The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, Feb. 16, 2005, Page 1
R&A DEFENDS $3.5M
Rogers & Assocs.
has defended its California Dept. of Health Services anti-smoking
PR account following an RFP and review which began late
DHS staffer told O'Dwyer's several firms expressed interest
in the work, but R&A emerged as the lone finalist. The
new PR contract is budgeted at $3.5 million over three and
a half years, with two option years.
DHS Tobacco Control Section said it wanted a firm to build
on previous efforts and "break down apathy" from
the public with regard to anti-smoking initiatives.
DHS notes the tobacco industry sponsored over 30,000 "bar
nights" in California in 2004, undermining its efforts
to prevent youth smoking. The new PR contract begins in
March and runs through June 2008.
the heels of the PR contract award, the DHS has begun a
review for its advertising account, which includes five
annual budgets of $15 million.
FEEHERY TAKES MPAA
John Feehery, spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert
and former staffer to Majority Leader Tom DeLay, has taken
a six-figure post as executive VP of communications at the
Motion Picture Assn. of America.
The 41-year-old Republican was brought on board by Dan
Glickman, a Democrat and president of the MPAA, which was
criticized last year for Glickman's hire amid a GOP majority
Prior to working for DeLay, Feehery was an aide to Rep.
Bob Michel (R-Ill.).
Feehery's wife, Kerry, is spokeswoman for Sen. Mel Martinez
MPAA is the film industry's top lobbying group. It has
made a priority of cracking down on domestic and overseas
piracy of films, taking the lead from its music industry
counterpart, the RIAA.
General Electric has
shifted its corporate PR work from Peppercom to Ketchum.
Peppercom, last month, picked up Tyco International.
Former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski used GE as a model in
building the fire/security, electronics, healthcare, engineered
products/services and plastics/adhesives combine.
STODDER PLEADS NOT GUILTY.
John Stodder, the 49-year-old former SVP at Fleishman-Hillard
in Los Angeles, has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of wire
fraud connected with accusations that the firm overbilled
Stodder made his plea Feb. 7 and a trial is slated to begin
in early August. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central
Dist. of California declined to comment on future indictments.
The indictment alleges Stodder was responsible for $250K
in phony bills submitted to the L.A. Department of Water
and Power. It also says the Port of Los Angeles, Gehry Partners
and the World Wide Church of God were overbilled as part
of the scheme. Padded billings were known as "write-ups,"
according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors have compiled CD-ROMs with the equivalent of
40 binders of documents, including "probably well over
1 million e-mails," according to the L.A. Daily News.
Stodder's attorney maintains that his client will be exonerated.
F-H cut ties with Stodder and two other execs who worked
on the DWP account former L.A. office head
Doug Dowie and Steve Getzug in early January.
A seven-year veteran with F-H, Stodder joined the firm from
Edelman, where he was a SVP/public affairs.
F-H, a favorite political target in L.A. amid a contentious
mayoral race, has said it cannot support $652K in billings
questioned by the city's controller and has offered to settle
the matter in mediation.
D.R. SAILS WITH BVK.
The Domincan Republic Ministry of Tourism has awarded its
multi-million-dollar marketing communications account to
Milwaukee-based BVK, which has an Hispanic unit in Miami.
The D.R., which counts Christopher Columbus as its first
tourist, plans to ramp up its $3 million marcom budget to
between $4M and $8M.
BVK, as the Ministry's U.S. agency of record, is charged
with handling U.S. PR, advertising, market research and
media planning for the country.
A tourism official for the D.R. told O'Dwyer's the country
has not had a U.S. marcom agency "in some time."
BVK's BvkMEKA Hispanic unit is based in Miami, where the
D.R. has a key tourism board office.
Edition, Feb. 16, 2005, Page 2
Wal-Mart's in-house corporate affairs team is handling PR
with help from Canadian firm National PR as the retailer
has opted to close a Quebec store where employees have unionized.
A spokesman for the company's Canada operation told O'Dwyer's
the bulk of labor issues and communications are being handled
internally, but that National PR's Toronto and Montreal
offices are assisting with the work.
Wal-Mart said it will shutter its Jonquiere, Quebec, store
because of lofty demands from its newly organized workforce.
Media scrutiny of the move comes as Hill & Knowlton
is guiding a national campaign in the U.S. to help the company
put out the "unfiltered truth" and correct "urban
legends" about the No. 1 retailer.
The company said it could not sustain operations in Quebec
if it were to meet the demands of workers, who unionized
with the United Food & Commercial Workers Canada in
September, but had not reached a labor agreement with the
retailer. Wal-Mart plans to close the store in May.
WOMMA PUSHES TRANSPARENCY.
The Word of Mouth Marketing Assn. released its code of ethics
on Feb. 9, requiring people to disclose their relationships
with marketers when talking up a product or service with
others. WOMMA calls it "Honesty ROI"honest
disclosure of relationship, opinion and identity.
The group stands for transparency, and is "opposed
to all forms of deceptive practices such as "shilling
falsifying identities and anything that deceives the consumer,"
according to its statement.
The code, said WOMMA co-founder Pete Blackshaw, is an "attempt
to define what's right before we all have to live with what's
wrong." Blackshaw said e-mail marketers never took
control of their business, and now must fight spam daily.
Burson-Marsteller, Edelman and Rowland Communications are
LIVINGSTON LANDS AZERBAIJAN.
The Livingston Group has picked up a two-year $600K contract
from Azerbaijan to promote U.S. political and economic ties.
Azerbaijan has precious little to show for the independence
it gained in `91 following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The country has lost 16 percent of its territory in the
war with neighboring Armenia, and now supports more than
800,000 refugees and internally displaced people. (Azerbaijan
has eight million people compared to Armenia's three million.)
Corruption, according to the "CIA World Fact Book,"
is "ubiquitous and the promise of widespread wealth
from Azerbaijan's undeveloped petroleum resources remains
Bob Livingston, the former powerful Congressman who resigned
the House as Speaker-designate, and ex-Rep. Toby Moffett
lead the account.
FAY SHAPIRO JOINS O'DWYER
Fay Shapiro, most recently senior director of marketing
and media relations, Market Wire, Los Angeles, has joined
the O'Dwyer Co. as publisher.
She is in charge of marketing, PR, advertising sales, and
circulation promotion for the five O'Dwyer productswebsite,
newsletter, magazine, and directories of PR firms and corporate
Shapiro was VP of the Media Directory Product Group of
BurellesLuce, New York, from 2000-2004, handling development
of the company's first Media Directory Online Service.
She was in charge of customer service and client training
for the online directory.
As publisher of Oxbridge Communications, New York, from
1989-2000, she headed marketing, sales, product development
and production for its print and electronic publications
including the Oxbridge Standard Periodical Directory, a
basic reference tool used by most public libraries.
Shapiro was at Bacon's PR and Media Information Systems,
Chicago, from 1984-89 as editorial director, handling media
research, editing, layout and directory production.
She has a B.S. in journalism from the University of Illinois
and an M.S. in Communications Studies from Northwestern
She is past treasurer and director, Publicity Club of New
York and directory chair, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers
"I m happy to bring my 19 years of publishing experience
to the O'Dwyer Co., which is noted for its thorough coverage
of PR, media, marketing communications and PR services,"
Among other activities, Shapiro is arranging PR/media panels
in Chicago and New York in April and May to celebrate the
35th Edition of O'Dwyer's Directory of PR Firms.
ATC SCORES WITH REEBOK.
Alan Taylor Communications has been hired by shoe marketer
Reebok International as its "sports and performance
apparel PR firm," Diane Pelkey, a spokesperson at the
$3.8 billion company, told O'Dwyer's . "We met with
a few folks before selecting Alan Taylor," she said.
Pelkey feels comfortable with ATC because she had hired
the New York-based company during the mid-`90s.
Bret Werner, ATC's managing partner, will handle the Reebok
business. Part of ATC's work will be to leverage Reebok's
"sports assets." Those assets include athlete
endorsees such as Curt Shilling, pitcher on world championship
Boston Red Sox, and Donovan McNabb, quarterback of the Super
Bowl losing Philadelphia Eagles.
Allen Iverson (Philadelphia 76ers), Andy Roddick (`03 U.S.
Open champ) and Carolina Kluft (Olympic gold medalist) also
are on Reebok's payroll.
Pelkey said Reebok uses HL Group (New York) for fashion
PR and PMK/HBM for entertainment PR.
Edition, Feb. 16, 2005, Page 3
MAGAZINE TO TAP
NEW MOM MARKET.
Katherine Lee is editor of Working Through Pregnancy,
a new biannual magazine that will tap into the $32 billion
spent by the new mom market.
The new publication, published in New York by Working
Mother magazine, will bring out two issuesspring/summer
and fall/winterin 2005, as guides to lifestyle and
work solutions during pregnancy.
WTP will be distributed to human resource departments at
Fortune 500 companies (50,000) and to OB/GYN offices (300,000).
Carol Evans, CEO of Working Mother Media, which also owns
the National Assn. for Female Executives, said the new publication
fills a void in the marketplace for the more than two million
working women who will give birth this year.
The magazine, which is based in New York, will have three
editorial sections: "You"Preparing for the
physical and emotional changes of pregnancy and birth; "Work"Maternity
leave benefits, childcare, financial planning and on-the-job
nursing, and "Family"Nutrition, baby gear
and self-esteem for new parents.
The editorial staff of Working Mother will provide the
content for the sections. The Rosen Group is handling PR
for the new magazine. Publicists can pitch ideas and information
to Lee via e-mail at [email protected].
SAVOY TRIES TO MAKE
Jazzy Communications, a division of Chicago-based Hartman
Publishing, is restarting Savoy this week as a lifestyle
magazine for affluent, professional African-American readers.
Monroe Anderson, former community affairs director at WBBM-TV,
is editor of the new Savoy.
The 116-page combeback issue, which features Sen. Barack
Obama and his wife Michelle on the cover, has 14 articles,
features and several news columns, including one by Terrie
Williams, a New York-based PR pro for many years and a motivational
speaker, and the "Today" show's "Domestic
Diva" Wayne Johnson.
Savoy ceased publication in Dec. 2003 when its parent company
Vanguarde Media filed for bankruptcy. The magazine had a
total circulation of 325,000 at the height of its popularity.
Savoy's new publisher, Hermene Hartman, started N Digo
in Dec. 1989 as a monthly "magapaper" highlighting
Chicago's black leaders and newsmakers.
The paper's circulation has grown from a 50,000 circulation
publication to a weekly readership of 625,000, making it
the top African-American weekly in the U.S.
Savoy will be sold on newsstands nationwide, and will publish
10 times a year with a cover price of $3.99.
who runs his own money management firm in New York, was
arrested Feb. 7 after he was indicted by a federal grand
jury in Los Angeles for allegedly promoting GenesisIntermedia,
a now defunct company, from late 1999 to mid-2001 as a financial
commentator on CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg TV.
Unknown to viewers, Smith got $100,000 in cash and company
shares valued at $1.2 million, the indictment said.
Overhaul & Maintenance,
published by McGraw-Hill's Aviation Week Group, will expand
publication to 11 times a year in 2005, adding an Aug. issue.
The magazine is read by managers and executives in the aviation
and aerospace fields.
Frank Jackman is editor-in-chief of O&M, which is based
in New York.
Yoga Journal, San Francisco, released its second
annual "Yoga In America" survey that shows Americans
spend $2.95 billion a year on yoga classes and products,
including equipment, clothings, vacations and media (DVDs,
videos, books and magazines).
The study, conducted by Harris Interactive Service, revealed
that 7.5% of U.S. adults, or 16.5 million people, now practice
yoga, an increase of 5.6% from the prior year and 43% from
2002. The fastest growing segment is the 18-24 age group,
which increased by 46% in one year.
Alan Weinkrantz and
Lois Whitman have joined the swelling ranks of PR
Weinkrantz, whose San Antonio-based firm has focused on
U.S. and Israeli technologies companies, will offer his
personal observations, news and analysis on his blog, alanweinkrantz.typepad.com.
Weinkrantz believes his comments will appeal to journalists,
analysts, vendors, and end-users.
Whitman, who heads HWH PR/New Media in New York, will also
share her personal views about PR and other topics on her
new blog, which is located on her firm's website at hwhpr.com.
AT&T's longtime head of PR who watched a series of top
executives try to remake the long distance phone company
following its breakup in 1984, recounts some of the missteps
that happened during his 30 years there in "Tough Calls"
(AMACOM, 294 pages, $24.95).
(Media news continued
on next page)
Edition, Feb. 16, 2005, Page 4
POOLEY JOINS FORTUNE
AS TOP EDITOR.
Eric Pooley will take over as Fortune's top editor
on April 1 when he replaces Rik Kirkland as managing editor.
Pooley, 45, currently editor of Time magazine's
European, Middle Eastern and African editions, joined Time
in July 1995 following a 12-year career at New York
magazine where he started as a freelance fact checker in
1983, before moving up to senior editor, contributing editor
and political columnist.
He wrote several cover stories for the magazine on subjects
ranging from politics, crimes and urban affairs to sports,
the arts and media.
From Jan. 2001 to Sept. 2002, Pooley was nation editor
for Time in the U.S., overseeing the magazine's political,
military and national affairs coverage.
CNBC AS PRESIDENT.
New CNBC president Mark Hoffman, who was rehired to revive
the 24-hour business news channel, said he will continue
to focus on CNBC's core audience of wealthy investors.
Hoffman, 47, who had worked for CNBC in the late 1990s
and rose from executive producer to president of its CNBC
European operations, left in 2001 to become president of
NBC-owned WVIT-TV in New Britain, Conn.
In taking over all day-to-day operations, programming and
technology, Hoffman has replaced CEO/president Pamela Thomas-Graham,
who was named chairman of a new unit to handle "new
strategic opportunities," including spinning off shows.
DIETICIAN TO EDIT
Jill Melton has joined Cooking Smart, a new national
consumer publication for home cooks, as editor-in-chief.
Melton, a dietician, will oversee editorial content and
overall direction of the magazine, published by Coincide
Publishing in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Kyle Cox, publisher of CS, said Melton has a "flair
for putting together features that are timely, relevant,
distinctive and personable."
Melton spent 10 years as the senior editor/food editorial
director of Cooking Light magazine before leaving
CS, which made its nationwide debut in January 2005, takes
a positive approach to eating well. "Eating should
not be about deprivation, but instead emphasize balance,
variety, moderation and good taste," said Melton, who
lives in Birmingham, Ala., and can be reached at 480/237-7100,
or via e-mail at editors at CookingSmartMagazine.com.
BIG BOARD CHIEF
MEETS THE PRESS.
The New York Stock Exchange chief John Thain met with about
24 Wall Street reporters on Feb. 8 in the exchange's sixth-floor
Paul Tharp, a business reporter for The New York Post,
said the meeting, which was attended by Thain's key executives
and spin doctors, have been a rarity for the NYSE.
The meeting could be the start of regular roundtables with
reporters, said Tharp, who pointed out the invited reporters
"tend to attack the NYSE from all sides, and compete
to spread leaks."
NYFWA ELECTS OFFICERS.
Richard Koreto, editor of Advising Boomers Magazine,
was elected president of the New York Financial Writers
Assn. at the annual meeting on Jan. 26.
Other new officers for 2005-2006 are: Britt Tunick of IDD,
VP; Grace Weinstein, a freelance writer, treasurer, and
Sheila Mullan, Market News International, secretary-assistant
The 264-member group finished its fiscal year on Jan. 26
in the black with $15,157, as compared to a net loss of
$7,745 last year, according to a preliminary financial report
that was handed out at the meeting.
The assn.'s total income rose to $351,215, stemming from
higher ticket sales and program ads from the annual Financial
Follies dinner/show ($275,935) and the annual spring awards
dinner ($62,690). Total expenses, which dropped by about
$500, totaled $336,057.
The assn.'s cash assets now total $450,531.
Jane Reilly, who is NYFWA's executive director, was paid
$34,744 in 2004, up from $30,173 in 2003.
It was also disclosed at the meeting that 30 new members
had joined in 2004, and 43 dropped out of the organization.
The assn. began its new year with 176 active members, 27
associates, 16 students and 45 life members.
Architectural Digest will
feature outstanding architecture from across the world in
the first Architecture Issue, which will be published
The special edition, which is being produced by Paige Rense,
editor-in-chief and her staff, will feature projects by
big-name architects and fast-rising talents, from classic
The issue's ad close is Feb. 21.
is a new one-hour interview-talk radio show on WHAT-AM in
Philadelphia, co-hosted by Bonnie Squires and David Brown.
Squires is president of Squires Consulting, a PR firm,
and Brown, is CEO of Brown Ptrs., an ad agency in Blue Bell,
The program, which airs on Sundays at 2:30 p.m., features
interviews with prominent Philadelphians. A recent guest
was Pliver's . Clair Franklin, CEO of International House
Edition, Feb. 16, 2005, Page 7
HEAL THYSELVES, PR EXEC
The television industry
is facing a "mega-crisis," and better get its
act together before it is fatally wounded, said Bob Dilenschneider
Feb. 8 at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Dilenschneider Group CEO recommended "self-regulation"
as the tonic for TV's woes. He ridiculed Donald Trump's
"The Apprentice," saying "nothing is worse
than the lack of dignity and naked ambition of the contestants"
on the show. Dilenschneider skewered Bill O Reilly's "No
Spin Zone" for its "predictable dogmatism."
that American TV programming is beamed around the world,
Dilenschneider wondered: "Why isn't the top tier of
the TV industry asking how Desperate Housewives will
be perceived in Iran or Spain? Why hasn't there been a connection
made between what we re calling social responsibility, or
being a good corporate citizen, and what will eventually
wind up as export?"
urged the audience to think outside-the-box, and come up
with new ways to create value to the media. Instead, "TV
is pushing the envelope to titillate and downright shock,"
continued Dilenschneider, is being sacrificed on the altar
of ratings. His recommendation: "Stop the panic, slow
down, look inward, fix what you can fix and keep fixing
what you can fix."
FOR SUV PUSH.
Peppercom reaped a windfall of press in handling PR for
a $27 million ad campaign promoting safe driving of sport
push centered around a giant creature named Esuvee, which
reporters creatively described in their stories the
AP called it a "wooly mammoth with headlights,"
while the New York Times saw a cross between "Star
Wars" characters Chewbacca and Jabba the Hutt, the
New York Post took note of a "truck-faced, furry
monster," and USA Today offered the pragmatic
description of a "large, hairy fictitious animal."
People were shown riding Esuvee to convey the message that
SUVs cannot be driven like ordinary vehicles.
New York office had sent reporters swatches of fur attached
to a card that read: "Exclusively for you A
precious swatch of fur from a real live Esuvee. Watch out,
this species may be the biggest thing to hit our streets
since King Kong."
photo of a large beast moving out of sight on 17th Street
in New York also provided little detail until the campaign
was unveiled at the Central Park Zoo a few weeks later.
Katie Couric unveiled Esuvee on the "Today" show.
year-long effort is aimed at curbing rollovers among the
younger demographic of SUV drivers.
It is funded by the Ford settlement that charges the company's
marketing of SUVs misled consumers on how to properly operate
New Jersey's Casino Redevelopment Authority, which is charged
with maintaining public confidence in the gambling industry,
has picked seven advertising and PR firms to guide its marketing
communications for the next two years.
Strategies PR, Smith O'Keefe
and Assocs., Rosica Strategies and four ad agencies have
emerged from an RFP process which began last fall.
Yvonne Bonitto-Doggett, deputy director of the Authority,
told O'Dwyer's the agency is in the process of placing the
firms under contract on an as-needed basis.
Authority said during the process that it could select several
firms, due to the "size and complexity" of projects
it foresees, including media relations, annual report production,
community relations, advertising and marketing.
Authority was created by the Garden State in 1984 to take
a chunk of Atlantic City gambling revenue to invest in community
projects. Tens of millions of dollars are doled out each
Weber Shandwick handles PR for Atlantic City tourism.
TO EXIT EP&A.
David Petrou, president of Eisner Petrou and Assocs. in
Washington, D.C., has sold his interest in the firm and
plans to depart this summer, the firm's ad agency parent,
Eisner Comms., has confirmed.
Petrou, 55, decided in August of 2004 that he would depart
in July of 2005, according to EC senior VP Abe Novick. "Eisner
Communications will transition his position effective in
August of 2005," Novick said in a statement to O'Dwyer's
EP&A has a staff of
12 PR pros with flagship clients like the Maryland State
Lottery, Baltimore City Public Schools System and the Metal
Roofing Alliance. EC plans to fold the firm into its overall
operation, rather than keep it semi-autonomous.
Petrou, who declined to elaborate on future plans because
of the agreement, was named president of EP&A in 1988
after two years there as SVP and partner. Earlier, he was
a senior exec at Abramson Assocs. and director of special
projects for The Kennedy Foundation. Petrou was formerly
a senior editor of Regardie's magazine.
Baltimore-based EC did
not elaborate on succession plans to head the PR unit.
Hillary Clinton will present Linda Fairstein her
Matrix Award for the "books" category at the New
York Women in Communications gala slated at The Waldorf-Astoria
on April 11.
Former Interpublic CEO
John Dooner is to hand Nina DiSesa, McCann-Erickson chairman,
her "advertising" award, while Madeline de Vries
will give Charlotte Otto, Procter & Gamble's senior
VP & external relations officer, the Matrix for "PR."
The New York Times
is hosting the 35th anniversary Matrix luncheon.
Internet Edition, Feb.
16, 2005 Page 8
The shocking firing
of Hewlett-Packard's Carly Fiorina dominated business
news last week. The numerous stories had some common threads.
These were that Fiorina's style (such as holding "pep"
rallies for workers) was opposite to that of the H-P culture;
she did too much "grandstanding" around the world
and not enough "hands-on" work; she introduced
a "cult of personality" that included hanging
her portrait next to [sacred] founders Bill Hewlett and
David Packard at corporate h.q.; she used "hardball"
tactics on opponents, including firing veteran managers;
she enforced a strict ban on employees talking to the press;
she lied to the press in January when she described her
relationship with the board as "excellent" when
it wasn't .
The difficult merger with Compaq she pushed didn't help.
Dave Murray of The Ragan Report said 3/31/04 that
the "happy culture" of HP flipped after Fiorina
joined it. The tradition was "The HP Way" of being
"casual and confident" that resulted in "lots
of great employee communications programs," he wrote.
But after Fiorina, he said, he found a "stiff"
corporate treatment like that of Ford, IBM, and Disney.
is a study that attacks the soaring cost of college
The three major PR textbooks, The Practice of PR,
Effective PR, and PR: Strategies and Tactics,
all sell for more than $100. Used copies are $60-plus.
Wholesale prices of textbooks soared 62% in the past decade
while regular books went up only 19%, says the New Jersey
Public Interest Research Groups (students and consumers).
It says U.S. students pay up to twice as much as foreign
students for the same books. They re also forced to pay
extra for CDs and other materials that are "shrink-wrapped"
with the books. A chemistry text, formerly $152, is now
$223.75 because of materials "bundled" with it.
Our advice: students and professors should follow the PR
trade press and websites because much of what's in the textbooks
does not match the reality of the current PR job market
or PR industry.
For instance, PR counselors
have become more specialized in recent years, many
spending their entire careers in such areas as healthcare,
technology, financial, food, travel, etc. Students should
pick a career track early.
On the corporate side, those with M.A.'s and other advanced
degrees, plus records of community service, political activity
(especially on the Republican National Committee), and knowledge
of marketing, advertising, etc., do well. Media experience
is less important.
Students need to follow
the Ketchum/Williams "pay for play" story
and related incidents that are under investigation by the
GAO, FCC, Inspector General, Congress, the Pentagon and
Dept. of Education. Extensive reports on this appeared in
the Feb. 13 New York Times under the byline of Tim
O'Brien, who notes the unavailability of Ketchum execs,
and in CorpWatch by Chris Raphael (corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11836).
He describes the firm's ranking of reporters who covered
the "No Child Left Behind" Act. Those who didn't
follow the DOE line were given negative marks.
Kenneth Remson, Vermont principal, was given a -70 for
an article in the Burlington Free Press that had
"12 negative messages." An op-ed piece by then
Education Secretary Rod Paige got the highest marks. Critics
of NCLB include the National Education Assn. and Amer. Fed.
Instead of rating reporters on how well they followed the
line, Ketchum's PR pros should have studied their criticisms
to see if any were valid. That would have been better PR.
Since Ketchum is being
so quiet, we turned to some of their PRSA Silver
Anvil Award winners to see if they could hold up under examination.
One that caught our eye was the Anvil won with Atlanta
web designer Enterpulse in 2003.
Ketchum's "research" found that Enterpulse's
"user-centric" approach to web design and construction
"was not matched by any other competitor."
Our Google search of "web design" found 35.1
million entries. How could Ketchum know what all these other
web builders were doing?!
Another statement, setting up a classic "straw man,"
was that "Competitors ... built websites filled with
technology for its own sake."
The Atlanta Business Chronicle lists 25 major web
builders in the area including Enterpulse. We called up
some. None said they "fill their websites with technology
for its own sake." The firms were shocked that anyone
could make such a statement.
Ketchum did a survey of web users that found many were dissatisfied
with websites. It got good publicity, including a column
under the byline of Henry Devries of the San Diego SourceBook
that was basically the Ketchum Anvil entry.
Enterpulse had $8 million in sales and 66 employees in
'02. The company's PR firm is Hope Beckham of Atlanta, headed
by Bob Hope (ex-Burson-Marsteller) and Paul Beckham.
We give an "A" to the website of Enterpulse which
provides address, phone numbers, and picture of CEO Jerry
Eickhoff, who responded to a call.
Eickoff founded Enterpulse in 1998. It survived the dot-com
bust and now has 80 employees.