Edition, June 30, 2004, Page 1
COUGHLIN EXITS IPG AS ROTH
The 51-year-old Chris Coughlin, who joined Interpublic as
COO and CFO last June, has decided to retire at the end
of the year. The departure comes as IPG names board member
Michael Roth, CEO of MONY Group, chairman effective July
15. That s when France s AXA Financial Services Group plans
to complete the acquisition of New York-based MONY.
a former executive VP at Pharmacia, said, in a statement,
that he enjoyed participating in the "first stage"
of rebuilding IPG. He left after considering his "long-term
future in a global corporate setting such as this one."
IPG recruited Coughlin to replace Sean Orr. His $800K-a-year
contract was sweetened with a $400K in stock "signing
bonus." Coughlin was entitled to 28 vacation days,
a $10K auto allowance and $10K for club fees.
CEO Dave Bell, 60, praised Coughlin for bringing an "enhanced
financial discipline" to the company, and for hiring
"first-class professionals," such as Bob Thompson,
who succeeds Coughlin as CFO.
58, was elected an IPG director in `02. He also sits on
Pitney Bowes and Gaylord Entertainment boards. Roth, who
joined MONY in '89, also was EVP at Primerica Corp. and
partner at Coopers & Lybrand.
praised Roth s intellect and called him a "terrific
MEYER PUTS 'FOR SALE
SIGN ON GGG.
CEO Ed Meyer has put a "for sale" sign on Grey
Global Group, owner of GCI Group and APCO Worldwide. The
77-year-old executive controls 13 percent of Grey s common
shares and 59 percent of its Class B stock. That gives him
control of 70 percent of GGG s voting shares.
Publicis, which shares Procter & Gamble with GGG, and
WPP Group are the front-runners to forge a deal. A Grey
Advertising executive told O'Dwyer s that staffers are rooting
for Publicis rather than WPP because CEO Maurice Levy has
a more hands-off management strategy than Martin Sorrell.
The deal is expected to fetch GGG more than $1.2 billion.
a former J. Walter Thompson exec who recently headed worldwide
marketing at Sotheby s, has been tapped as president of
Interpublic s DeVries PR in New York. Allman, who started
June 21, takes the reins after the 2003 exit of Ildy Herczeg,
who retired to Denver after 15 years at DVPR. Madeline de
Vries remains chairman/CEO.
QORVIS SEEKS TO BOND
U.S., SAUDI WOMEN.
Qorvis Communications is using The Barnett Group, Washington,
D.C., to organize women-to-women exchanges between the U.S.
and its client, Saudi Arabia.
The effort dubbed "The Women's Project" calls
for partnering females of both countries working in business,
finance, healthcare and media.
Judith Barnett s firm is to develop a list of qualified
women, and woo them to visit the Kingdom.
The former Deputy Asst. Secretary for Africa and the Near
East for the Dept. of Commerce also will draw up a briefing
book and recommend background reading for junketeers heading
for the Kingdom.
A reverse mission of Saudi women to the U.S. is slated
for the fall.
Qorvis handles logistics, Saudi programming and dealing
with the royal family. CEO Michael Petruzzello said the
Project is "still in the concept phase."
Int l has tapped Financial Dynamics after a review
process to help put the company on par with competitors
in the executive search arena. Finalists were Kitchen PR
and Blinn PR.
FD's New York and London offices coordinate as MRI s corporate
communications firm and support its network of company-owned
and franchise operations, which number about 1,100 in the
WILLIAMS DEFENDS IABC
Chicago counselor Louis Williams, who has been sued along
with IABC by former IABC CEO Elizabeth Allan for remarks
he made about the staff that she headed, said he had no
official IABC position when he made the remarks.
Allan is charging that his critical remarks about the governance
of IABC, made Aug. 20, 2002 at the annual meeting of the
American Society of Association Executives, broke her severance
continues on page seven)
Edition, June 30, 2004, Page 2
PR21 HELPS PULL PLUG
PR21 is helping MediaLive International spread the word
that the annual technology extravaganza, Comdex, has been
cancelled this year in the wake of declining interest. ML,
which took over the show last year, said the next U.S. Comdex
event remains scheduled for November 2005.
While the trade show was the place to be during the 1990s
tech boom, exhibitors and press attendance had shrunk from
over 200,000 in the late 1990s to about 41,000 scheduled
for the now-defunct November event this year. The plug was
mainly pulled because of a lack of support from the computing
and IT industry heavyweights.
"While we could still run a profitable Comdex this
year, it does not benefit the industry to do so without
broader support of the leading technology companies,"
said MediaLife s president, Robert Priest-Heck, in a statement
distributed by PR21, an Edelman unit. He said the show's
advisory board needs time to redesign the event.
PITCHERS MUST BE IN
Israel stipulates in its tourism contract with MWW Group
and 5W Public Relations that the executives who presented
the pitch for the business must be among those working on
the business. MWW CEO Michael Kempner and 5W chief Ronn
Torossian pitched the Israeli account.
The one-year contract is worth $592,800. In the event the
Ministry decides to renew for another year, MWW and 5W may
receive a raise of up to five percent based on the workload
in the "Christian market." E.g., Israel has targeted
the evangelicals as a key target audience, and 5W has worked
for the Christian Coalition, as well as the Zionist Organization
The pact forbids MWW and 5W from handling "competitive
accounts" that are defined as Middle East destinations
or southern European countries.
DADDI IN DEMAND.
Bill Daddi, who had headed Euro RSCG Magnet's national consumer
practice, has joined Belsito & Co. to expand the medical
communications firm's outreach into the consumer market.
Daddi told O'Dwyer's that while Top Ten agencies have offered
a mix of Rx/consumer marketing, clients are hungry for the
service and personal attention that a small specialized
firm like B&C can offer. B&C counts Eli Lilly, Novo
Nordisk, ZLB Behring and Clearant as clients.
He becomes president of B&C s new entity, "demand."
Marybeth Belsito is CEO. The name was selected to emphasize
the goal of building a demand for a client s good or service.
Daddi was formerly managing director at Lippe Taylor, principal
at The Dilenschneider Group and PR director at Cotton Inc.
He has counseled Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble,
Oxford Health Plans and Sara Lee.
RFP GETS TOSSED IN TRASH.
A nearly half-inch thick Request for Proposal to handle
national media relations for the University of Illinois
College of Business is seen as an example of how procurement
people have taken over the bidding process in the PR field.
The RFP was sent to 15 major PR firms with a cover letter
from T. (Tom) H. Nation, the senior purchasing officer of
the Urbana-Champaign-based university, who is overseeing
the bidding process for Tracy McCabe, director of external
The owner of one of the firms who got the invitation, has
tossed the RFP into the wastebasket after learning the proposed
budget for the year-long contract, which begins Aug. 1,
was for just $40,000.
The executive, who does not want to be identified, would
not be surprised if the other recipients also scrapped the
proposal, which had a 2 p.m., June 24 due date. Since the
identification of the invitees is confidential, there is
no way of knowing how many firms were submitting proposals.
"This RFP shows that what has been happening in the
ad field has spread to PR firms," said the source.
Fortune said in its June 28 issue that purchasing
people began to get involved in the ad selection process
after the ad market crash in 2001.
Ed Meyer, CEO of Grey Global Group, said Procter &
Gamble and Brown & Williamson, which were both longtime
clients of the firm, brought in people from their procurement
department to negotiate contracts with his company.
"They don't understand our business," Meyer told
Fortune s "Madison Avenue" reporter, who added:
"You hear the same lament everywhere on Madison Avenue."
Purchasing agents, noted Fortune, don't care about brand
building, only price.
SARD VS. FRANK IN VEGAS
Citigate Sard Verbinnen is advising MGM Mirage in its $8
billion takeover of Mandalay Resort Group. Joelle Frank,
Wilkinson, Brimmer, Katcher counsels Mandalay.
The acquisition, according to Mirage CEO Terry Lanni, creates
the world s leading gaming and leisure company.
It cements Mirage's role as the powerhouse on the Las Vegas
Strip. The deal, when completed in the first-quarter of
`05, will combine Mirage s MGM Grand Las Vegas, New York-New
York Boardwalk Hotel and Casino, Bellagio, The Mirage, Treasure
Island and Monte Carlo (50 percent owned by Mirage) properties
with Mandalay s Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, Circus Circus
and Slots-A-Fun holdings in the city.
The combined entity had $6.5 billion in pro forma `03 revenues
and 70,000 employees.
George Sard and Stephanie Pillersdorf of CSV are contacts
for Mirage, while Joelle Frank speaks for Mandalay.
Edition, June 30, 2004, Page 3
SUBWAY PAPERS SEEK
Mina Hochberg, an associate editor of amNew York,
said this new weekday tabloid paper for Manhattan commuters
welcomes PR handouts with a "local bent" for its
hard news and feature-related sections.
The same goes for Jon Barrett, features editor of Metro
New York, which is also a new tabloid-size newspaper
that is published on weekdays and hawked at subway stations
in Manhattan and the other boroughs.
Hochberg said her paper, which is owned by Tribune Co.,
Chicago, which also publishes Newsday, currently
has about 275,000 in circulation. The paper can use more
PR input because it is "very short staffed," making
it hard to cover everything that is happening in the five
boroughs, she said.
She provided the 80 attendees at the Publicity Club of
New York s June 23 luncheon a list of the paper's staffers
to pitch and suggest news and feature stories to, as follows:
national, international) Alex Storozynski, editor-in-chief,
[email protected]; Mike Clancy, reporter, [email protected],
and Chuck Bennett, reporter, [email protected]
Marcus Baram, [email protected]
Hulme, [email protected]
Pearson, [email protected]
Sports Dave Abramowicz, [email protected]
Hochberg, [email protected]
Alexandra Chang, alexandra. [email protected]
Kate George, kate.george@am-ny .com
Technology (Tues.) Jennifer Martin, jennifer. [email protected]
Eating Well; Health,
Video Games (Wed.) Chang
Dining Out; City Living/Real
Estate (Thursday) Chang
Hochberg and Jay Car, film critic, [email protected].
How to Pitch
Metro New York, which was started less than two months
ago, is the latest paper in a chain of about 39 papers around
the world owned by Metro International, a Swedish-based
Like amNew York, Metro, which is passed out on the subways
and on commuter trains, is departmentalized in its coverage
of news and feature subjects.
"We skew very heavily to an 18-34 demo and that s
really important to us," said Barrett. "When you
re calling me about a story or about an idea, that s one
of the things going through my head right away," said
Barrett, a former senior editor at The Advocate,
who authored "Hero of Flight 93," the biography
of Mark Bingham, the San Francisco publicist who died in
the 9/11 plane crash in Pennsylvania.
In addition to editing the "Style" page everyday,
Barrett also edits other sections, including "Travel"
on Wednesdays, "Home" on Thursdays, and "Body
and Soul," which covers health and fitness, on Tuesdays,
and helps get stories for the "Entertainment"
section, a six-page section that runs on Fridays.
Since covering fashion is "kind of new to me,"
Barrett said he is interested in learning more.
One of his jobs is to fill a column everyday, called "To
Die For/To Lie For," which features photos of "cool
items" along with a caption that describes the item,
where it is sold and the price.
"The best thing you can do to try to get a story with
me is to give me art," he said. "We have a pretty
small staff so it s hard for us to go out and shoot everything."
He said Catherine New, who is editor of the "Stuff"
page, which is more tech and gadget oriented than the Style
page, is "always looking for things to fill that page."
"There s a lot of space to fill and we re always interested
in hearing from you all," said Barrett, who pointed
out the best way to reach editors is by e-mail to addresses
listed on the top of all the pages.
Ken Magill, acting business editor of The New York Sun,
who joined the broadsheet weekday daily about eight months
ago to cover the ad beat, has been relying on wire copy
to fill the two business news pages. He said that is "going
to change" soon.
Magill said the two-year-old paper, which is aimed at high-end
audience, has a paid circulation of about 55,000 in Manhattan.
He said the Sun focuses on world issues, but it is also
"New York City-oriented," with "very strong
arts coverage," as well as local event coverage. The
"Out and About" column on the back page is "very
popular," he said.
As far as pitching goes, "you just gotta look at the
masthead and see who s in charge of what and give us a call,"
said Magill, who said a "common complaint" of
Sun s editors is PR people who call 50 times to ask if they
got a press release.
Mike Wolf, who is Time Out New York's music editor,
said staffers at the weekly general interest magazine try
to cover "everything under the sun that happens in
As a former publicist, Wolf said he understands "what
it's like to have a list of 500 names and you make 500 phone
calls and leave 500 messages and not a single one calls
"There are ways around that: know the people that
you are contacting, and make sure your pitch is suited to
the angle of the magazine," he said.
The names of the editors and their beats are listed on
the masthead of the magazine.
(Media news continued
on next page)
Edition, June 30, 2004, Page 4
BLOGS PLAY ROLE IN
"Word-of-blog" may be becoming a close second
to "word-of-mouth" as the best form of publicity,
according to Lionel Beehner, who is the research editor
of the New York Press.
"Once the province of rambling writers, the blog no
longer plays a bit part in the news-making process,"
Beehner recently told Media Bistro.com. "Nor is it
simply a digitized version of `Page Six. Blogs have emerged
as a filter for the good, the bad, and the trendy."
Beehner said reporters find blogs are a "whole lot
more fun than sifting through e-mails or press releases
especially when you re reading the words of a colleague
instead of the pushy publicist."
He said major companies PR reps are also paying attention
to the power of blogs. He said Nike recently struck a deal
with Gawker Media to advertise a film series titled "Art
of Speed" and Harper Collins reportedly has someone
on retainer to tell bloggers about its books.
He said a handful of bloggers even won press credentials
to this summer s Republican Convention.
"On the surface, it looks like a win-win-win situation:
Publicists get to plug their new product; journalists get
scoops and bloggers get bragging rights about a surge in
hit counts," he said.
However, some publicists worry about creating a "backlash"
by pitching products to blogs. Another concern of publicists
is that blogs create great buzz, but "they are not
always a reliable barometer for a story s shelf-life. Just
because bloggers anoint something as trendy doesn t mean
that it warrants above-the-fold coverage," said Beehner.
BLOGGER DEFENDED FOR
Jeff Jarvis, president/creative director of Advance .net,
a personal website, came to the defense of another blogger
who was criticized by an unidentified "professional
reporter" for breaking a news embargo.
The blogger, Rafat Ali, told the reporter he does not adhere
to "PR schedules," and asked: "Did you learn
your journalism from a PR school?"
"Go get 'im Rafat!," said Jarvis, a former Sunday
editor of The New York Daily News and critic for
TV Guide and People, who helped create Entertainment
"If all you do is wait for the embargo to be lifted
and the press release to be sent out to write your story,
then we don t need you, Mr. Reporter; we, too, can read
the press release. That kind of news is a commodity. It
s also controlled news; by then, it s spun into cotton candy.
"We still need reporters to do real reporting, to
ask questions people don t want to answer," said Jarvis,
who added: "If reporters acted like Rafat, they d be
breaking news instead of just retyping press releases."
resigned as editor-in-chief of Razor magazine.
NEWS COLUMNIST REJECTS
Debra Saunders, a columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle,
recently declined on the spot a door prize donated by Virgin
Atlantic Airways, which was worth an estimated $20,000.
Her business card was pulled from a bowl filled with other
cards at a reception hosted by the British Consul during
a bioethics trade show.
"The British bigwig practically fainted, telling the
crowd, `A journalist with ethics? Incredible," reported
Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross as an
item in their June 13 column.
Saunders, who describes herself as a conservative who writes
an opinion column, believes the prize presented a conflict-of-interest
because she tells others what she believes is right and
WRITER SAYS SCIENTIFIC
CLAIMS ARE BOGUS.
Popular Science writer William Weed, who was asked to check
out the science claims he heard on a typical day, said he
found very few of the 100 claims "he encountered proved
completely true, and a good number were patently false."
Weed said he "simply noted every claim to scientific
veracity thrust upon me" through radio, TV, the Internet,
product packaging, billboards and a light read of the daily
"The majority of the claims came from advertisers,"
Weed wrote. "Advertisers probably feed more science
to Americans than anyone else, which is not surprising since
they are in the business of making claims...," Weed
wrote in his report that ran in the May issue.
FAST PROMOTED TO EDITOR
Betty Fast, formerly executive editor of Twist magazine,
was promoted to editor-in-chief, replacing Janet Giovanelli,
who will focus solely on J-14 as editor-in-chief.
Twist, which is published 10 times a year by Bauer Publishing
in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., provides teen girls with information
about celebrities and trends, and personal advice to which
teens can relate.
Fast's first issue as editor will be Sept. 2004.
CBS MARKETWATCH HIRES
The following reporters have joined CBS MarketWatch's bureaus:
San Francisco - Carla Mozee (Flash News Desk); Alistair
Barr, (financial services), and Chris Noble.
Los Angeles - Michael Paige, (technology).
New York - Kathie O Donnell, (financial news); Brenda January,
(market news team); Padraic Cassidy, (reporter).
Boston - John Spence, (reporter); Val Kennedy (biotechnology
and pharmaceutical industries).
Chicago - Kate Gibson, (Chicago s trading floors).
Asia Lisa Twaronite named Asia bureau chief.
Edition, June 30, 2004, Page 7
DEFENDS REMARKS (cont'd)
forbade anyone connected
with IABC from disparaging her.
left IABC Jan. 15, 2001 and was succeeded by Williams as
interim CEO for the first half of 2001 at a salary of $75,000.
Williams said he was deeply
disappointed that Allan felt his remarks were aimed
He said he considered
her a friend and feels that she was the victim
of many events that were way beyond her control
such as the U.S. economy.
He noted he had said that
IABC experienced The Perfect Storm and twice
during his remarks to the ASAE said Allan should not be
blamed or made
He also said that the
ASAE talk was made more than a year after he left his post
at IABC and he had no IABC position at that point. IABC
is being sued on charges of not properly supervising Williams.
The speech was designed
to cover what IABC needed to do to communicate during a
crisis moment in its history. I was simply trying to share
how IABC used communication to help work its way through
share their experiences so that the entire communications
community can learn from them. The first part of the speech
reiterated what had happened to create the storm. The second
part talked about how communication helped to calm the waters.
My remarks covered
only those items that had been publicly stated at the IABC
board meeting in February 2001 in a report to members made
that same month; the IABC annual meeting in June 2001, and
in other public forums. All information I related was on
the public record.
The lawsuit in California
Superior Court, San Francisco, charges Williams with malice,
in that hatred or ill will towards plaintiff motivated
statements and were the byproduct of a desire to harass
and vex plaintiff.
Allan is seeking up to
$1 million from Williams. It is not known what amount is
being sought from IABC.
The group will not answer
any questions about the suit. E-mails and phone calls to
Allan and her lawyer have not been returned.
The Williams speech, for
which audiotapes were sold at the conference and continue
to be available, told how IABC had lost $1 million on a
$5 million budget, mostly because of a planned website called
TalkingBusinessNow that ran far over budget.
words were aimed at the board.
This board had made many of the decisions that they
were now hearing were stupid, he said. Thats
essentially what we had to tell themthat you made
dumb decisions. The ameliorating factor for them, and its
an important factor, is that many of those decisions were
made with bad information.
Heading the 1999-2000
board was David Seifert of Hallmark Cards, Kansas City,
as chair; Charles Pizzo, New Orleans counselor, as vice
Brenda Siler, American Speech-Language-Hearing Assn., Rockville,
Md., as past chair.
Seifert had been enthusiastic
about TBN. IABC is committed to building an electronic
community that is unsurpassed in our industry, he
Past chair Wilma Mathews,
director of PR, Arizona State Univ., said IABC was not just
creating a website but an e-business initiative.
It was like
building a large, state-of-the-art house, she
As of mid-2000, $1 million
had been spent on the preliminaries such as market
research and business plan development, which includes functionality
and technology architecture scoping, said Mathews.
By that time, IABC had
run out of money for the venture and was seeking a sponsor.
Seifert said IABC was committed to its visionary and
aggressive e-strategy but must re-work timelines and funding
Consulting on the project
were IBM Global Services, Nine Dots, and member Shel Holtz.
An IABC leader said the
site was to be a portal to all sorts of information
sources besides supplying its own PDFs useful for training
and job-seeking. The ASAE website was mentioned as an example
of what IABC was trying to do.
OPENS H.Q. AT 33 MAIDEN LANE.
Reporters who were invited to inspect the new h.q. of PR
Society of America at 33 Maiden lane, New York, found spacious
offices with the most
modern work stations and equipment. [Photos of the new offices
are on the ODwyer website.]
The Society occupies the
entire 22,000 sq. ft. of the floor, with senior staffers
having windowed offices on the perimeter and other staffers
occupying a large open area in the middle.
Theres a large
conference room/library that will be used for classes and
board meetings and a smaller conference room.
PRSA has signed a 13-year
lease on the space from the Federal Reserve for about $430,000
yearly or nearly $6 million. The twin office towers are
also known as Federal Reserve Plaza.
A bouquet of flowers from
1995 president John Beardsley was displayed in the reception
PRSA has moved downtown
after 17 years in lower midtown at 33 Irving place. It was
previously in midtown at 845 Third ave. (54th st.).
Security is airport tight
in the new building. Members must obtain permission from
staff before visiting. Photo IDs are required and
visitors and any briefcases or packages are X-rayed.
A trip to the new h.q.,
office-to-office, takes about 35 minutes from midtown.
Edition, June 30, 2004 Page 8
Since the Fourth of
July is only a couple of days away, it's time for an ode
to America, and particularly the media, which is
the lifeblood of our democracy and the reason there is a
"Americans must realize they have the best of journalism,"
wrote Nigerian journalist Sunday Dare in an op-ed piece
in the Feb. 19, 2001 USA Today.
Describing the persecution of reporters in many countries
including his own, Dare said: "Americans don't know
how good they really have it."
The author, a service chief with Voice of America and a
Nieman Fellow at Harvard, said Nigeria and other lands need
what the U.S. has: "a free media, with access to information
and resources to perform its duties and to hold accountable
those in power."
He recounted tales of reporters who are murdered or jailed,
their news organizations closed or heavily censored
The newsroom for a group of Nigerian reporters, he recalled,
had become a cellar after the soldiers of dictator General
Sani Anbacha arrested 14 newspeople, smashed or seized their
computers, and sealed up their three offices.
What baffles him is
that U.S. media "are so often the target of
so much criticism by Americans." TV network
executives were accused by a House committee of bias and
lack of journalistic rigor in their 2000 election night
coverage, he noted.
Similar criticism appeared in Robert Samuelson's column
in the June 28, 2004 Newsweek.
Quoting the Pew Research Center, Samuelson noted that as
of 2002, only 40% of the public felt media usually get their
facts straight, down from 56% in 1985.
Samuelson said Americans are increasingly mistrustful of
what appears in the media and are picking media on the basis
of political partisanship.
He worries that, "like restaurants, media may cater
to their customers' (partisan) tastes" and that "news
slowly becomes more selective and slanted."
What PR can and should do
about this situation is try to restore any lost trust in
U.S. media. It should
not be knocking or avoiding the media and the reporters
who work in it. The more distrust there is in the media,
the less effective PR will be and the fewer PR jobs. Client
executives are likely to say, if the media and reporters
are so untrustworthy, why have a PR dept. or outside PR
counsel at all?
PR pros have a hard time reaching reporters these days
but that's because they're often carrying skin-deep "messages"
cleared by the marketing dept. Reaching the press is easy
if clients and CEOs are the ones who are calling. This was
the technique used by counselor Reed Trencher with success
for many years. Reporters got full access to his clients,
including staying at their homes, attending family functions,
and visiting client offices and plants. The PR pros made
the introductions and disappeared.