Edition, April 16, 2003, Page 1
WS GETS $5M EGYPT COTTON
Weber Shandwick has picked
up a $5 million campaign from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign
Trade to promote the quality of the country's cotton as
second to none, James Meszaros, executive VP at the Interpublic
unit, told this NL.
Meszaros said the firm
will target consumers, retailers and fashion stylesetters.
WS will do media/ government relations, trade promotion
and special events in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France and
Italy. There also will be an ad component featuring the
Egyptian Cotton logo, according to Meszaros.
This is the first time
that Egypt has promoted its cotton, an important part of
its economy that has been hammered by the collapse of the
Meszaros said WS got the
account because its Cairo unit is the biggest PR firm in
the country. "We were recommended to Youssef Boutras-Ghali,
the Ministry of Foreign Trade," said Meszaros. He is
the nephew of former United Nations Secretary General Boutras
GEN. (RET.) CLARK IS LOBBYIST
Former NATO Commander General Wesley Clark has registered
as lobbyist for Acxiom Corp., the Little Rock, Ark.-based
company that creates databases to enable clients to better
manage customer relationships. His mission is to drum up
homeland security contracts for Acxiom.
Clark, who led the Kosovo campaign, has been a frequent
on-air commentator for CNN, discussing the Iraq invasion.
He joined Acxiom's board in 2001 following his retirement
from the Army. The potential U.S. Presidential candidate
has done work for venture capital firm The Stephens Group.
Acxiom is the initial lobbying client for Wesley K. Clark
Jeep Bryant, senior
VP and director of corporate communications for PNC
Financial Services Group, has left for a newly created top
PR post at Bank of New York.
Senior VP Robert Grieves told this NL that Bryant takes
on the new role of managing director and global head of
corporate communications. Prior to four years at PNC, Bryant
held a series of management positions in First Union's corporate
CHIROPRACTORS MASSAGE GOLIN/HARRIS
The World Chiropractic Alliance is using Golin/ Harris
International's Arlington, Va., office to expand coverage
of chiropractic services under Medicare, and to promote
it as an important part of an overall wellness program.
The WCA, which promotes drug-free treatments, has been
locked in a battle with medical doctors and physical therapists
who are moving onto their turf. It recently formed the Chiropractic
Coalition, with the Int'l Chiropractors Assn., to launch
a public education campaign to "promote chiropractic
worldwide as a clearly defined, separate and distinct profession."
The Chandler, Ariz.-based WCA scored a victory in February
when the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services ruled that
Medicare+ Choice organizations must use chiropractors-not
physical therapists-for certain spine treatments. Terry
Rondberg, WCA president, said of that decision: "While
physical therapists play a vital role in the American healthcare
system, they do not-and cannot-duplicate the services of
doctors of chiropractic."
G/HI's Kurt Markva and Michael Fulton are heading the account.
NIRI ADDS TO TILL IN DIFFICULT
The National IR Institute, although it suffered a 15% decline
in conference/seminar income and a 6% decline in dues, cut
expenses and was able to add $109,828 to its net assets
as of Dec. 31, 2002.
It now has $4,731,234 in cash/investments, up $108,646
from the previous year. Revenues declined 13% to $5,244,793
NIRI put its audited financial report, including 22 categories
of spending, on the public area of its website, www.niri.org.
Salaries, consultant fees and employee benefits totaled
Dues were down 6% to $1,975,813; conference and seminar
fees down 15% to $2,665,208, and interest and investment
income down 13% to $134,001.
Conference/seminar expenses were cut 18% to $1,172,784,
and publication and member services cut 9% to $1,054,962.
Administrative and operating expenses rose from $2.63M to
Annual conference income dipped slightly to $1.96M from
$2.19M while income from NIRI's "Introduction to IR"
seminars, declined 52% to $369,718. Profit was $209K vs.
profit of $365K in 2001.
Edition, April 16, 2003, Page 2
PR SAPS GROWTH OF CONGLOMS.
The PR businesses of Interpublic,
Omnicom and WPP Group were the object of concern at an analyst
teleconference April 2 sponsored by Fitch Ratings.
Poor performance by the
PR segment is hurting the organic growth rate of all three,
said one analyst, while others noted that purchase of PR
firms added to the debt load of the three.
Although their PR firms
have suffered declines in billings recently, the three have
yet to make any write-downs of their value, it was also
Fitch analysts said that even if there were write-downs
it would not affect the credit ratings of the three since
the write-downs would be "non-cash" items (the
cash or stock involved had already been transferred).
PR was off 6.2% for 2002
at Omnicom and 8% at WPP Group. PR was the worst performing
segment of both firms.
Interpublic has stopped
reporting PR as a separate segment. The last such report
it made was for Q3 of 2002 when it said PR had declined
18% from the year earlier quarter.
Making comments about
the debt situation of the three companies were Albert Turner,
the chief advertising industry analyst for Fitch; Thomas
Razukas, consumer retail services analyst, and Susan Hunter,
ad industry analyst based in London.
The Big Three were "largely created through acquisitions"
and the process of consolidation in the industry continues,
Despite the "most
sustained recession in advertising since World War II,"
the major players continue to pursue the policies that they
did during the economic expansion of the late 1990s, Turner
The effects of such policies
on their balance sheets have lingered and have resulted
in the "current weakened credit metrics," said
The outlook for advertising
volume continues to be unsettled, he noted. A bright spot
is the new business wins of the three conglomerates.
RUBENSTEIN DEFENDS VOTE FOR
Rubenstein Assocs. is coordinating a PR campaign for a
group representing New York State's Supreme Court Justices
to play up the benefits of letting voters decide who serves
on the high court.
The New York Daily News and The New York Times
have editorialized about the need for reform. They contend
that political bosses control the process because they select
at political conventions who gets on the ballot. Voters,
the papers surmised, are pretty much unaware of the candidates
until they see the names on Election Day. The DN recommends
putting a merit system in place in which candidates would
be selected by an independent screening panel.
The Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the
State of New York contends the current system represents
democracy at its best. Its PR effort will center around
op-ed pieces, editorial board meetings throughout the state
and public forums in support of the current judicial selection
FT ANALYZES IPG's PROBLEMS
The April 8 Financial Times, London, analyzed the
problems of Interpublic and its biggest unit, the ad agency
Staffers of the London office of McCann have been "hit
with a blizzard of e-mails" from IPG and McCann in
New York banning employees from "talking to journalists
on pain of summary dismissal."
The e-mails have "compounded the growing siege mentality
at McCann," says an article by Alex Benady, who describes
the investigation of accounting irregularities at the agency.
IPG had to restate its results four times last year largely
because of improper accounting discovered at the European
offices of McCann.
IPG, which started out with an initial restatement of $68.5
million, wound up with a final figure of $364 million which
included charges from its Octagon Motorsports division.
The Securities & Exchange Commission upgraded an informal
investigation to a formal inquiry. IPG's PR units include
Weber Shandwick and Golin/Harris International.
Benady's article is headlined, "Inside Track: What
Went Wrong at McCann-Erickson?"
A former senior executive of McCann is quoted as saying
employees were "heavily incentivised to do well."
A second former executive is quoted as saying: "It
was a horrible culture of bullying, greed and fear driven
by the desire for short-term profit growth and little else.
They didn't bully you into dishonesty, they bullied you
into your numbers."
According to the McCann sources, employees were told how
even senior people would be sworn at and shouted at when
they failed to perform.
ACC PICKS OGILVY PR/O&M
Ogilvy PR Worldwide/Ogilvy & Mather bested Young &
Rubicam/Burson-Marsteller and Euro RSCG/Middleberg in the
"integrated communications" review for the American
Chemistry Council's $50 million budget, Dan Pearlman, managing
director at Bob Wolfe Partners/TPG, told this NL.
The ACC account had been inactive, though Ogilvy had handled
PR projects for the group that represents companies with
a combined $450 billion in revenues.
ACC CEO Greg Lebedev plans to upgrade his organization's
profile. He called for "aggressive advocacy efforts
across international borders to stave off attempts to curtail
the responsible use of essential chemical products,"
during an April 2 speech at the Global Chemicals Regulations
Conference in Baltimore. On April 1, he testified before
the House Resources Committee urging support for President
Bush's energy program. He urged the Congressmen to muster
the "political courage" and "take down the
off limits signs" against natural gas drilling in the
Rockies and the coastal waters of the U.S. Hundreds of chemical
company jobs are at stake, he said.
Edition, April 16, 2003, Page 3
TO COVER AD/PR NEWS
Wall Street Journal Online is starting a new edition
to target professionals in advertising, PR, media and entertainment.
new Media & Marketing Edition, which will start in mid-May,
will be published daily with intraday updates.
edition will draw on the full news reporting resources of
Dow Jones, including The Wall Street Journal and
Dow Jones Newswires.
to the edition also will get the full contents of the Wall
Street Journal Online. The edition will be priced the same
as an Online Journal subscription: $79 per year or $39 per
year for print Journal or Barron's subscribers.
Pollack has been named editor of the new edition. She will
be based in New York.
FRISHMAN GIVES PR TIPS TO
Rick Frishman, president of Planned TV Arts, New York,
held up The New York Times that featured his client,
attorney William Shernoff, on the front page of the business
Frishman used it to make a point at a publicity seminar
for incentive and promotion industry executives at The Incentive
Show on April 8.
"This is worth at least $100,000," Frishman told
the group as he compared the value of the story to the cost
of placing an ad.
Frishman also described some of the different tactics he
uses to get publicity. When creating a press kit, for example,
he includes a list of suggested interview questions.
"Media people are lazy," he said. When promoting
his new book, "Guerilla Publicity," Frishman said
he did about 150 interviews, and was asked exactly what
he wanted to be asked as a result of the questions he had
It takes seven phone calls or e-mails to get through to
a member of the media, he said.
Rachel Peters, a VP at G.S. Schwartz & Co., gave examples
of five recent integrated promotion/ PR campaigns that got
results at a seminar she gave April 7 at The Incentive Show.
Peters based her presentation on information contained in
case history reports that had been prepared by Georgia-Pacific,
BMW Films, Ninetendo Game Cube, X-Box Odyssey, and Dunkin'
All five companies were winners of the Promotion Marketing
Assn.'s "Reggie Awards" in 2003 and '02.
A full report of Peters' presentation was published on
a business/financial magazine that published 10 issues
last year, is cutting its frequency to eight issues. The
New York-based magazine has begun to rehire many staffers
after laying off the entire staff on March 27.
COKE BUYS INTO COLLEGE SPORTS
Coca-Cola has bought a stake in College Sports TV, a cable
channel, which started for the first time on April 14.
Coke, which paid $10 million for a stake in the cable channel,
also plans to pay $5 million to sponsor the channel, which
will televise live college sports events, highlights, and
original programming featuring advice from college coaches.
Coke and College Sports would not reveal the size of Coke's
equity stake in the cable channel. John Sicher, editor of
Beverage Digest, believes it's small.
Under the terms of the deal, Chuck Fruit, senior VP of worldwide
media and alliances at Coke, will sit on the channel's board
Coke recently signed an 11-year, $500 million sponsorship
deal with the NCAA. The company also has a deal with Nascar
Fruit said Coke's sports drink, Powerade, will be heavily
promoted on the College Sports channel, which initially
will be broadcast only to subscribers of DirecTV's premium
has created a free website to provide all of its broadcast-related
The "Video" page features VNR, B-roll and SMT
advisories with sattelite coordinates and a Pathfire Digital
Media Gateway identification number.
The "Radio" page has audio news releases and
other audio clips that can be accessed and previewed plus
an "All Releases" page where video, audio and
web events are listed and archived.
GMR, a San Francisco-based
magazine for video and PC gamers, which debuted in
January, will raise its circulation rate base from 225,000
to 425,000 paid readers as of the Sept. 2003 issue. A four-color
monthly ad in the magazine will cost $10,655.
Simon Cox is editor-in-chief of GMR, whose readers want
to know what games to buy.
was ranked as the number one shelter magazine in
ad pages in 2002, according to information provided by Publishers
Information Bureau to Home Furnishings Now (HFN),
a new publication published by Fairchild.
HFN said the Conde Nast publication, which had 1,716 total
ad pages, "leads the field with its luxurious spreads
featuring movie star mansions, European villas and the lifestyles
of the uber-wealthy."
Country Living, published by Hearst, was runner-up
with 1,121 ad pages; House Beautiful was third (1,039
ad pages); Elle Decor, fourth place (1,021), and
House & Garden was fifth (1,003).
The next 10 magazines on HFN's list were: This Old House,
Country Home, Traditional Home, Southern
Accents, Home, Coastal Living, Veranda,
Metropolitan Home, Victoria, and Renovation
news continued on next page)
Edition, April 16, 2003, Page 4
BYRNE NAMED EDITOR OF FAST
John Byrne, previously a senior writer at Business Week,
was named editor-in-chief of Fast Company.
Gruner+Jahr USA, which acquired the Boston-based magazine
in 2000, is moving it to New York. The move is expected
to be completed by the end of the year.
Byrne, who has been with BW since 1985, where he created
the magazine's ranking of the best U.S. business schools
and the best and worst boards of directors, has also written
or co-authored eight books.
His most recent book, published Sept. 11, 2001, is "Jack:
Straight from the Gut," which he co-authored with former
General Electric chairman/CEO Jack Welch.
TECH WRITERS JOIN BUSINESS
Business 2.0 has hired technology writers Michael
Copeland and Om Malik, most recently of Red Herring.
Both will be senior writers for the publication, covering
venture capital and telecommunications, respectively.
The magazine also has hired new photo editor Ilene Hoffman,
formerly of Time Inc.'s FSB: Fortune Small Business.
All three new hires will be based in the magazine's San
Josh Quittner is editor of Business 2.0.
MSNBC.COM NAMES HEALTH EDITORS
Robin Eisner, who was director of science communications
at Columbia University, has joined MSNBC.com
as senior health editor.
Eisner, who is based in MSNBC's Secaucus, N.J., office,
had formerly directed health coverage at ABCNews.com.
Molly Masland was named health editor in MSNBC's Redmond,
Wash., office. Before joining MSNBC in 1998, she worked
for Bloomberg News.
51, a veteran photographer and editor at The New York
Times, was named the paper's picture editor, replacing
who was dismissed in Feb. 2002 as Sunday editor of The
New York Post, has filed an $8 million discrimination
lawsuit against the publisher, claiming she was forced out
of the job because management wanted to install an all-male,
entirely Australian and British team to run the paper.
34, was promoted to business editor of The San Jose Mercury
News, succeeding David
Satterfield, who was named assistant managing editor
Goel plans more coverage of the valley's role in innovation
as well as stories assessing the impact of the economic
downturn in the region.
CNN medical correspondent, became part of the story when
asked to perform emergency brain surgery on a 20-year-old
Iraqi boy, who did not survive. Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon
at Emory University in Atlanta, has been traveling with
the Navy's "devil docs" unit.
The Google search
engine will no longer include corporate and government
press releases on its Google News website.
Press releases from PR Newswire and Business Wire have
been clearly labled, but not those originating from many
other sources such as Yahoo News, individual companies and
Including corporate and government releases on a site called
Google News has the potential to mislead visitors, said
search engine watch editor Danny Sullivan, who also told
Cnet News.com that "I don't think a press release is
was relaunched on April 2 with less headline clutter
and new sections focusing on market data, news and commentary,
charts and analysis and Bloomberg Media.
is expanding the scope of its business, financial
and international news reporting by forming an alliance
with The Financial Times, which will provide up to
15 top news stories per day.
Reuters and VNU Business
Media, which publishes The Hollywood Reporter,
Billboard and Back Stage, have launched Reuters/VNU
Entertainment News Service. The service includes real-time
daily entertainment stories, film and TV coverage, and industry
reports plus access to Billboard's sales charts.
Getty Images and Agence
France-Presse have formed a news photography service.
The agreement gives Getty Images exclusive rights for the
marketing of AFP photos in North America and the U.K. AFP
will market Getty Images' photos covering North America
to its daily newspaper subscribers in the rest of the world.
The American Jewish
Press Assn. is offering sponsorship opportunities
for its annual conference in Los Angeles, June 24-27, 2003.
According to Amlev Dershowitz Communications, Los Angeles,
this is the largest annual gathering of American and Canadian
editors, publishers, business managers and individual writers
for Jewish publications anywhere.
AJPA's members represent more than 2.5 million readers
in North America, said Amlev.
AJPA is also accepting promotional items for journalists'
packets. Natasha Rosentock is handling inquiries at [email protected],
or at 202/785-2294.
Edition, April 16, 2003, Page 7
O'Dwyer's Ranking of PR
Firms By Specialty
Edition, April 16, 2003, Page 8
reports on ad holding companies have been depressing lately
what with credit downgrades, the war s effect on ad spending,
IRS and SEC probes, high debt, price declines, and stockholder
lawsuits charging insider trading abuse.
But a bright note was
struck for PR in a 17-page report on Omnicom April 3 by
Michael Russell of Morgan Stanley. "The future of PR
is rosier than that of the (ad) agencies...it has better
long-term growth prospects," he wrote.
The zapping of TV commercials
made possible by devices such as TiVo, which record programs
for viewing when desired, could cut Interpublic s revenues
by 17% over a period of "years" and Omnicom s
by 12%, he says.
This zapping "will
force the holding companies to focus on weaving a communications
campaign into content, requiring a prowess in promotional
ad placement and PR," he adds.
The congloms will need
to find "a more direct method of contacting consumers
with product information, through direct and digital means,
such as the marketing services businesses," he says.
While PR declined 6-7%
in 2002 vs. a 2% increase in advertising (being especially
hard hit in high-tech and financial which accounted for
about 40% of PR revenues in 2001), PR continues to be the
"early-cycle choice for marketers, industry-wide,"
TiVo, Replay and other
PVRs (personal video recorders) are like VCRs but are digitized
(requiring no tapes) and can be programmed many ways. Their
slogan is "TV Your Way." The devices cost $300-$400.
TiVo has a half-million subscribers.
Communications of Havas published a paper on PVRs
saying consumers are not only using them but digital cable
channels, the web, and computer and video games in order
to maximize entertainment and limit commercials.
Bill Daddi of Magnet tracks
some of the big product mention deals that are being made
with movies and TV. Coors products will be mentioned in
at least five Miramax films yearly under a three-year pact.
Universal Pictures will feature Toyota cars and trucks.
Walt Disney (owner of Miramax) and Omnicom's OMD media agency
have agreed to include sponsor products in shows on the
ABC and ESPN Networks. Target and Reebok are promoted on
the popular "Survivor" reality TV show. Such "advertainment"
can "present products and brands in a relevant context,"
says Daddi. PR, because it customarily deals with editorial,
can help companies with this "rapidly evolving"
technique, he says.
The Morgan report described
above is made available to reporters because the
firm wants the press and public to understand the industry.
Some other analysts also automatically send their reports
to the press. The NIRI Standards and Guidance for Disclosure
handbook is very negative on public companies sending out
or even "referring to" analysts reports, fearing
companies could somehow get sued. NIRI needs to flip this
policy and start urging analysts to send their reports to
interested press. This would avoid legal culpability and
show that NIRI is truly interested in IR/PR "convergence,"
which it is touting...
pros, of whom about 20,000 are employed by the ad congloms,
should study this financial report on their employers...investors
have soured on serial acquirers, says the report. Author
Michael Russell would "prefer to see no acquisitions"
by the holding companies. He wants OMC to stop buying any
businesses for a year so investors can get a "clean
read" of its organic growth... Russell
is worried that OMC will stop reporting "net
new business wins" at the end of each quarter because
of Sarbanes-Oxley. Such totals, usually $1 billion or more,
are definitely not GAAP. They re often pure conjecture and
bloated by a factor of about ten since ad agencies only
get 10-12% of the claimed boxcar figures... McCann-Erickson,
part of Interpublic, had a "horrible culture of bullying,
greed and fear driven by the desire for short-term profit
the Financial Times (click for O'Dwyer's story).
There are now about 12,000 ex-IPG employees and some of
them are venting to the press...
20-page profile of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
in the April 7 New Yorker recounts his battles with
Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney and others. Analysts
had become "appendages of the investment banking system,"
he told the mag. Analyst Jack Grubman told Business Week
in 2000 that "what used to be a conflict is now a synergy."
An ML analyst called one
stock a POS (piece of sh) in an e-mail while urging
his customers to buy it. Salomon in January 2001 had almost
1,200 recommendations out but only one "underperform"
and no "sells." ML lawyers battled Spitzer, saying
the POS remarks were taken "out of context." Spitzer
asked what context allowed an analyst to describe a recommended
stock as a POS? Spitzer refrained from launching criminal
charges against ML because such charges had put Drexel Burnham
Lambert and Arthur Andersen out of business. Instead he
won an "agreement in principle" from ten institutions
to give analysts independence.There was no admission of
wrongdoing. His e-mail research is being used in stockholder
lawsuits which the mag says will probably go on for "five
who is expected to run for governor in 2006, is looking
for new areas and has indicated non-profits will be one