Contact O'Dwyer's: 271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471; Fax: 212/683-2750
ODWYERPR.COM > Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter return to main page

Jack O'Dwyer's NL logo
Internet Edition, March 26, 2003, Page 1


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 unit.

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.


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 down."

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."


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, 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 1975.

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.


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 for 2002.

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), he said.

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

(continued on page 2)

Internet Edition, March 26, 2003, Page 2


(continued from page 1)

"improve disclosure," 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.

Transparent Accounting Needed

"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.


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, 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 Pension Funds.

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 Thompson.


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.


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 Council.

"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.

Internet Edition, March 26, 2003, Page 3


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.

Janet Giovanelli, editor-in-chief of J-14, said it is first and foremost an entertainment magazine.

"We 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 news."

Giovanelli, who is based in J-14's editorial office in Englewood, N.J., said fashion and beauty coverage is also done via the celebrity.

She made 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."

Also, J-14 will not cover products that teenagers are not ready for, or something that is too revealing or just too old.


Susan Pocharski, 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.

She said about 25% of TP's readership is non-white. Newsstand sales average about 500,000 with an estimated readership of about 3.6 million.

Pocharski said TP is divided into three categories-entertainment, fashion and beauty, and real life.

"Our 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 Guy Shoes."

Pocharski 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 to them."

Looks for Diversity

Another new 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," she said.

Tamara Glenny, 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.

Taking into account passalong readership, the magazine's readership is estimated at three times the actual sales numbers, she said.

Glenny urged the publicists to "please read the magazine" because it will "tell you much more than anyone can on the telephone."

She prefers 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."

Wants Access

Suzanne D'Amato, fashion news editor of Teen Vogue, whose second issue just hit newsstands, said the magazine will imitate Vogue's format, including the same sections.

She said 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 other magazines.


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 Shoot-Out."

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," he added.


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 of MF.

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.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, March 26, 2003, Page 4


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.

Says Media Are Lazy

"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 said.


The Coalition for Fair News Coverage, which has been leading a boycott of The Philadelphia Daily News since Sept. 2002, has started a website ( 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.


"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 daily.

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 features.

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 night's broadcast.

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 live.

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 Journal has 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.

Internet Edition, March 26, 2003, Page 7


Internet Edition, March 26, 2003, Page 8



Prof. 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.

"Marketplace," 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 may be.

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 art–by 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 firms–Ketchum and Fleishman-Hillard–that 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 firm.
–Jack O Dwyer


Copyright © 1998-2020 J.R. O'Dwyer Company, Inc.
271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471