Edition, Jan. 7, 2004, Page 1
GTI USES FOUR COMMS.
FOR FRAUD CRISIS.
Auditor Grant Thornton
International, which is enmeshed in the corporate scandal
at Italian dairy giant Parmalat, is relying on Nan Williams
of U.K.-based Four Communications to help handle its PR
response to the crisis.
than $8 billion in funds at Parmalat are missing, making
it Europe s biggest accounting fraud. The WorldCom scandal,
in contrast, included funds of more than $12 billion. An
Italian court declared Parmalat "insolvent" on
Dec. 27. GTI was Parmalat s accountant during the scandal
period from 1990-`99.
which maintains it was a victim of the fraud, issued a statement
on Dec. 30 saying its Italian unit was cooperating with
authorities. GTI CEO David McDonnell is leading an internal
probe into the financial controls of its Italian unit. Lorenzo
Penca, CEO of GTI/Italy, resigned his post on Dec. 31, and
was arrested with other Parmalat officials by Italian police.
Two GTI/Italy executives also were picked up.
Communications has been positioning GTI, which operates
in 110 countries, as the "world's only major international
accountancy practice to concentrate on the owner-managed
business as its prime focus."
SPAIN TAPS JWI FOR IRAQI
The Spanish Government is using Jefferson Waterman International
to help land Iraqi reconstruction contracts financed by
Spain provided political support to the U.S., prior to
the invasion, and has contributed troops.
The country made the grade when Deputy Defense Secy. Paul
Wolfowitz released the names of "coalition partners"
able to bid on contracts worth $18.6 billion.
JWI's contract is with Expansion Exterior, the Spanish
government-controlled foreign trading entity. The firm is
to contact Pentagon officials managing the capital construction
projects, and to advise Spanish executives how to pitch
JWI receives a monthly retainer of $12,000, and a two percent
"success fee" based upon the total price of any
contracts won by Spanish companies.
Michael O'Looney, the
New York Police Department's deputy commissioner
of public information and chief spokesman, plans to step
down Jan. 15 for a VP post heading media relations at Merrill
He succeeds Tim Cobb, who is shifting to London for an
international marketing post with ML.
O'DWYER WEBSITE IS NO.
1 IN PR.
Google, the leading compiler of "hits" received
by websites, ranks O Dwyer's PR Daily as the No. 1 site
for "public relations news."
Yahoo!, which uses input from Google in compiling its own
rankings, also places the O Dwyer site in the first position
for those seeking PR news.
Google says its rankings are automatically determined by
more than 100 factors including its Page- Rank algorithm
and that they cannot be purchased or adjusted by hand. "Important,
high-quality sites receive a higher `PageRank, " says
the company, which is planning a public offering of its
Google says it goes "far beyond the number of times
a term appears on a page and examines all aspects of the
page s content (and the content of the pages linking to
The O'Dwyer website is five years old and is free to subscribers
to this newsletter. All stories in the past three years
are in a searchable database.
LEWTON TO H&K FROM
Kathleen Lewton, who has been at Fleishman- Hillard and
Omnicom sister company Porter Novelli since 1993, resigned
from F-H as of Dec. 31 and is reportedly headed for Hill
& Knowlton/New York.
Reports are she will be the successor to Marilyn Castaldi,
an F-H graduate and also a healthcare specialist like Lewton,
who was named general manager of H&K s New York office
in 2002. Castaldi joined Columbia University Medical Center
Lewton was national healthcare head of PN before coming
to F-H in 1999. She headed the 2003 nominating committee
of PRSA. The ethics board of PRSA has asked for an investigation
of the nomcom because of reported "irregularities."
SOLUTIA SEEKS NOD FOR
Solutia, which filed for Chapter 11 on Dec. 17, is asking
the New York bankruptcy court to approve the retention of
its crisis management firm, Sitrick & Co.
The company hired S&C in June to plot corporate strategy,
according to Brenda Adrian, who heads the account. The Los
Angeles-based firm got a $60,000 initial retainer and has
received overall $1.2 million from Solutia, Adrain told
Solutia declared bankruptcy because it claims it could
not afford to service the $100M annual legacy liabilities
(retirement, environmental and litigation costs) it inherited
when it was spun off from Monsanto. continued
on page 2
Edition, Jan. 7, 2004, Page 2
PR21 DRIVES KIA CAMPAIGN.
PR21 has begun rolling out its first major work for Kia
Motors America, the low-cost Korea-based car brand eyeing
a more upscale market in the U.S. with its late-December
release of a large sedan.
Kia, known for its inexpensive autos like the Rio (under
$10K), recently launched a national ad and PR push for the
Amanti, a full-size sedan aimed at the "leading edge"
of Baby Boomers drivers from their mid-40s to late-50s.
The $25K sticker-price car hits showrooms this month.
Lisa Robinson, managing director of PR21's Los Angeles
office, told this NL part of the campaign involves changing
the definition of "boomer" to reflect more of
a mindset than actual age. The firm organized the "Forever
Young" tour, which had a Los Angeles couple drive an
Amanti on a cross-country tour, culminating with a petition
drive at Merriam-Webster s headquarters in Massachusetts.
The tour collected signatures urging the dictionary maker
to change the definition of "boomer."
PR21, a Daniel J. Edelman Inc. unit, won the estimated
$750K account last fall, in a review that included incumbent
Pacific Communications, GCI Group, Publicis Dialog and Douglas
Cohn & Wolfe. Weber Shandwick withdrew from the pitch
Megan Jordan, senior VP in Los Angeles, heads the Kia work
The push for the Amanti also includes grassroots and other
PR work, and is bolstered by a second ad campaign which
is breaking this month. Independent Los Angeles-based ad
shop davidandgoliath is handling creative.
JACKSON SHAKES UP PR
Michael Jackson has split with PR spokesperson, Stuart Backerman,
who says he resigned over strategic differences with the
King of Pop.
His split from the Jackson team follows Jacko's "60
Minutes" performance in which he once again said he
enjoyed sleeping with children, but didn t have sex with
them. He also charged police with brutality when they handcuffed
him and claimed they locked the singer in a bathroom.
Backerman joined the Jackson camp in February after a documentary
in which the singer admitted that he shared his bed with
children that were not his own.
There are reports that Backerman left Jacko as officials
from the Nation of Islam have moved into his Neverland Ranch
and a Los Angeles house rented by Jackson and are making
decisions regarding his legal and media strategy. Leonard
Muhammad, chief of staff and son-in-law of Nation of Islam
head Louis Farrakhan, works out of Jackson s lawyer Mark
Geragos office in Los Angeles. They negotiated a deal with
CBS giving Jackson an additional $1M for his interview,
and Jan. 2 special on the network, according to the Dec.
31 New York Times.
First Call, the Nation of Islam's newspaper, denies
the group has any official business or professional relationship
MARTIN PR FIRM CLOSING.
Peter Martin Assocs., which handled a number of tourist
accounts in the past 30 years, is closing its doors following
the loss of the Jamaica Tourist Board account to Ruder Finn
The firm, based in Stamford, Conn., listed as accounts
last year the Argentina Tourist Board, GE Capital, Government
of Vietnam, Province of Neuguen and Volvo (besides Jamaica),
among other accounts. Employee count was given as 15.
An attorney for the firm said that Martin will continue
in PR as an individual consultant.
A 1953 graduate of Ripon College, Martin was PR director
of Continental Can Co. from 1958-64 when he joined Clairol.
He founded PMA in 1972.
MWW PUSHES PORT ISSUES
The MWW Group's Washington, D.C., office is helping the
Great Western Steamship Co. raise its profile in the port
security sector while trying to recover a $1 million bond
stolen by a Saudi businessman.
Jonathan Slade, head of MWW/D.C., is lobbying State Department
officials and Congressmen for the company. He told this
NL a Saudi national fled the kingdom for Egypt with a bond
the company had put down on shipping work it completed on
a military contract. A Saudi court has convicted the businessman.
MWW is also helping the Tequesta, Fla.-based company boost
awareness of its efforts to secure shipping containers and
ports from terror threats. The company mainly runs routes
to the Far East.
Water cargo has been pegged as a potential vulnerability
in the country s defense from terror attacks.
Bitner Goodman is handling the opening of the $50 million
Wannado City, the nation s first real-play park for children
aged four-to-11, that will open next Spring at Florida's
WC is a city scaled to kid-size. Visitors can play out
careers such as firefighter, reporter, doctor, pizza maker
and pilot in WC s firehouse, TV studio, hospital, pizzeria
and airport. They will be guided along by professional actors
who explain the various professions. There are 60 different
play venues representing more than 250 career possibilities
in the 140,000-sq. ft indoor facility.
Sawgrass Mills is the state s largest mall, attracting
more than 26 million visitors a year.
A second WC is to open at New Jersey s Xanadu complex slated
for the Meadowlands in `05.
Wannado Entertainment, which is based in Fort Lauderdale,
is scouting for a California site to build the third WC.
WE is a unit of Mexico City's Corporacion Interamericana
Stanley E. Rubenstein,
73, who co-founded Rubenstein Wolfson & Co., a New York-based
PR firm, died Dec. 24 of ALS (Lou Gehrig s disease).
Rubenstein, who was retired, sold the agency in 1988 to
Edition, Jan. 7, 2004, Page 3
AARP SEEKS SHOWS
Dick Kurlander, formerly VP/programming for Petry TV, a
New York-based ad rep firm, where he advised TV station
clients on what shows to buy, has joined AARP as head of
TV program development.
Kurlander, who will report to Mark Slimp, director of broadcast
programs for AARP, will help create TV shows for products
targeted to people between the ages of 46 and 64.
Initially, AARP will approach cable networks like Discovery
Health, Home & Garden TV and Fine Living to see if they
would be willing to carry, and even produce, shows.
"AARP has compiled masses of research overturning
the conventional wisdom that, by the age of 40 or so, people
become so habituated to the brands they likeeverything
from toothpaste to breakfast cereal to the automobile they
drivethat even the best-produced ad spot for a competing
product will not convince them to change," reports
FORMER NEWS ANCHORS
Former Atlanta TV news anchors Andrea Coleman and Cynthia
Tinsley have started magazines for African-Americans.
Coleman's Southwest Atlanta magazine made its debut
in early December. The bimonthly publication spotlights
people, places and events in Atlanta's African-American
Tinsley's Living Space magazine, which will be published
quarterly, will feature homes and lifestyles of upscale
African-Americans around the U.S. The first issue was published
Both publications target 25- to 54-year-olds. Living Space
has a circulation base of 8,500, while Southwest Atlanta
s circulation is 5,000.
"Radio Playbill," a weekly news and entertainment
magazine show of theaterical interviews, features and music,
will make its debut on Jan. 19 on Sirius Entertainment (Stream
The program is the first radio project from the publisher
of Broadway s theater programs, and Playbill On-Line.
A new 30-minute show debuts each Monday, with rebroadcasts
throughout the following two weeks.
Playbill is also broadcasting throughout the day, seven
days a week on Sirius Satellite Radio's "Broadway s
Best," Stream 77, which links listeners directly to
the music channel and the news.
Robert Viagas, who is the founding editor of Playbill On-Line
and Theatre.com, will host both shows, which will originate
from Sirius studios in New York overlooking Times Square.
Bassmaster Magazine, based in Montgomery, Ala., is
expanding its coverage of hot fishing topics.
The new elements, which appear in the January issue, will
include a column about health and safety that will cover
topics including fishing injuries, hook removal, and hazard
awareness, and a new "Bass Tech" feature that
will highlight the latest technology and bass fishing devices.
"Short Casts," a front-of-the-book section
of brief, news items, will be expanded to include a larger
variety of timely topics.
"Bass Destinations," the where-to section,
will be redesigned with sidebars on how to plan a trip,
where to stay, travel tips, and information on stops along
The "Bass Boating" column will be a mix
of how-to information, maintenance ideas, industry notes
and new products.
"Pro's Pointers" will share ideas from
top ranked professional anglers.
"Tournament Trail" coverage has been refocused
to provide more infomration on how the winning pro managed
to catch the most, and largest, bass.
"The "Lunker Page" will continue,
with larger photos and more detail about how BASS members
caught their trophy fish.
The magazine is published 11 times a year.
James Hall, Bassmaster s editor, can be reached at 334/272-9530.
The Magazine Group, a Washington, D.C.-based custom publisher,
will launch The Aspen Idea, a magazine to be published
twice a year by the Aspen Institute. The first issue was
the Winter 2003/04 issue.
The first issue has a cover story on Stephen Breyer, associate
justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; an interview with Queen
Noor of Jordan, and another with Dennis Ross, Middle East
expert, and an article on global warming by former EPA head
The Aspen Institute is based in Washington, D.C.
Jamie Miller is editor of The Aspen Idea at 202/ 736-5800.
NEW PUBLICATION COVERS NANOTECH.
The Forbes/Wolfe Nanotech Report is a new monthly
newsletter that will cover small cap companies engaged in
Josh Wolfe, editor of the report, believes nanotechnology
is the "next big thing. Bigger by far than the short-lived
dot-com phenomena, and for real because it is founded on
hard science that will yield real-world, practical benefits
and cheaper/better, can t-live-without-em consumer products."
Wolfe said the newsletter will explore what s new in the
nanotech revolution plus breakthrough stories in nanoscale
science and "Guru Profiles" with leading researchers,
executive and entrepreneurs working at the cutting edge
news continued on next page)
Edition, Jan. 7, 2004, Page 4
FDNY MUZZLES FIREFIGHTERS.
New York firefighters have been instructed to discuss only
good news with reporters and to refer other media inquiries
to the FDNY s PR office.
The new PR rules, which have replaced guidelines that were
issued in 1997, are spelled out in a new four-page regulation
that was issued Nov. 12.
Frank Gibbon, who is the FDNY s deputy commissioner for
public information, told the Chief-Leader, a weekly
newspaper for civil employees, that the new policy is meant
to help firefighters get publicity for their good deeds,
while avoiding trouble with superiors.
The unions and the department both said they lost all control
of media coverage after Sept. 11 as reporters thronged firehouses
to report firefighters grief and anger over the loss of
The Chief-Leader said media interest in the fire service
has not abated and in recent months reporters have widely
covered certain topics, such as staffing, equipment and
budget cuts, on which rank and file is at sharp odds with
"The reporters don t want to talk to anyone but firefighters
anymore," said Rudy Sanfilippo, a union official. "Before
9/11, we were covered by the city beat and the police reporters.
We were secondary. Now we ve become the headline."
A firefighter was arrested following a brawl with another
firefighter in a Staten Island firehouse on Dec. 31.
Firefighters approached by a reporter while on duty
must notify their immediate superior, who in turn is expected
to defer to a department spokesman.
Commanders at a fire scene can speak directly to
the media about the event at hand.
Firefighters can voice opinions on other topics,
but they must do so outside the firehouse and while off-duty,
according to the policy.
Members who speak on their own time also must be
clear with reporters that they are not speaking for the
entire department. Firefighters are encouraged to seek the
advice of the press office and FDNY attorneys before speaking
in their personal capacity.
On or off duty, firefighters are prohibited from
divulging "confidential information," including
the identity or health status of individuals.
The policy expressly forbids firefighters "from
making statements that are disruptive to the operations
of the department."
DOLCE NAMED EDITOR
OF STAR MAGAZINE.
Joe Dolce was named editor-in-chief of Star Magazine.
A former editor-in-chief of Details magazine (1995-98)
and then a consulting editor to Playboy, Dolce started
working for Star as an editorial consultant in May.
He replaces Bonnie Fuller, EVP/chief editorial director,
who has been the de facto editor-in-chief of the tabloid
since she joined American Media last July.
Katie Van Luchene, a freelance writer, was named editor
of Kansas City Home Design magazine.
Constance Gustke, a freelance writer, was named features
editor at Robb Report Worth magazine.
Ann Sholet was promoted to executive editor of CosmoGirl!
Leesa Suzman is now health editor of Parenting.
Susie Quick was appointed food editor of Organic Style
magazine, and Jennifer Braunschweiger was named health editor.
Carol Zepp, previously a reporter, has joined MediZine Inc.
as PR director.
WIECK CREATES WEBSITE
FOR AUTO SHOW.
Wieck Media Services, Addison, Tex., is working with automotive
manufacturers to load all their current information and
images on autodeadline.com for the North American International
Auto Show in Detroit.
Jim Wieck, co-founder and chairman of Wieck, said autodeadline.com
has been established as a "one-stop website for automotive
journalists and will provide up-to-date photos, text and
videos from major auto manufacturers."
National Geographic Adventure will increase its guaranteed
rate base from 400,000 to 425,000 starting with the February
John Rasmus is editor-in-chief of the magazine.
MSNBC will fill the 9 p.m. time slot with a new weekday
talk show hosted by Deborah Norville.
Norville, 45, will continue to host the syndicated "Inside
Ziff Davis Media's event marketing group will launch a four-day
consumer technology event at the Jacob Javits Convention
Center in New York.
DigitalLife, which will kick off on Oct. 13, is expected
to attract more than 25,000 consumers and technology enthusiasts.
The event will coincide with Ziff Davis Media s new consumer
lifestyle magazine, which is under development and scheduled
to debut in early 2004.
JOURNALISTS TO GET
Three journalists will be awarded 2004 Matrix Awards by
the New York Women in Communications at its April 19 awards
luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria.
The winners are: Paula Zahn, anchor for "CNN-Paula
Zahn Now"; Martha Nelson, managing editor of People
magazine, and Alix Freedman, senior editor of The Wall
This year's awards luncheon will be followed by NYWICI
s 75th anniversary conference.
Edition, Jan. 7, 2004, Page 7
C&W SPINS FOR BERTELSMANN.
German media combine
Bertelsmann has hired Clark & Weinstock for public affairs
and antitrust work to win federal approval for the merger
of its recorded music business with Sony. Bertelsmann s
BMG unit ranks No. 5, while Sony runs the second largest
deal led to the resignation of Bertelsmann s chairman Gerd
Schulte-Hillen, who opposed the transaction. Bertelsmann
recently promoted vice chairman Dieter Vogel to chairman.
and Sony will own half of the new venture, Sony BMG. Andrew
Lack, who currently heads Sony Music Entertainment, will
serve as CEO of the combined entity.
C&W team includes former Republican Congressman Vin
Weber; Dirksen Lehman, who was special assistant for legislative
affairs for George W. Bush, and Tim Morrison, director of
research for the Bush White House campaign who directed
its rapid response unit.
consolidation in the music field includes Time Warner agreeing
in November to sell its Warner Music Group for $2.6 billion
to an investment group, and Vivendi Universal, the largest
music company, is being sold to General Electric s NBC unit.
BoardSource, Washington, D.C., is marketing software called
"E-Vote" that allows secure voting for elections,
bylaw changes and opinion gathering by e-mail for groups
with as many as 100,000 members.
BoardSource, whose mission
is to "build effective nonprofit boards," said
the basic cost for E-Vote is $5,000 although extra services
are available such as simultaneous paper balloting that
can increase the costs to $20,000 and more.
The software ensures that
the persons voting are properly registered and identified
and that only one vote per person can be cast.
Survey Research Assocs.,
Madison, Wis., developed the software which is just now
Blocking use of the system
are laws in some states that bar electronic voting by members.
Bylaws of some associations also bar such voting.
Current bylaws of PR Society
of America allow only in-person voting by the nearly 300
members of its Assembly, which meets once a year.
Lisa Lamontagne, VP, business
operations at BoardSource, says nearly 60 associations have
inquired about E-Vote.
York Group Uses System
Visions Federal Credit
Union, Endicott, N.Y., with more than 100,000 members, is
successfully using the system for its elections, said James
Felmet of VFCU. Most of the members are in New York State
but some reside in other states. VFCU is chartered in New
PRSA, also chartered in
New York, has said that electronic voting by its Assembly
delegates would be illegal although it has yet to cite the
specific law barring such voting.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act
of 2002 appears to be driving the interest in electronic
voting although the Act is aimed at for-profit corporations.
Delaware two years ago
started offering corporate charters that allow electronic
voting for nonprofits.
The initial application
can be made by phone for $89 and other charges are nominal.
New York State allows nonprofits to cancel their corporate
charters via a website for a nominal fee. Any taxes due
must be paid before cancellation.
is Problem, Said Byrum
Reed Byrum, 2003 PRSA
president, told the Assembly last year that "the primary
issue that faces our institutions today is a crisis of governance."
Only 20% of PRSA's 19,500
members (those who are accredited) are allowed to vote or
address the annual PRSA Assembly meeting, at which bylaws
are changed and officers are elected.
A six-month campaign by
PRSA leaders last year was unable to convince the Assembly
delegates to allow non-APRs as members of the Assembly.
'WAR THAT MADE AMERICA.'
Kelly & Salerno Communications has edged four other
firms to develop a master marketing communications plan
for a seven-year, national campaign to boost tourism in
southwestern Pennsylvania through its roots with the French
and Indian War.
The huge undertaking,
which culminates with an $11 million, four-hour PBS series,
"The War That Made America," hopes to do for the
Pittsburgh area what Ken Burns PBS series "The Civil
War" did for tourism in places like Gettysburg.
The campaign, which coincides
with the 250th anniversary of the war s outbreak in 1754,
is slated to run from 2004 through 2010 and is funded by
WQED, Pittsburgh s PBS affiliate, and a public-private partnership
of nine local foundations called French and Indian War 250
K&S managing partner
Karen Salerno said the program s budget could hit $50 million,
which includes funds for education campaigns, acquisition
and improvement of historic sites and other endeavors.
K&S, based in Greenwich,
Conn., has worked for PBS in the past.
"A major goal is
to build tourism," said Salerno. "The image of
steel factories and industry doesn t really apply anymore
and the region has not been promoted as an historic destination.
That will be a key aspect of this work."
Anchoring that push will
be the PBS documentary, which is currently in pre-production.
Salerno said battle sites will be recreated and reenacted
in the state for the series and advisors have signed on
from Princeton Univ. and the Univ. of Pennsylvania.
She said the war is "poorly
understood but vastly important" and stories and details
are relatively unknown to the country. She offered, for
example, the fact that George Washington fought for the
British against the French at that time.
Edition, Jan. 7, 2004 Page 8
Democracy (via e-mail)
is at hand for many thousands of non-profit groups if they
choose to take advantage of new technology and new
laws (page 7 story on BoardSource "E-Vote").
However, we know of only one group that is actually doing
this, the Visions Federal Credit Union of Endicott, N.Y.,
chartered in New York.
It lets its more than 100,000 members vote by e-mail on
candidates for office.
BoardSource says nearly 60 groups are studying the new
secure system, which can cost as low as $5,000.
We wonder if associations really want to hear what s on
their members minds?
The last formal survey of PR Society of America s members
was conducted in 1997 by 50th anniversary president Debra
Kerr & Downs Research did a random telephone poll of
618 of the 18,000 members. It found 84% of members were
"satisfied" with services while 10% were "very
But 70% said they were opposed to a $25-$50 dues hike in
1998. Despite this, a $50 dues increase, spread over three
years, was passed by the board.
A surprising finding of the survey was that 90% of the
respondents said they had been in PR six or more years.
This contradicted PRSA claims that many of its members were
ineligible for the APR exam because they were in PR less
than five years.
The PRSA board thus far has been cool to the idea of allowing
Assembly delegates or members to vote electronically.
Ivy Lee Jr., son of
Ivy Lee, who promised to revolutionize the press relations
of companies in the early 1900's, died in October in San
Francisco at the age of 94. He worked in his father's firm
from 1933 to 1951 when he joined Bechtel Corp.
The "Declaration of Principles" put out by the
senior Ivy Lee said: "This is not a secret press bureau.
All our work is done in the open...our matter is accurate.
Further details on any subject will be supplied promptly,
and any editor will be assisted most carefully in verifying
any statement of fact."
Lee, according to the Dartnell PR Handbook, said
he would deal frankly with the press and accept the bad
with the good, "no matter how it might hurt."
That was Lee's initial vision, anyway. He and his firm
got into hot water in the 1930 s when it worked for the
Hitler government. Utmost secrecy was the basis of the relationship.
Lee s other son, James, was stationed in Berlin and dealt
personally with Hitler. The Lee firm insisted there be no
written contract and that no releases use its name.
Payment of the $25,000 annual fee was to come from the
German Dye Trust via a Swiss account and not the German
Government. Lee s job was to help the Government with statements
of policy. All of Lee s efforts at secrecy were blown spectacularly
in Congressional hearings in 1934 that resulted in the Foreign
Agents Registration Act.
The Magazine Publishers
of America, angered that spending on TV ads continues to
climb while magazine ad pages declined 0.5% in the
first 11 months of 2003, staged a contest among marketers
and media buyers to give away the TiVo recording devices
that let viewers bypass commercials (New York Times
ad column 12/29).
The argument that the TV audience has shattered into hundreds
of pieces and people are zapping commercials one way or
another has not made ad agencies abandon their love affair
with TV. Ad agencies are now moving to put commercial messages
and plugs within the programming (WPP Group s deal with
ABC-TV as described in the 12/10/03 NL)...high
HMO costs in 2004 will continue to be a problem for PR firms.
The married-with-children rate will approach $20,000 yearly
in New York with this year's round of increases. A new wrinkle
is "HSAs" (Health Savings Accounts) that let people
put money away tax-free (IRA-style) that can be used to
pay small medical bills and link this with an HMO with a
deductible in the thousands of dollars. The Wall Street
Journal , writing about this 12/23 and 12/26, said HSAs
are widely popular in South Africa..."Tale
of a Turnaround" is the title of an article by PRSA
contract worker Debbie Girard in the December magazine
of the Greater Washington, D.C., chapter of ASAE. The article
says PRSA was beset with "money woes, eroded credibility
with members, low employee morale and a less-than-desirable
working relationship with its board" until COO Catherine
Bolton arrived on the scene. What she accomplished, with
the help of officers such as Reed Byrum and Kathy Lewton
and the PRSA staff, "may help leaders of other associations
going through similar reorganizations," writes Girard,
who heads Girard PR in New York. Not mentioned is that PRSA
s membership of about 19,600 has not grown for six years
and that the 2002 audit showed it had a record $1,040,692
in payables. Its liabilities just about equaled its assets
if PRSA booked its $4.5 million in dues income as earned
across a year s time (as most associations do) instead of
will probably continue to "lay low" in 2004 because
of embarrassment about their high salaries. The average
pay of CEOs at 200 of the largest U.S. companies was steady
at $11.3 million in 2003, according to consultants Pearl
Meyer & Partners. CEO pay almost doubled from 1996 to
2001 to $11.9M. CEO pay, once 20-30 times that of a firm
s average worker, is now 400-600 times that average. The
multiple is much lower in most foreign countries.