Edition, March 26, 2003, Page 1
BOOTH SAYS YAHOO!
M Booth & Assocs.
edged Lou Hammond & Associates and Laura Davidson PR
for the re-introduction of Yahoo! Travel, according to Nancy
Evars, who is in charge of Yahoo's search and marketplace
PR. "It was a very tough decision," she said.
She picked Booth because of the online experience and travel
industry ties possessed by Joan Bloom and Joan Brower. That
duo ran Hill and Knowlton's travel business before joining
Booth on Sept. 10, 2001 as co-heads of its travel and lifestyle
Evars said Booth will
do media relations work for YT and promote the various new
"bells and whistles" that will be added to the
site in May. YT currently offers hotel guides, maps, weather/shopping/
news items and a video gallery of destinations.
Laura Davidson PR picked up the Trump International Sonesta
Beach Resort account.
WASH. MUTUAL TO JASCULCA/TERMAN
Washington Mutual, Seattle, after an agency review lasting
several months, picked Jasculca/Terman and Assocs., Chicago,
to handle PR for its entry into the Chicago market.
The bank, which is the largest residential mortgage lender,
has 55,000 employees. It entered the New York market last
year by acquiring Dime Savings' 125 offices and has since
added 25 more.
Also pitching were Ruder Finn, Public Communications, and
several other firms.
Derek Aney, VP of Northeast PR, supervised the review.
The bank's PR is headed by Bill Ehrlich.
Washington Mutual is the seventh largest financial institution
in the U.S. A March 17 Fortune magazine lengthy feature
on the bank by Kimberly Allers said it is "using a
creative retail approach to turn the banking world upside
According to Fortune, the bank aims at the "working
class, people of color, and immigrant communities that make
up the country's fastest-growing demographic groups."
GODDARD & CLAUSSEN ON
Ben Goddard and Rick Claussen have left Goddard-Claussen
Porter Novelli to establish GC Strategic Advocacy. The two
earned their PA stripes for creation of the "Harry
and Louise" campaign that helped kill former President
Clinton's healthcare reform policies.
MARK AARON HEADS NIRI
Mark Aaron, VP-IR, Tiffany & Co., New York, who has
been chair of the regulatory affairs and media relations
committee of the National IR Institute, was elected its
chairman. His term runs to next March.
Aaron received a BA degree in economics from Alfred University
in 1973 and an MBA in finance from Boston University in
He and Tiffany in both 2001 and 2002 received three Investor
Relations Magazine awards.
New members of the board are James Ryan, VP-IR, Lockheed
Martin; Randi Feigin, VP-IR, Juniper Networks; Pamela Murphy,
VP-IR and CC, Incyte Genomics, and Maureen Wolff-Reid, president,
Sharon Merrill Assocs.
They replace Donald Eagon of Diebold, who was chairman;
James Chiafery, East Jackson Assocs.; Jay Gould, Huntington
Bancshares, and Nancy Humphries, formerly of BellSouth.
NIRI is to release its annual financial report shortly.
CONGLOMS RAPPED FOR THEIR
Douglas Carmichael, Ph.D., Wollman Distinguished Professor
of Accountancy at Baruch College and who is often quoted
on accounting ethics, said the advertising/PR holding companies
are improperly using Sarbanes-Oxley when they cite it as
an excuse for not revealing the billings of their many units
He said there's no reason why units of the companies can't
report their employee totals and even payroll totals. "Payroll
is simply an accumulation of historical data" and doesn't
fall under GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles),
Regulation G of the Securities & Exchange Commission,
which implements S-O as of March 28, specifically exempts
"number of employees" from coverage under the
Act since it is a non-financial statistic.
The five largest holding companies-WPP Group, Omnicom,
Interpublic, Havas and Publicis-have all said they will
supply no billings figures for 2002 for their hundreds of
ad agencies and PR firms because S-O has made it too dangerous
to give different numbers to publications in the U.S. and
abroad. GAAP varies from country to country and each publication
has its own rules, say the Big Five.
Carmichael, who often appears on TV interview shows and
who has been quoted by major publications such as The
Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Business
Week, said that S-O was passed to
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Edition, March 26, 2003, Page 2
(continued from page 1)
not stand in its way.
companies always had to
report accurately but S-O has now imposed greater penalties
for violators, he said.
Carmichael has been a
major supporter of understandable financial reporting.
"The integrity of
American capitalism depends on transparent accounting,"
he has said. "Investors must be able to understand
and trust the numbers-or else, like Enron, the whole enterprise
crumbles," he feels.
Other CPAs agreed that
number of employees and payroll totals could be reported
without being in danger of violating S-O. One said that
total employees is "simply a number on a government
form" (the W-3, which all companies must file by Jan.
31 each year) and doesn't fall under GAAP. The W-3 also
shows total spending on payroll. In the PR field, total
payroll is almost always close to one-half of fees. PR firms
traditionally return at least one-half of their fees in
the form of professional time, which is what the O'Dwyer
Co. rankings measure.
Howard Meyers, New York
Securities lawyer and former staff member at the SEC, told
Advertising Age: "If you are going to disseminate
accurate information to trade publications, I don't see
how that runs afoul of the (S-O) act." Ad Age, in an
editorial March 17 headlined "Holding companies do
disservice to all," said the conglomerates were "hiding
behind" S-O and added: "Some may be hamstrung
by the fear that past overstatements would be exposed, while
others were simply happy to avoid dissecting ad agency data
after a difficult year." A "blackout on data is
no answer," it concluded.
A comment is being sought
from the Council of PR Firms, which has decided to publish
no rankings at all this year after setting out to be the
arbiter of such rankings four years ago.
RAMER EXITS OGILVY
Donna Ramer, who joined Ogilvy PR Worldwide's healthcare
group as senior VP on Jan. 20, is no longer at the firm,
Sherry Pudloski, co-manager of the group, told this NL.
"People leave PR firms all the time," she explained.
Ramer joined the WPP Group unit from Lippe Taylor, where
she was executive VP. Prior to that, she headed Makovsky
& Co.'s health practice.
Pudloski said there have been no recent layoffs in the 50-60
member New York City health unit.
Miller Bonner Jr.,
52, co-founder/CEO of The Alliant Group, died in a traffic
accident on March 15. He was driving on Texas 71 when an
oncoming car crossed the center line and struck his car.
In 1994, he co-founded GTT Communications, which specialized
in technology clients. After the firm was sold to Edelman
PR Worldwide in 1998, Bonner became an EVP at Edelman. In
2001, Bonner co-founded Alliant, which has offices in Austin,
Dallas, San Antonio and New York.
HALLIBURTON TO REVIEW IRANIAN
Halliburton, which is expected to play a key role in the
reconstruction of Iraq, has agreed to a review of its operations
in Iran at the request of the New York City Police and Fire
The two pension funds have more than $18 million in holdings
in Halliburton, which was headed by Vice President Dick
Cheney from 1995 to Sept. 2000.
New York City Comptroller William Thompson submitted the
shareholder proposal last fall because of heightened concerns
about corporate ties to states sponsoring terrorist activity.
Current government sanctions prohibit U.S. corporations
from virtually all trade and investment with Iran.
Halliburton opened an office in Iran under the name Halliburton
Products and Services Ltd., its Cayman Islands subsidiary,
in February 2000.
"In the current global climate, it is important that
shareholders have full and complete confidence that companies
with which they do business are not, in any indirect way,
supporting terrorists. Halliburton has taken the correct
path to instill shareholder confidence," said Comptroller
WEBER IS TO STICK AROUND AT
The fate of high-tech guru Larry Weber is uncertain as
Interpublic Group CEO David Bell plans to revamp IPG's $1.7
billion Advanced Marketing Services unit that is headed
by the Weber Group founder.
Weber sold his firm to IPG in 1996 for about $16 million,
and rose to the top of the $425 million Weber Shandwick
entity that was created to form the biggest PR colossus.
The collapse of the high-tech market, however, dealt a severe
blow to that No. 1 standing.
IPG, according to its March 11 Securities and Exchange
Commission filing, will restructure AMS once it unloads
NFO WorldGroup, a key AMS component. "As part of that
reorganization, the remaining components of AMS will be
realigned with our other operating groups," IPG told
the SEC. AMS currently consists of Weber Shandwick, Golin/Harris
International and its MWW Group subsidiary and DeVries PR.
Weber, who is on vacation, could not reached for comment.
Rebecca Oddsun, VP at AMS, said Weber will remain involved
with Interpublic following the AMS restructure. "He
isn't going anwhere," she told this website. "He
will assist in managing Weber Shandwick," which is
headed by Harris Diamond.
Bell also may take a look at its Interpublic Sports and
Entertainment Group unit, a group that includes its troubled
Octagon racing unit. IPG wants to get out of the racing
business. Bragman Nyman Cafarelli and PMK/HBH are the PR
components of ISEG.
U.S. MAY GET FED UP, SAYS
The U.S. has spent "vast treasure and goodwill"
helping to liberate nations throughout the world and to
recover from the ravages of war, and has gotten little appreciation
in return, according to Wes Pedersen of the Public Affairs
"We've lost brave young men and women as they patrolled
troubled lands as peacekeepers," wrote the PAC's director
of communications & PR in a letter published today by
The Wall Street Journal.
Pedersen agrees with the point made by Daniel Henninger
(WSJ March 7) that the U.S. may get fed up with bailing
out the rest of the world.
Edition, March 26, 2003, Page 3
LOWDOWN ON TEEN MAGS.
A panel of
four teen magazine editors gave publicists the inside scoop
for getting stories in their respective publications at
a recent Publicity Club of New York luncheon.
editor-in-chief of J-14, said it is first and foremost
an entertainment magazine.
cover celebrities," said Giovanelli. "We like
to explore things that are pertinent in a teen's life via
the celebrity. So we talk about issues that they're going
through in school, with their friends, with their family,
through the celebrity, as well as offering the latest celebrity
who is based in J-14's editorial office in Englewood, N.J.,
said fashion and beauty coverage is also done via the celebrity.
a point of saying "We only feature products that are
affordable to our reader. So if you have a $75 eye cream,
it's not going to go in J-14."
will not cover products that teenagers are not ready for,
or something that is too revealing or just too old.
executive editor of Teen People, said her magazine,
which just celebrated its fifth anniversary, is read by
12 to 24-year-olds, and 20% of its readers are male.
about 25% of TP's readership is non-white. Newsstand sales
average about 500,000 with an estimated readership of about
said TP is divided into three categories-entertainment,
fashion and beauty, and real life.
entertainment stories are mostly A-list stars where we get
great access, going into their homes, going on tour buses,
going on the road and we also do celebrities who are making
their way up, like who's going to be the next big band,
the next big actor."
News is covered
extensively in the "Hot Stuff" pages, which run
in the front of the book. She said the news is "very
product driven" and it tends to be "theme driven,"
such as "Cool Jeans for the Season" or "Cool
is looking for new products to use in the new "Beauty
and Fashion Newswire" page, which just started. She
said the products should have "some sort of cool spin
thing that TP's beauty editor Tia Williams is doing is to
address diversity in beauty. "So we won't just do a
blush story, we'll do a story on blush that could be worn
on dark skin, light skin, olive skin, we're just trying
to really appeal to all our readers and be careful about
that," she said.
TP also likes
to run fashion and beauty contests. "We're always interested
in hearing about what we can do to work with the companies
to provide contests, whether it be a new makeup line for
summer or a new wardrobe for fall, something like that,"
executive editor of YM, said the magazine's has about
a 2.5 million circulation, and almost all are female readers
between the ages of 12 and 20.
account passalong readership, the magazine's readership
is estimated at three times the actual sales numbers, she
the publicists to "please read the magazine" because
it will "tell you much more than anyone can on the
to get pitches by regular mail instead of e-mail because
she can get a "sense of what you're talking about.
Often e-mails just seem as though they're multiple and impersonal."
fashion news editor of Teen Vogue, whose second issue
just hit newsstands, said the magazine will imitate Vogue's
format, including the same sections.
what the editors are "really interested in" is
access, taking readers inside the worlds of fashion and
beauty, giving them information that they can't find in
VARIETY EDITOR TO CO-HOST
A new show, featuring provocative discussions about the
entertainment industry, is scheduled to make its debut in
October on the AMC cable network.
Variety editor Peter Bart and Peter Gruber, a producer,
will co-host the program, which is called "Sunday Morning
Bart said the program will feature high-powered guests
engaging in discussions about Hollywood. "The focus
will be to deal provocatively with the issues of the day,"
MENTAL FLOSS MAKES TOP 10
Mental Floss magazine, which was started last June,
was picked by Library Journal as one of the top ten new
mgazines, and The Independent Press Assn. nominated it for
its "best new magazine of the year" award.
The magazine, which was started by 22-year-old Will Pearson,
and four of his fellow Duke University graduates, is aimed
at readers who want to "feel smart again."
Sixty percent of the magazines are still sold on newsstands,
which is twice the industry average, according to Toby Maloney,
who quit his PR job at KeyCorp, in Cleveland, last July
to run the business development and marketing operations
Maloney and his wife, Melanie, who also joined the publication,
made an investment "well into the six figures"
in the Birmingham, Ala.-based magazine.
Maloney can be reached at 440/338-6316.
Conde Nast will launch
in 2004 a men's version of Lucky Magazine, which
is a shopping magazine for women.
news continued on next page)
Edition, March 26, 2003, Page 4
VNR PRO TAKES HEAT FOR QUESTIONS
Bryan Glazer, president and executive producer of World
Satellite Television News, is taking heat for asking some
tough questions at a news conference, where Broward County
(Fla.) medical examiner Joshua Perper gave his conclusions
in the death of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler.
Glazer's firm handles PR for Cytodyne Techologies, the
manufacturer of Xenadrine RFA-1, an over-the-counter dietary
supplement containing ephedra that has been implicated in
the death of Bechler.
Since Bechler's death last month, Glazer and his team have
produced and distributed video feeds of interviews with
medical experts and others to challenge negative media reports
about ephedra's role in the death.
David Folkenflik, a TV writer for The Sun, in Baltimore,
said Glazer appeared at the news conference with a New York
Police Department press pass hung around his neck, and a
CNN pin on the lapel of his suit.
Glazer, who later acknowledged his role to those who asked
his identity, said he was appearing at the news conference
because the media coverage of the effects of ephedra had
become unbalanced in the wake of Bechler's death.
Glazer, who was producing a VNR, told Folkenflik that he
was packaging together excerpts of Perper's remarks with
statements from company officials and other medical professionals
who cast doubt on the links between ephedra and heatstroke.
Glazer said many local TV stations throughout the country
relied upon his video feed.
"The reporters there weren't asking him (Perper) pressing
questions," said Glazer, who denied he was trying to
disguise himself as a TV reporter. "The news media
are lazy. They don't always get both sides of the story.
Maybe the coroner makes some good points. But his word is
no gospel," Glazer told Folkenflik.
Perper said it was only after Glazer's third or fourth
question did he realize he was less than objective. "He
asked them like this was a kind of cross-examination,"
Perper said in an interview with Folkenflik. "He was
someone who tries to disguise his identity. Rather than
enhancing the public image of the company, it rather smears
it, in my opinion."
Glazer defended his actions by contending "there was
a problem with fairness and balance in the reporting"
on the ephedra product's role. "I wanted those questions
answered on videotape so people could hear them," he
NEWSPAPER BOYCOTTERS CREATE
The Coalition for Fair News Coverage, which has been leading
a boycott of The Philadelphia Daily News since Sept.
2002, has started a website (cffnc.com)
to raise awareness of the issue.
The website includes, among other things, an explanation
of the problems that have led to the boycott, quotes from
community leaders, examples of what they believe are the
paper's racially abusive and divisive news coverage and
photos of various boycott activities over the past six months.
"It will provide further support to the boycott and
to raise city-wide and national awareness of the issue,"
according to Bruce Crawley, a Philadelphia-based PR pro,
who helped organize the Coalition.
The website was developed by Crawley's son.
NEWS AGENDA DECIDED AT 9
"Nightly Business Report," a 30-minute TV business
news program, which is carried by more than 270 PBS stations,
routinely attracts more than a million household viewers
NBR's top news executives are Linda O'Byron, the show's
executive editor; Wendie Feinberg, who is senior producer,
and Rodney Ward who is managing editor. All three are based
in NBR's Miami office, where the show is produced.
NBR relies on its three news bureaus in Chicago, New York
and Washington, D.C., to provide much of its spot news and
Every morning, at 9 a.m., the assignment editor or senior
assignment editor at the Miami office holds a meeting with
Ward, Feinberg, other staff members, and the bureaus. They
discuss news stories in the morning newspapers as well as
other sources of news that might need to be covered in that
Ward then decides what stories will be covered by the bureaus.
The agenda is subject to change with news developments.
At approximately 5:30 p.m., NBR starts getting feeds from
its bureaus. At 6:30 p.m., Paul Kangas, anchor of the Miami
desk, and Susie Gharib, anchor of the New York desk, go
Swirl Wine News
has published its first issue.
Arlene Wszalek is editor of the new magazine, which will
be published bimonthly by Los Angeles-based SW14 Group.
"We want to empower consumers who enjoy wine by demystifying
it for them," said Wszalek, who is also associate publisher.
She said the magazine will run regular features about restaurants
in major cities, wine recommendations, a column devoted
to grapes used in wines, a roundup of wine acessories and
interviews with wine industry personalities.
Wszalek is at 818/788-7686; fax: 788-7687, or [email protected].
The Wall Street
started a weekly theater page. It will be published
each Friday in the Weekend Journal section, and will feature
the results of the new Zagat Theater Survey, reviews of
shows, plus features and columns by Journal reporters.
The page began March 14.
Edition, March 26, 2003, Page 7
Edition, March 26, 2003, Page 8
Douglas Carmichael, world renowned CPA ethicist (long
a critic of auditors who double as consultants), has said
Sarbanes-Oxley should not be used as an excuse by ad/PR
holding companies for withholding data on their hundreds
of units (page one).
We hope they will listen.
carried on National Public Radio and Public Radio International
stations, said: "After a 59-year stint of supplying
trade magazines with specific financial details, ad agencies
are now pleading the Fifth."
The Fifth Amendment is
used by an accused person to prevent self-incrimination.
It goes something like
this: "I refuse to testify on the ground that it may
tend to incriminate me."
The hundreds of ad/PR
wings could be in the position of giving statistics that
call into question their previous reports.
The congloms have ordered
a complete blackout on all statistics including those not
even covered by Sarbanes-Oxley. By giving out a single statistic,
they fear they could be wangled out of others. Fifth Amendment
pleaders usually refuse to talk at all.
This is doing a lot
of harm to advertising, which for many years lived
and died by trade book rankings, but even more to PR, the
industry of truth. Both advertising and PR must bite the
bullet here and tell the truth, no matter how painful it
The dominance of ad people
in the affairs of PR is proving to be highly damaging to
PR. PR is the worst performing sector by a large margin
at WPP, Interpublic and Omnicom.
The history of ad agencies
in the past two decades has been one of a frenzied effort
to buy their way up the Advertising Age and AdWeek
rankings, plunging into debt while doing so (WPP, IPG and
OMC currently shoulder $9 billion in debt).
It looks pretty odd for
them to suddenly walk away from their obsession with rankings.
Disappearance from the
rankings would be harmful to the PR "brands" that
the firms have built over the years. The independents are
going to have a field day.
Judging for the Silver
Anvil Awards of PR Society of America took place
this past weekend although the winners won t be announced
for another two months. A 28-page text and "Power Point"
presentation on the philosophy behind the awards calls for
a structured, step-by-step process emphasizing numerous
sources of research and calling for measurement by one means
or another. "Change behavior" is the most popular
goal of award program participants (82%) followed by "increase
awareness/visibility" (79%). Many elements besides
media placements are considered by the judges.
If we were running
the program, media coverage (all of it) would be the only
thing studied. Judges would look at the length and
depth of articles obtained and assess how well these contributed
to the public understanding of a situation. PR sources should
have been available for public and press questioning. Simple
product mentions would also count. PR would be judged like
any other artby its results. Paintings, sculptures,
etc., are judged by the finished product. No one cares how
much the paint cost, where it was bought, what quarry the
marble came out of, how long these works took to produce,
etc. Forcing judges to concentrate on the methodology and
back-office work involved in PR campaigns has resulted in
windfalls of Anvils to two firmsKetchum and Fleishman-Hillardthat
follow this lock-step process to a T. They have won 51 and
39 Anvils, respectively, in the past nine years while the
next highest winner is Edelman PR Worldwide with eight.
A "major" flaw with PR case studies, said last
year's Primer of PR Research by Prof. Don Stacks,
who specifically mention the Anvils, is that findings mostly
cannot be "generalized."
Seattle PR executive
recruiter Judy Cushman, who is doing consulting these
days in addition to recruiting, sometimes advises clients
they don t need to hire a PR pro at the present time. "Legislation
or something else may be the solution they need," she
said...some New York
executive recruiters say that while the holding companies
are reporting overall downturns of 10% or so in PR, the
actual declines in some of their units, as reflected by
staff departures, are in the 30-40% range...self-employed
PR pros got a tax break this year. They can now deduct
100% of their HMO premiums, up from 70%... Nick
Scheele, No. 2 executive behind Bill Ford of Ford Motor,
may have violated company purchasing policies, according
to AP stories. Scheele's son, James, works in the New York
office of WPP Group's Young & Rubicam. Scheele last
month ordered all of Ford's marketing and ad business be
given to WPP...employee
PR notes: USA Today said Humint Employment
Services, Boca Raton, Fla., provides actors as undercover
agents to spy on employees. An American Mgmt. Assn. report
shows 75% of major companies record and review employee
communications, double the percentage in 1997, notes The
Ragan Report March 10. As we have said, institutional
mistrust of employees is rampant as evidenced by the New
York Times' harsh ethics code barring friendships with
any source including, specifically, PR pros (1/22/03 NL).
NYT editor Howell Raines, 60, married PR pro Krystyna Stachowiak,
39, March 8. She quit Coltrin & Assocs., New York PR
Jack O Dwyer