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Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
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Internet Edition, April 27, 2005, Page 1

The Defense Department’s branch for strategic forces and missions is slated to issue an RFP for a lucrative contract to analyze foreign media coverage and handle strategic communications for its operations and the so-called global war on terrorism.

The one-year base contract with the U.S. Strategic Command, or STRATCOM, will include four option years and is expected to be issued in May or June.

The Rendon Group, the Pentagon’s go-to firm for military PR work, is winding down its current $8.2M contract through November, and has been handling foreign media analysis for about 15 months. It has 56 staffers handling the account.

STRATCOM put out a feeler in January to see if any other firms were qualified for the sweeping work.

Building databases of key communicators and media outlets, analyzing the perception of U.S. actions and communication, and identifying vulnerabilities are some of the assignments for the contract.

The Command told O’Dwyer’s it was interested in fostering more competition for the work.


WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell has decided to keep GCI Group as a stand-alone unit beside Cohn & Wolfe.

He had considered merging the two, but decided that maintaining “strong and vital independent brands” offered the best outcome for clients.

Jeff Hunt, who was in charge of GCI’s Latin American operations and GCI Read Poland in Texas, has been named to succeed Bob Feldman who is assuming the top PR post at DreamWorks Animation.

Feldman will report to CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and COO Ann Daly, and is responsible for the recently spun off company’s image and branding initiatives.
Heyman Assocs. placed Feldman at DreamWorks.

Bite Comms. and MWW Group won seven-figure assignments for Sun Microsystems following a review of five incumbents and outside firms for its $10M account. Bite, as the company’s lead firm, handles analysts, corporate and product PR.

MWW Group, a newcomer to the Sun mix which handles corporate reputation and executive comms., among other efforts, plans to open a San Francisco office to co-lead the account with its East Coast operations.

Sun had been using Citigate Cunningham, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Fleishman-Hillard (which dropped out), Bite and Chen PR. Ruder Finn was also in the running.


Fleishman-Hillard and the Los Angeles City Attorney have agreed to settle an overbilling lawsuit against the firm, which will pay $4.5M and waive $1.3M in unpaid invoices for PR services.

The settlement, pending approval by city agencies, covers F-H’s work for the Department of Water and Power, Harbor Development, Dept. of Airports and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

F-H said its internal audit of its six-year, $11M DWP contract and others found discrepancies in billing.

“On the basis of that investigation, the agency believes some senior executives of the Los Angeles office, who are no longer with the firm, caused certain bills to be presented to the city that appear to be improper and indefensible,” the firm said in a statement.

Richard Kline, L.A. partner and GM for F-H, apologized for the firm’s actions and said the size of the proposed settlement is substantially larger than the amount of the questioned billing for a few reasons.

Kline cited future litigation costs, failure to meet F-H’s own standards and those of L.A.’s residents, and the need to move to restore the firm’s reputation in the city.

Ildy Herczeg, the former president of DeVries PR, has joined Ogilvy PR Worldwide as EVP in Denver.

The 15-year DeVries veteran had counseled E&J Gallo Winery, Procter & Gamble, 3M and Tupperware.

Barby Siegel, head of Ogilvy’s global consumer practice, praised Herczeg’s “tremendous consumer experience.” Herczeg spent four years at Ogilvy’s New York office before moving to DeVries, which is now part of the Interpublic Group of Cos.


Advertising professionals show a tendency not to employ "ethical reasoning" when considering which course of action to take, according to a book authored this year by Lee Wilkins, professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, and Renita Coleman, professor at the School of Mass Communications, Louisiana State University.

The two professors studied the ethical reasoning of journalists and ad people. They plan to do a similar test on PR pros if they can obtain a grant of $9,000-$10,000. (continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, April 27, 2005, Page 2

The National Hockey League has hired Quinn Gillespie & Assocs. to help out on labor and immigration issues as both sides on the lock-out step up negotiations.

Commissioner Gary Bettman, chief legal officer Bill Daly and club owners met for more than six hours in New York on April 19 with members of the National Hockey League Players Assn.

Though Daly said “no substantive progress has been made” in settling the dispute, both sides agreed to a “more aggressive meeting schedule over the next several weeks.” QG&A is the firm founded by Jack Quinn, former VP Al Gore’s chief of staff and counsel to President Clinton, and Ed Gillespie, former Republican National Committee chairman.

The NHL hopes to wrap up an agreement with the players by the summer so the league can be back on the ice in the fall.

Rogers and Cowan, which is known for its sports marketing expertise, is expected to handle the re-launch of the league.

R&C’s job will be to pitch a “revitalized product” that has been damaged by the extended lock-out. Hockey, in terms of revenues, badly trails the Big Three sports.

Bernadette Mansur, group VP-communications at the NHL, told O’Dwyer’s that the league has had discussions with R&C, but it would be “premature” to say that the Interpublic unit has been hired.

Tom Tardio, CEO of R&C, did not return a call about his firm’s plans for the NHL.


Sloane & Co. represents Archipelago Holdings, the electronic trading company that is being acquired by the New York Stock Exchange.

The Wall Street Journal, in its lead story on April 21, called the deal a “historic transaction that will turn the 212-year-old Big Board into a public company.”

The New York Times’ front page report said the deal may shift the world of floor trading. “But looming over the deal is the unanswered question: “Is it the beginning of the end of open-outcry trading or the salvation of a seemingly outdated system?” asked the NYT.

Lippert-Heilshorn & Assocs., meanwhile, is handling media for NASDAQ, which on April 22 announced a $1.9 billion acquisition of Instinet, the electronic trading service. That deal bolsters NASDAQ in its electronic trading fight with the NYSE.

Dave DenHerder, who as regional grassroots manager for the Bush/Cheney `04 ticket helped deliver Ohio to the GOP, has joined Burson-Marsteller’s Direct Impact unit.

Craig Veith, CEO of DI, praised his new staffer for managing the “best run campaign in political history.”

DenHerder is DI’s executive VP/operations, responsible for ally/content development, media relations and program implementation. He spent 18 months working for Bush/Cheney, and served as special assistant to the Secretary of Labor prior to that.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is relying on Rational PR to handle fallout from the federal probe of Israeli spying in the U.S.

AIPAC has recently dismissed Steven Rosen, policy director, and Keith Weissman, senior Iran analyst. Both had been on administrative leave.

The two are under FBI scrutiny into allegations that Israel had obtained classified information about the Bush Administration’s policies on Iran.

The dismissals “suggest that AIPAC is seeking to distance itself from investigation,” according to the April 21 New York Times. The spying case, reported the NYT, has “cast a shadow” over AIPAC’s activities.

Patrick Dorton, a savvy crisis manager, is principal of Rational PR in Washington, D.C. He told O’Dwyer’s that AIPAC is a client.

Prior to launching Rational, Dorton served as chief spokesperson for Arthur Andersen. He handled the Enron crisis and the subsequent dismantling of the now defunct auditor.

Outsourcing is not all that it is cracked up to be, according to a Deloitte Consulting survey, which found that 70 percent of companies that have outsourced operations report a “significant negative experience.”

Twenty-five percent of the respondents have returned outsourced functions in-house, while another 44 percent did not achieve expected cost savings.

Deloitte’s survey consisted of 25 “world-class” organizations that have spent a combined $50 billion on outsourcing.

Ken Landis, senior strategy principal at Deloitte, believes outsourcing remains a viable long-term option for companies as long as it is done right.

Deloitte is a key player in the outsourcing arena.

The study is called “Calling a Change in the Outsourcing Market.”

Ogilvy PR Worldwide is promoting the report.


Greenpeace campaigners hope to meet Kimberly-Clark CEO Tom Falk at the Four Season Resort and Club in Irving, Tex., site of the company’s April 28 annual meeting, to persuade him to stop “flushing ancient forests down the toilet.’’

Greenpeace charges the maker of Kleenex brand toilet paper and facial tissue with doing a “Kleercut” of Canada’s forests, a vital ecosystem for caribou, wolves, eagles and 30 percent of North America’s songbirds.

More than 7,000 e-mails have been sent to Falk by environmentalists to express grave concern that “Kimberly-Clark is destroying ancient forests to produce disposable tissue products.”

Greenpeace wants K-C to “significantly increase the amount of post-consumer recycled fiber it uses in its tissue paper products,” and seek certification from the “Forest Stewardship Council,” an environmental monitoring watchdog.

Dave Dickson, in K-C’s corporate communications department, could not be reached.

Internet Edition, April 27, 2005, Page 3


The Publicity Club of N.Y. played host to editors at five relatively new magazines at their monthly media luncheon session on April 19.

The editors, who were introduced to the 100 members and guests by PCNY VP/program chairwoman Lisa Kovitz, a media specialist for Burson-Marsteller, were: Pam O’Brien, articles editor, Organic Style; Alanna Stag, executive editor, Cookie; Kelly Bare, senior editor, Tango, and Neil Boulton, editor-in-chief of Sly and Men’s Fitness.

O’Brien pointed out OS is actually four years old, but “we think of it as a new magazine because it’s really continued to evolve.”

Looking for ideas

O’Brien said OS, which is targeted at women, who are “intelligent, compassionate, and alive to life and all its pleasures,” looks for stories related to health, food, home and garden, decorating and beauty.

She said health is the readers’ number one interest.

“They’re interested in all sorts of health stories, and what we do when we do health stories is we look at the environment and how it affects our readers’ health,” said O’Brien, who referenced a recent article in which reporters analyzed water company reports for a story on the 25 best and worst cities.

OS also runs a lot of food stories, which she said are about simple, everyday, easy recipes that stress local, fresh, organic produce and also organic beef, chicken and fish, and what consumers need to know about what they are buying at the supermarket.

“I would stress that at this magazine we’re looking for things that are organic, green and sustainable. So you need to pitch us things that make sense for Organic Style. It can’t just be a decorating story or product that can go to any women’s magazine, it needs to have a reason for being in Organic Style.”

First issue set to debut

Stag said Cookie, which will publish its first issue in November, will be both a lifestyle and parenting magazine, primarily pitched to 25-45 year-old parents with young children and pregnant women.
She said Cookie will cover fashion, travel, beauty, and home entertaining.

Instead of 6,000-word pieces on current trends, readers will get short pieces, said Stag. “This is not where you’re going to find the definitive information on autism or ADD or the current crises in child-rearing,” she said.

The magazine will also offer shopping advice. For example, pieces will talk about “ways to incorporate storage solutions that aren’t purple plastic bins, where can you find a craft table that you actually won’t mind looking at in your living room, that kind of thing,” she said.

While Cookie does not have a complete staff yet, it is not too early for publicists to start pitching stories, she said. “We’re looking for a lot of travel information, that’s going to be one of the key things both in the front of the book and in the well,” she said.

“Health, well-being, beauty all of those things are topics we’ll cover and we’re looking for information and stories on all of that sort of stuff,” she said.
E-mail is better than calling her at this point because “we’re a bit inundated,” she said.

Boulton said Sly is about to publish its second issue, but Men’s Fitness has been around for about 11 years.

Similar content

He said the operative word for what governs the content of both magazines are “service pieces, results-oriented journalism that offer results for everyday guys.”

He said Sly is geared to slightly older men, 34-54, while Men’s Fitness’ target audience are 18-34 year-old males.

“The universal ingredient in both magazines is the idea that guys want to enhance their performance in the gym and outdoors, meaning mountain climbing or sailing; whether it’s style after hours or style in the office, and of course with their partners,” said Boulton.

This goal also governs the kinds of products that he and his team considers for the magazine. “We are specifically interested in things that are really going to add value to a guy’s life,” he said.

Tango, which made its debut in Feb., and will publish its second issue on May 31, has not been able to define their readers, according to Bare.

Not sure of readers

“We’re still figuring out who she is, and even to the extent that two of the big questions we get are, `Is Tango for men or women?’ and `Is Tango for married people or single people?,’” Bare said.

“We are about love, sex and relationships,” said Bare, who pointed out most of Tango’s stories are “narrative, first-person, not the kind of stuff that a publicist, unfortunately, can be a lot of help with because we’re interfacing directly with writers on their stories.”

“We’re finding Tango is a really good outlet for sex stuff in a way that is not pruient or smarmy,” said Bare. “It’s kind of a new territory so we’re trying to do sex, not defining ourselves in opposition to, say, Cosmo, but we’re trying to think about it a little bit more.”

“We definitely need help and welcome advice in the realm of health, fitness, wellness, travel and food because we like to say that Tango’s about everything in life through a relationship lens,” she said.

She said the magazine’s three editors are “completely swamped” with publicity material. “I beg for mercy, but e-mail is good, any great products, new things, again, it has to have the relationship angle,” said Bare, whose office is located at 33 Little West 12th st. in N.Y.

Bare said Tango’ has a lead time of about three-to-five months. The issue, which comes out right before Christmas holidays, is about the only one open right now, she said.

Boulton said lead time for Sly and Men’s Fitness is also three-to-five months.

O’Brien said OS’s lead time is also three-to-five months. “We’re starting to think about October, so think fall,” she said.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, April 27, 2005, Page 4


Gary Grates, VP/communications, GM North America, said GM’s decision to stop advertising in The Los Angeles Times has “received some praise from those — including a few in the media — who agree with us that the newspaper’s coverage is not always fair.”

He said GM has declined to participate in a public airing of the complaint out of respect for the Times, whose ombudsman is investigating the issues raised by GM.

“Although some have speculated about the substance and merit of those issues, we feel that we should let the Times consider our complaint and announce its conclusions before we comment further,” Grates said.

He said the discussion with the Times has been respectful and professional.

“We knew going into this that our action would be portrayed negatively,” said Grates.


NBC “Today” show tech editor Corey Greenberg has been charging companies like Sony, Epson, Hewlett-Packard and others to promote their products on local news programs, according to James Bandler of The Wall Street Journal.

Greenberg also got payments from Apple, Seiko, Creative Technology and Energizer Holdings, charging them $15,000 each to tout their products on TV programs.

NBC, which was unaware of these and similar financial relationships, has cut its ties with Greenberg, who has also appeared on CNBC’s “The Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo” and local morning shows in Arizona, St. Louis, Dallas and North Carolina to plug products.

James Oppenheim, technology editor for Child magazine, has also appeared on Today and local news shows, promoting products made by his clients for a fee of $12,500 for each media tour, the Journal said. These include Microsolft, Radio Shack, Atari, Mattel, LeapFrog Enterprises, and Kodak.

Child magazine has terminated its relationship with Oppenheim, who also runs

The Minneapolis Star Tribune disclosed last month that Mike Ferrara, an AE at Axiom Marketing Communications, a local PR firm, has made appearances as “The Lazy Homeowner” on local TV news shows in several markets around the country to talk up products, which are handled by his firm (NL, Apr. 6).

The paper said the stations did not disclose Ferrara was getting paid to endorse products.


Sirius Satellite Radio will start a Martha Stewart-branded radio channel.

The channel will provide original programming and air 24-hours-a-day, seven days-a-week.

Martha Stewart Living Radio will leverage the company’s expertise in the lifestyle arena to create programming focused on topics such as cooking, entertaining, gardening, home-keeping, decorating, holidays, collecting, health and whole living, crafts, and wedding, as well as how-to projects and information and tips for pet owners.


Meredith has introduced a new interactive feature, called Shop MoreStyle, that allows readers to shop by item from the editorial pages of More magazine at

Clothing from the fashion spreads of More, a lifestyle publication that targets women in their 40s and 50s, will be marked with the Shop MoreStyle logo in the magazine.

The new technology, installed by Topik Solutions, creates a pop-up link each time the cursor passes over an article of clothing on a Shop MoreStyle page. The link will take the user directly to an online retailer of the product or provide information about where it can be purchased if it is not available online.

Peggy Northrop, editor-in-chief of More magazine, said readers will use the new feature to access the “latest must-have fashions and products.”

Hitha Prabhakar, formerly features reporter, was recently promoted to editor of Metro’s style section.

Cyndi Stivers, previously editorial director of Time Out New York and Time Out Chicago, has joined Martha Stewart Omnimedia as executive VP, handling new business development, including the new Martha Stewart Living Radio on Sirius Satellite Radio.

Alison Tocci has replaced Stivers as president/group publisher of the Time Out Group.

Kay Gardella, who covered the TV beat for many years at The New York Daily News, died on April 13 at the age of 82.

Rudy Martzke, a TV sports columnist for USA Today, has stepped down.

Mark Remy has stepped down as editor-in-chief of Giant magazine to become editor-at-large.

Cullen Murphy will step down as managing editor of Atlantic Monthly following the Boston-based magazine’s move to Washington, D.C., early next year.

MEDIA BRIEF_________________
Ziff Davis Media in New York will publish special issues of Digital Life, starting this summer and then the fall to coincide with key purchasing seasons for consumer electronic products.

The magazines will have informative, entertaining articles and product reviews about which consumer electronics products and services to buy and how these products can enhance a variety of summer activities and holiday experiences.

Jeremy Kaplan is editor of the magazine, which is scheduled to go on sale nationwide on June 7, while the holiday edition will be available on Oct. 11.
Additional information is at

Internet Edition, April 27, 2005, Page 7

ETHICAL REASONING (cont'd from page 1)
The professors used the "Issues Defining Test," a standard test that has been given to 30,000+ professionals over the past 30 years.

The questionnaire was posted on the web and 65 completed surveys were obtained from ad professionals.

A section on their responses is in The Moral Media, published this year by Lawrence Erlbaum Assocs., Mahwah, N.J. ($19.95).

"Advertising practitioners think about immediate consequences when deciding how to act," says the book. "In other words, utilitarianism is most often used to resolve ethical problems."

Advertising professionals "do lack ethics, or at the very least choose not to exercise the ethical reasoning abilities they have," say the authors.

There was no immediate comment from Ron Berger, CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide and elected chair of the American Assn. of Advertising Agencies, or Burtch Drake, president and CEO of the 4As.

Kipp Cheng, VP, director of PA, had been sent a copy of the chapter titled: "Advertising Practitioners Respond: The News Is Not Good." This chapter was authored by Anne Cunningham of Louisiana State University.

'Ethical Reasoning' Scores Given

The mean "P" scores, meaning employment of the highest level of "principled, ethical reasoning," are as follows for the various professions:

Seminarians/philosophers, 65.1.
Medical students, 50.2.
Practicing physicians, 49.2.
Journalists, 48.68.
Dental students, 47.6.
Nurses, 46.3.
Graduate students, 44.9.
Undergraduate students, 43.2.
Veterinary students, 42.2.
Navy enlisted personnel, 41.6.
Orthopedic surgeons, 41.
Adults in general, 41.
Business professionals, 38.13.
Accounting undergraduates, 34.8.
Accounting auditors, 32.5.
Advertising professionals, 31.64.
Business undergraduates, 31.35.
High school students, 31.
Prison inmates, 23.7.
Junior high students, 20.

Wilkins and Coleman concede their research is far from definitive and more research is needed in this area.

But they say that the results should not be "discarded or completely discounted" because they are consistent with the results of the DIT administered to other business professionals.

Said the two professors: "However, their import remains troubling, particularly for an industry that continues to sustain heavy criticism and for professionals who are searching for ways to improve performance."

Up until now, they say, no one had studied why advertising appears to be problematic, particularly whether ad pros simply lack the ability to improve the ethics of the industry through better moral reasoning.

Additional research is needed, they say, "to understand why, and whether lack of moral reasoning translates into immoral behavior," and to find out "why advertisers choose to suspend moral judgment and how might they be motivated to do the right thing?”


APCO Worldwide has inked a partnership with Talal Abu Ghazaleh Organization, the largest Arab PR operation.

The deal provides the Washington, D.C.-based independent firm with access to PR hotspots such as Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, Tripoli, Gaza, Ramallah, Khartoum and Riyadh.

TAGO, earlier this year, signed a contract with the Iraqi Ministry of Planning and Development Corp. to counsel Iraqi companies on how to receive ISO certification for quality, environmental and safety standards.

Margery Kraus, CEO of APCO, said the link-up will help cement opportunities between the West and Arab World at a “time of strategic importance.”

APCO’s Cleopatra van de Winkel, dir. of strategic comms. at its EMEA group, will oversee the venture with Mustafa Nasereddin, TAGO’s executive director.

Patton Boggs has landed a $540K pact from Trinidad and Tobago to communicate its security, trade and energy needs to the U.S. Government.

The Caribbean nation is eager to exploit its oil and gas reserves as part of its “Vision 2020” economic development program.

PB’s Lansing Law, who counseled clients in support of the African Growth & Opportunity Act, and Frank Samolis, a specialist in trade negotiations/law, handle the account.

PB is serving as a subcontractor to Ainsley Gill & Assoc., a government and public affairs firm in D.C.

AG&A has a $1.5 million pact to improve Trinidad and Tobago’s relationship with the Bush Administration, and to bolster the two-island nation’s image among the American people.

John Hawkins has stepped down as VP-corporate communications at Choice Hotels after a seven-year stint to set up his own firm in northern Virginia. Choice is a charter client.

Earlier, Hawkins was director of corporate comms. at Aetna Life, where he led the team that created the “Eye on DUI” program, in which the company donated video cameras to police to tape drunk drivers.

The program, in conjunction with “Mothers Against Drunk Driving,” was rolled to more than 100 cities, and earned the “Best of Silver Anvil,” the top honor of Public Relations Society of America.

Hawkins began his PR career at Gulf Oil. He can be reached at J. C. Hawkins Assocs., P.O. Box 25843, Alexandria, VA 22313. 571/228-2093.

Ann Fudge, the Kraft and General Foods executive who was recruited by WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell two years ago to run Young & Rubicam, is stepping down from that post as soon as she lines up a replacement. She had no ad experience before taking the post.

Fudge will remain chairman of Young & Rubicam Brands, an entity that she had set up to house Y&R, Burson-Marsteller, branding firm Landor and direct marketer Wunderman.

Internet Edition, April 20, 2005 Page 8




Two “the sky is falling” articles about advertising and its problem with fragmented media appeared in recent weeks. One conclusion is that the fragmentation is presenting more opportunities for PR and promotion.

Advertising Age columnist Bob Garfield on April 4 worried that the ad industry is “caroming toward chaos and disruption wrought by the digital media revolution.” Broadcast TV works less well each year and “the marketing industry is currently whistling past the graveyard,” according to an Ad Age summary. AA is polling readers on whether they agree with “Garfield’s “Chaos Scenario” theory.

Ken Auletta, writing in the March 28 New Yorker, noted the typical home can pick from 100+ TV channels and the six broadcast networks (up from three) only from 100+ pull 30% of viewers.

Also alarming adland is the fact that the 13-24 age group spends more time on the Internet than on TV, according to Mediamark Research.

Since the audience is so fragmented and so many people “zap” commercials or switch to another channel, marketers are now buying time within programs to push products.

But they don’t necessarily tell viewers that the time has been purchased (like Armstrong Williams pushing No Child Left Behind on the editorial part of his show under contract from Ketchum and the Dept. of Education).

Frank Zazza of iTVX, Westchester, N.Y., told Auletta that the cost of a 20-second product placement within “Desperate Housewives” would be up to $400,000, about the same as a 30-second commercial on the show.

Zazza predicted $1 billion would be spent on such placements this year, up from a $500M last year.
MindShare, the media-buying unit of WPP, and ABC are developing comedies and dramas for Sears and Unilever, Auletta notes.

The article was mostly about the Kaplan Thaler Group, New York, creator of the Aflac “duck.”
Linda Kaplan Thaler believes in PR. “Don’t worry about whether the news is good or bad. Just get covered...PR breeds PR,” she wrote in a 2003 book.

Her firm was sold to Publicis in 2000. Publicis has the biggest debt of the five conglomerates ($3.9 billion) and the lowest revenues ($4.99B).
Auletta’s sweeping article did not cover the finances of the five conglomerates.

Ethics does pay, according to a study by a professor at the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, who studied quality of audit committee members and stock prices.

Prof. Roman Weil found that the better the audit committee of a company, the higher its stock price.

Board members were rated on their ability to understand transactions, the accounting issues involved, and the implications of accounting choices.
Dow Chemical had a grade of 443, topping the list of companies whose stocks were studied from 2000-2003. Last was the CVS drug chain with 221.

The survey was described in the April 9 New York Times.

Continuing this theme, the NYT the next day wrote about a money manager who found bad news hurts stock prices.

Among stocks he studied were American Int’l Group, down 21% this year amid charges of financial improprieties; Marsh & McLennan, off 36% after being charged with rigging prices, and Citigroup, down 12% after its private banking operations were banned from Japan.

Citigroup’s attitude towards the press was evident at the “Financial Follies” of the New York Financial Writers’ Assn. last Nov. 19. The bank had two tables (18 of its own PA people) and no reporters as guests. At the same event, Bank of America hosted 15 reporters and Deutsche Bank, 13.

The research on stock prices was made by Great Companies, Clearwater, Fla., which manages $1.3 billion.

Also cited in the article was a study of corporate governance practices of 1,500 companies from 1990-99 that found a correlation between strong shareholder rights and higher profitability and sales growth. The study was by Prof. Andrew Metrick of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and Paul Gompers and Joy Ishii, of Harvard.

The National Investor Relations Institute, recognizing in 2002 that non-financial matters such as governance were having a big effect on stock prices, created a “Center for Integrated Communications” to help members build their knowledge of corporate communications. NIRI president Lou Thompson said both IR and CC should be under “one umbrella.”

The goal of a three-part effort was “convergence of corporate communications functions.” Thompson has been asked via e-mail what happened to this initiative but has not yet replied.

Heather Sieber recently joined NIRI as its first VP-communication but NIRI has yet to provide a photo of her... Int’l Assn. of Business Communicators also has a new PR contact, Kristina Jackson, who is an outside contractor. No picture is yet available.
Amanda Vaughn had been hired in February as PR/marketing manager at $50K but quit after several weeks.

Martin Sorrell of WPP was picked as one of the “100 Most Influential People” by Time mag April 18. The write-up was by Ken Auletta, who said Sorrell saw that clients wanted to cut costs and that adland was threatened by fragmentation of media and the “zapping” of TV ads.

Sorrell acquired “lucrative fee-based service businesses such as PR, event marketing, direct-mail and research firms,” wrote Auletta.

– Jack O'Dwyer


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