanimbla
transport carrier which sailed off to the Middle East. A
special forces unit and 14 F/A-18 Hornets of the Royal Australian
Air Force are expected to see action in Iraq.
CULP RETIRING FROM SEARS
Ronald Culp, VP, PR and communications, Sears, Roebuck
& Co., Chicago, is retiring at the end of February to
"examine future career or business endeavors."
He said this includes plans to write a book about the 100
years of PR at Sears, from the first "PR person"
Alva Roebuck to the creation of WLS Radio ("World's
Largest Store") and the role PR played in building
the Craftsman, Kenmore and DieHard brands.
Culp lives in Hoffman Estates, Ill. (847/286-5703). He
also worked for Eli Lilly, Pitney Bowes and Sara Lee. Culp
is a member of PR Seminar, Arthur Page and PRSA and attended
the "Summit" of PR organizations Jan. 14 in Madison,
"I have been blessed with some incredible career experiences
since becoming a newspaper reporter right out of college
and going into government work before joining the corporate
world," he said.
Culp added that "having reached the magical ten-year
point at Sears, I have decided to retire so I can openly
explore a number of other interests."
Equals Three Communications,
Bethesda, Md., has picked up a $1.5 million minority
outreach project from the Department of Housing and Urban
Development to encourage home ownership. The goal is to
inform Hispanic and African-American communities about HUD's
home-buying services, including credit counseling and the
availability of properties owned by HUD.
S&P WARNS, MERRILL CUTS
Standard & Poor's says it will soon decide whether
to lower Interpublic debt ratings to junk bond status. The
ratings firm warned that IPG has "no remaining cushion
in the rating to withstand any negative news or disappointing
Merrill Lynch ad analyst Lauren Fine also has gotten negative
on IPG in the wake of the Securities and Exchange Commission
upgrading its probe into the investigation of IPG's $181.3
million earnings restatement.
She penned a research note to say the SEC announcement
"obviously heightens the uncertainty and risk in Interpublic
shares after a year where earnings disappointments and accounting
restatements clouded the shares."
While Fine believes that IPG does not have a liquidity
problem, she says there is a chance that the 38 cents-a-share
dividend may be cut.
Fine lowered her 2003 earnings-per-share target to 95 cents
FEDEX'S ROSSITER TO FIRST
Greg Rossiter, director of international communications
for Fedex Corp. in Memphis, has accepted the post of senior
VP of corporate communications at First Data Corp., Denver.
He is slated to begin work there Feb. 3.
Prior to joining FedEx in 1996, Rossiter handled corporate
communications at Procter & Gamble and Sears, Roebuck
Bob Woodrum and Pepper Lunsford conducted the search at
TIGER TEAMS WITH DAVIES
The Tiger Woods Foundation, which runs golf clinics and
exhibitions in inner-cities throughout the U.S., has retained
Davies Communications, for PR and marketing support. The
501 (c)(3) group's mission is to encourage young people
to "dream big dreams" so they can become full
participants in the economic mainstream.
Golfer Tiger Woods and his father, Earl, founded the organization
which also stresses the need of parents to become more active
in raising their children. DC also is to promote fundraising
activities for the planned $25 million Tiger Woods Learning
Center that will be built in Orange County, Calif. CEO John
Davies said Woods is "an incredible role model."
Edition, January 29, 2003, Page 2
CCA RAPPED FOR PLANNING 'HATE-FEST'
The Christian Coalition
of America's president Roberta Combs says her group is sponsoring
a symposium to educate "Christians of faith and interested
Americans about the true nature of Islam."
Nihad Awad, executive
director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, ridicules
that claim, saying the two million-member CCA is planning
nothing more than an "Islamophobic hate-fest."
Awad believes the speakers lined up by CCA for the Feb.
15 Washington, D.C., event will only "serve to increase
unthinking hatred directed at Islam and the American Muslim
CCA speakers include Daniel
Pipes, columnist for the New York Postand Jerusalem Post,
and director of the Middle East Forum; Joseph Farah, editor
Daily.com; and Labib Mikhail, who has written more than
60 books on Islam and Christianity.
Pipes, according to a
CAIR statement, wrote in the Jewish World Review
that American Muslims represent a threat to the U.S. because
they want to turn this country into a Muslim state. Farah
wrote that "Islam has been at war with the West, with
Christianity, with Judaism ever since the days of Muhammad."
Mikhail believes the Koran "condones racism, violence,
terrorism and killing of Jews and Christians in the name
of Allah." His latest book, "Islam, Muhammad and
the Koran," has chapters entitled "Islam is not
a religion of peace," and "Islam is not a divine
CAIR has called on the
CCA to offer more "accurate and balanced" presentations.
Ronn Torossian, who recently set up 5W PR in New York, is
CCA's PR advisor. He also represents the Zionist Organization
RF EDGES TWO FOR ZENGEN
Ruder Finn edged Rogers & Assocs. and Carter Ryley
Thomas to land Zengen's six-figure PR account.
The Woodland Hills, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical company
is working to develop markets for its "peptide technology."
That anti-inflammatory treatment may be suited for people
suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, arthritis and stroke.
Kathy Vincent, VP of RF's Los Angeles healthcare unit,
leads the Zengen account.
TRUST SEMINAR POSTPONED
A full-day seminar on corporate trust at Mercy College
in New York has been postponed because of insufficient registrations.
No new date has been set for the $795-per-person event,
which was slated for Jan. 29 and included several authors
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, trust assessments, and leadership
were all planned as topics.
Prof. Robert Schachat, author of The Seven Conditions
of Trust, was to be chair. Other speakers included Steve
John, head of global organizational effectiveness for Aventis;
Joyce Newman of The Newman Group, and Randy Williams of
Redmond, Williams & Assocs.
S.C. JOHNSON FINANCES ANTI-COAL
Reset, a coalition backed by S.C. Johnson & Co., has
hired Zeppos & Assocs., a Milwaukee-based PR firm, to
create an anti-coal ad/PR blitz.
The campaign, which will run over the next six to eight
months, will oppose Wisconsin Energy Corp.'s plan to add
three new coal plants.
The Milwaukee Journal said Reset has received more
than $150,000 from the S.C. Johnson's charitable foundation
to get started.
Sam Johnson, the semi-retired chairman of the multibillion
dollar privately held consumer and commercial cleaning products
company is opposed to the new coal plants.
Johnson told the Journal he was inspired to help finance
the coalition after meetings with Wisconsin Energy executives
proved unproductive. He said the state's largest energy
company refused to answer all his questions about the proposed
Rich Bogovich, energy director of Wisconsin's Environmental
Decade and a spokesman for Reset, which stands for Responsible
Energy for Southeastern Wisconsin's Tomorrow, said the public
affairs education campaign will point out health risks and
"fuzzy" economics of building coal-burning plants.
Bogovich plans to use Zeppos to create radio and print
ads that will begin running in the spring.
There are 20 members of the coalition, including Wisconsin's
Environmental Decade, Citizens for a Better Environment,
the town of Caledonia, All Saints Healthcare, the Clean
Air Task Force, the American Lung Assn. of Wisc. and the
Allergy & Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics.
Rich Cieslak, spokesman for Wisconsin Energy, said he hopes
"this doesn't become an issue of `who can come up with
the best PR spin and the best marketing plan.'"
WS UNVEILS TYSON BRANDING
Weber Shandwick is promoting Tyson Foods' $100 million
integrated marketing campaign to position the Springdale,
Ark.-based company as the "world's largest protein
provider" in the aftermath of the completion of its
Iowa Beef Processors acquisition 2002.
That outlay is slated for advertising-created by DDB Chicago--consumer
promotions, multicultural/ cause-related/online marketing
and in-store events.
Founded 68 years ago as a chicken producer, the company
plans to market various beef and pork products under the
Tyson sold $10.5 billion worth of beef and $7.2 billion
in chicken during fiscal 2002. Chicken, however, is more
profitable than beef. Tyson registered $428 million in operating
profit from its chicken lines, while beef profits were $220
Aaryn Enos, who is based in WS' Chicago office, is among
staffers working on the Tyson account.
Cathy Calhoun, the head of that office, is co-president
of WS' global consumer marketing practice.
Edition, January 29, 2003, Page 3
HOLSTEIN IS EDITOR
OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE
was named editor-in-chief of Chief Executive magazine,
based in Montvale, N.J.
30-year career as a business journalist, Holstein has been
world editor at Business Week, editor-at-large at Business
2.0 and senior editor at U.S. News & World Report.
a past president of the Overseas Press Club and currently
president of the OPC Foundation, also had been contributing
articles on a freelance basis to The New York Times and
previously editorial director, remains at Chief Executive
Executive, which was started in 1977, focuses on management
issues related to international, financial, technology and
automotive topics as well as analysis of business trends.
which reaches 42,000 CEOs and their peers, is published
10 times a year. Edward Kopke is chairman/CEO of the publication.
BOOKER JOINS 'ENTERTAINMENT
Chris Booker has joined "Entertainment Tonight"
as a correspondent, according to Linda Blue, executive producer
of the program.
"Booker," as he is known in the media world,
will report on film, TV, music and fashion for the syndicated
daily TV newsmagazine show, based in Hollywood, Calif.
He is currently the host of a daily radio show on K-Rock
in New York, and is also the host of MTV's "120 Minutes,"
"The Return of the Rock" and regularly reports
on music news for MTV2.
Booker will be based in New York and will travel as necessary
for interviews while retaining his duties at K-Rock, MTV
Currently in its 22nd season, ET is taped in Hollywood.
Bureaus are located in New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C.,
London and Tokyo.
KANTOR JUMPS TO NEW YORK TIMES
Jodi Kantor, the current New York editor of Slate, is joining
The New York Times on March 1 as editor of the Sunday
"Arts & Leisure" section.
She will replace William McDonald, who has been acting
editor of the section. He becomes deputy culture editor.
36, a senior editor at Newsweek who co-founded the
now-defunct magazine Out, died Jan. 21 after battling lymphoma
for the past year.
81, the prize-winning editorial cartoonist, died Jan. 22.
99, who drew caricatures of celebrities, died Jan. 20.
49, the wife of CNN "Moneyline" host Lou Dobbs,
was arrested at Liberty (Newark) International Airport on
Jan. 22 for having a loaded handgun in her handbag, according
to a Port Authority spokesman.
35, was named business editor of The Asheville (N.C.)
She will head up a weekly business publication scheduled
to begin appearing in the paper in late March as well as
daily business coverage.
Davis was previously business editor and bureau reporter
for The Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald-Journal.
She can be reached at 828/232-5995 or via e-mail at [email protected].
44, a reporter and business journalist for more than 20
years, has joined The Desert Sun in Palm Beach, Calif.
Maio had been a Los Angeles-based writer for the past six
years with Dow Jones Newswires, where he covered business
in Southern California.
S. Mitra Kalita,
who is joining The Washington Post as an education
beat reporter, was elected president of the South Asian
Journalists Assn., which is headquartered at Columbia Univ.'s
Adrian Mello was named editor-in-chief of Electronic
Business magazine, based in New York. He is a former
editor of Macworld, Upside, and Line 56.
SALON TO REQUIRE SUBSCRIPTIONS
In what appears to be a last-ditch effort to stay in business,
Salon, the online magazine, is planning to require all readers
to either buy a subscription for full access to stories
or agree to click through several screens of advertising
to gain limited access.
"There's no free lunch on the web anymore," Salon
founder David Talbot told The Los Angeles Times.
More daily newspapers will soon require registration access
to their websites, according to Editor & Publisher.Papers
published by the E.W. Scripps, McClatchy, Cox, Media General,
and Morris Communication groups are close to implementing
registration policies, according to E&P.
has registered over one million users, according to Belo
Interactive, the Internet subsidiary of Belo Corp. which
owns The Dallas Morning News. While the site is free
to users, registration is required to access various content
has renamed Electronic Media as TelevisionWeek.
Alex Ben Block will continue as editor of the Los Angeles-based
paper, which will put more emphasis on current news plus
cover other aspects of the TV industry, including increased
attention to production, marketing, talent and new media.
news continued on next page)
Edition, January 29, 2003, Page 4
CAVENDER JOINS LIFETIME AS
Cathy Cavender, former editor-in-chief of Rosie
magazine, is joining the staff of soon-to-be-launched Lifetime
magazine as deputy editor.
Hearst Corp. is offering a preview of its new magazine
in ads that are running in ad trade publications and major
The magazine, whose "real life, real women" stories
will be based on the women's cable network, will be aimed
at women in their 30s and compete with O: The Oprah Magazine,
Real Simple, and Martha Stewart Living.
Lifetime is scheduled to publish six times in 2003
and then go monthly in 2004.
DOW JONES TO 'INTEGRATE'
Starting in February, Dow Jones, parent of Dow Jones Newswires
and The Wall Street Journal, will begin a process
to better synchronize and integrate the work of the journalists
at both of those news outlets.
Journal reporters and DJN, which is based in Weehawken,
N.J., have not collaborated or planned their coverage schedules
The idea "is intended to make maximum use of our resources,
and free reporters to do additional news and analytical
reporting rather than simply spend time doing two versions
of the same story," according to a memo that was signed
by Paul Ingrassia, president of DJN, and Paul Steiger, managing
editor of the Journal.
The effort will focus on breaking news, such as earnings,
acquisitions and economic indicators, according to the memo.
"No matter who handles a story, that story or stories
will have to serve all of us," Ingrassia and Steiger
SAJAK TO HOST NEW SUNDAY TALK
Pat Sajak, host of "Wheel of Fortune," is joining
Fox News Channel to host a weekly, one-hour Sunday talk
show that will book celebrities and newsmakers as guests.
The new show, which is called "Pat Sajak Weekend,"
will air at 9 p.m. (ET), beginning this spring.
Once the new show begins, "At Large with Geraldo Rivera"
will move to 10 p.m., replacing "Fox Wire with Rita
Cosby." Cosby will host "Big Story Weekend Edition"
on Saturdays at 9 p.m.
Sajak will continue hosting Wheel of Fortune.
EX-GANNET EDITOR WINS SETTLEMENT
Gannett, the parent company of The Cincinnati Enquirer,
will pay $550,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by former editor
Lawrence Beaupre, who had accused the company of making
him a scapegoat for the legal wrangling involving Chiquita
The settlement resolves a case that began nearly three
years ago when Beaupre sued Gannett, claiming that high-ranking
company officials ruined his reputation to protect the company
from legal action resulting from articles published in the
Enquirer in 1998 about Chiquita's business practices.
The newpaper later renounced the articles and fired the
lead reporter, Michael Gallagher, accusing him of lying
about how he obtained tapes from Chiquita's corporate voice
The newspaper also published a front page apology to Chiquita
and paid the Cincinnati-based company a $14 million settlement.
Beaupre is currently managing editor of The Scranton
Times Tribune newspaper in Pennsylvania.
The Dallas Morning
News plans to start a Spanish-language daily
newspaper in the fourth quarter of this year. The publication,
which will have its own website, will cover local, international,
entertainment and sports news.
Gilbert Bailon, a past president of the National Association
of Hispanic Journalists, was named executive editor.
Denis Horgan was named
travel editor of The Hartford (Conn.) Courant.
Horgan, who previously was a news columnist, will also
write for the travel section.
Tom Condon, who has been a reporter/columnist, was assigned
to cover a new culture beat.
He will cover and review the business of arts and entertainment
in Connecticut, according to Brian Toolan, editor of the
Toolan said Helen Ubinas will begin writing a new twice-weekly
news column. Unlike her "City" column, which will
end, the new column will focus on topics of statewide interest.
The Hollywood Reporter
has opened a bureau in Miami and named Deborah Wilker
as its chief.
Wilker will cover breaking entertainment news from Florida
and throughout the Southeast.
Wilker will also be a contributor to "THR East,"
the Reporter's electronic edition that is distributed daily
via e-mail throughout the East Coast.
2nd Home Living
to be launched coast-to-coast by MausMedia, a new
Kansas City-based publisher.
The magazine, which is about living well and buying things,
is targeted at the six million second home owners and those
dreaming about it.
It is the brainchild of Zim Loy, who left her job last
May as editorial director of Kansas City Magazine
and Kansas City Home Design, and her husband, Warren
Maus, former ad sales executive at KCPT-TV, who was an editor
of VFW's national magazine and publisher of Kansas City
Live! magazine for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
Loy is handling editorial content, lining up writers, and
picking subjects for stories.
Edition, January 29, 2003, Page 7
PR NEEDS MORE 'CHUTZPAH'
PR must earn a place at
the decision table as a full partner on a company's marketing
team, said Bill Marks, VP of PR for Coca-Cola North America
at a recent PRSA/L.A. event. That was one of Marks' tips
for 125 PR pros at the event for "successful branding
Marks said that PR pros
must be professional, disciplined and clearly focused when
they reach that table. Secondly, he said that it is PR's
job to "insist" and "ensure" that new
products have, at minimum, relevance, interest and acceptance
Marks also said timing
is critical to campaigns, noting that Monday is usually
a good news day. "Timing is the only thing we can control,"
He called on PR pros to "find a way to put 'chutzpah'
back into PR."
"Be a little pushy
and get outside the proverbial envelope," he said.
"But don't just think outside the envelope, act outside
Marks' final tip: be credible.
"We can't over claim. We must never try to 'fool' the
public," he said. "We must let the product, the
service, the object of our efforts speak for itself. But
always make sure first, of course, that whatever it is has
been properly positioned before it speaks."
from 'Leaks' to 'Launch'
Discussing his company's
successful and well-publicized launch of Vanilla Coke in
2002, Marks credited early rumors and leaks with starting
a buzz for the brand. He said an early item in the Financial
Times [of London] gave credibility to early rumors,
most of which stemmed from an initial report in Beverage
Digest, a trade publication. "What followed [the
Financial Times story] was a U.S. media frenzy with all
kinds of reporters trying to match that story," he
said. "All this happened more than a month before we
were ready to launch."
To ward off repeated speculation,
Marks said Coke had to come back in the media with a confirmation
that the product did exist.
The company published
a brief press release and simple B-roll tape which was picked
up by about 700 outlets, he said.
Marks said the next challenge
was to develop an event to continue to drive media coverage.
He said his staff went on the Internet and found The Vanilla
Bean Café in Pomfret, Conn. "It's a Norman Rockwell
kind of quaint town and an honest-to-goodness mom-and-pop
café. Logically, we PR types at Coke thought a setting
like that just might drive some more TV coverage."
He said the event hit 1,500 local TV networks (95 percent
of the TV markets) and 250 newspaper stories. Marks said
PR efforts for the launch were accountable for awareness
levels of 40 percent.
"First, there were
the 'leaks.' Then, our confirmation of the brand's existence.
Third, the launch event," he recapped. "Our staff
went and found The Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret. That's
outside the envelope. That's chutzpah."
PVC PITCHES LOUISIANA WETLANDS
Pacific Visions Communications
is driving a three-year, multi-million dollar effort for
the state of Louisiana which has the oil industry and environmentalists
in an unusual alliance to raise awareness of the threat
erosion is posing to the nation's coastal wetlands, energy
supply and seafood industry.
The "America's Wetland"
campaign, which is budgeted in the $3-$4 million range,
is aimed at educating the public on damage to the Pelican
State's shores - most of which was caused by U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers levee projects on the Mississippi River in
the 1930s - and its effects on economics and industry.
The campaign's biggest
corporate backer is Shell Oil, which cut a check for $3
million to be "world sponsor." Louisiana's coastal
wetlands - 40 percent of the nation's wetlands - are traversed
by pipelines and dotted by platforms and refineries which
handle 25 percent of the U.S.'s energy supply. Shell alone
employs 2,500 in the state.
The state has lost a land
mass equal to the state of Rhode Island and estimates 35
square miles a year are disappearing under water.
PVC president Val Marmillion
told this NL his firm came to the attention of the state
for its work on a national campaign for the U.S. Dept. of
Education, National Endowment for the Arts and NASA regarding
the exploration of the planet Mars.
Gov. Mike Foster estimates
it will cost $14 billion in federal and state funds to restore
and protect Louisiana's eroding coastal wetlands.
McIlhenny Corp., the maker
of Tabasco sauce which is involved in a task force set up
by Foster, has agreed to put the "America's Wetland"
label on Tabasco bottles as part of the campaign. Ducks
Unlimited and Time for Kids have also agreed to support
WHITE HOUSE SETS UP GLOBAL
President Bush signed an Executive Order on Jan. 21 that
formally establishes the White House Office of Global Communications
to "promote the interests of the U.S. abroad, prevent
misunderstanding, build support for and among coalition
partners and inform international audiences."
White House aide Tucker Eskew has been running such an
office for about six months, dealing with the foreign media
to pitch the American line.
Bush's EO promises "truthful, accurate and effective
messages" about the U.S. Government, America's people
The Office, after consulting with the State Dept., may
coordinate its activities with foreign governments. It will
work closely with State and Defense Depts. to ensure "rapid
response to allegations and rumors in the war on terror."
A White House fact sheet says the OGC will help the President
relay his message of "dignity, security and liberty
for all people everywhere."
Edition, January 29, 2003, Page 8
The Bush Administration
not only has to fight a possible war against Iraq but a
war to win U.S. and world opinion to its side. It's
a classic PR struggle involving the influencing of public
Based on opinion polls, the Administration has yet to "convincingly
explain" its case for the war to Europeans, wrote Newsweek
international editor Fareed Zakaria Jan. 27.
opinion is running at 81% in Germany and 82% in France.
Zakaria called the numbers "truly staggering."
About two-thirds of the French were against the first war
on Iraq in 1991.
the U.S., approval of President Bush has dropped to 54%
from 90% just after 9/11 says a WSJ/NBC poll. U.S. attempts
to win support in the Muslim world, led by PR chief Charlotte
Beers, have not been successful. She has mostly advocated
ads as a means of reaching Muslims.
media, meanwhile, are accused of undercovering anti-war
demonstrations and failing to encourage the type of spirited
debate that preceded the initial Iraqi invasion. The Administration
has to come up with new evidence of the threat posed by
Iraq. It is saying it can't reveal the evidence because
of security considerations.
New York PR counselor Robert Dilenschneider, commenting
on the Jan. 14 "Summit" of PR leaders aimed at
"restoring trust" in corporate America, said "restoring"
is the wrong word because "poll after poll shows that
trust in business institutions has never been there."
He also feels that failing to link profit margins and trust
is "ridiculous" because "a company that is
not trusted cannot succeed, even in the short term."
Business, said Dilenschneider, must consider the causes
of mistrust including the "gaps in pay and wealth that
exist in the workplace" and the numerous recent "corporate
trangressions." The output of the entertainment industry
is causing a decline in decency and civility, he feels.
While on the subject of
Economist said Jan. 18 that Americans, in a lackluster
economy, are entertaining themselves at a record rate. Movie
revenues rose 12% in 2002 to a record $9.4 billion. Sales
of DVDs were up 61%. Video games had a great year, worldwide
sales reaching $31B. Investment bank Veronis Suhler says
spending on pay TV rose 9%. TV and radio usage continues
at a high rate. It could be that Americans want an escape
from harsh reality. PR firms should think of campaigns that
will entertain consumers
On the subject of "gaps
in pay and wealth,"
Newsweek's Robert Samuelson points out that the
top 1% of earners received 18% of total income in 2001,
up from 9% in 1979. The Bush tax cuts would give 59% of
the money to the top 10% of earners, according to the Brookings
The strict new code for
reporters of the New York Times (1/22 NL)
seems to forbid staffers from appearing at media workshops
of the Publicity Club of New York. Reporters are not supposed
to take part in "PR workshops that charge admission"
or that tell PR pros "how to deal successfully with
media." NYT reporters are told not to be too friendly
or "cozy" with news sources and warned that "romantic
involvement with a source would foster an appearance of
the engagement of executive editor Howell Raines, 59, and
Krystyna Stachowiak, 38, a PR counselor, was announced this
month. Staffers are supposed to report romances to editors.
But are readers aware of them?
about NYT reporters who are married to PR pros, of which
there are several? A list should be published. The 53-page
code is at www.poynter.org
(Talk About Ethics on right side)
Expense accounts have shrunk
not only in the PR field but in general.
"The new stinginess cuts across the spectrum of American
business," said the NYT Jan. 19. Numerous anecdotes
were told such as the refusal of one lunch partner to pick
up the whole bill as promised once he saw it.
PR counselors who are price-cutting
or doing more for the same fee
are examples of deflation, which is starting to show up
in the economy and which can be worse than inflation. TVs,
computers, telephones, sportswear and many other items suffered
price declines in 2002, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
One bad thing about deflation is that businesses won't borrow
because the value of money goes up and it gets more expensive
to pay it back.
has wracked Japan for ten years in the wake of the crash
of real estate prices.
If Interpublic may sell
its NFO research unit (1/22 NL) to raise cash,
it may also be thinking of selling PR units. It owned the
11th largest PR firm in the early 1980s (Infoplan with 103
employees in 10 countries) but sold it off around 1985.
It purchased 5% of Edelman PR Worldwide in 1985 by giving
Edelman the PR unit of Daily Advertising in L.A. and S.F.
IPG and Edelman didn't get along and Edelman bought back
the 5%. The tight-lipped, client-oriented culture of IPG
is at odds with the culture of PR, which promises "transparency."
owners got $500 million of IPG stock back in 2000 when IPG
was around $40 a share. This sank to as low as $9 and is
now around $15. NFO sellers had the right to pull out if
IPG sank to $44 but the deal was pushed through. IPG's bonds
are close to "junk" status and Mark Sellers of
on 1/22 called IPG one of five stocks that look like "value
stocks look good because they're "so beaten down"
but investors should be cautious, he advises. A stock that
looks "really cheap" can get "cheaper,"