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Internet Edition, March 1, 2006, Page 1


Burson-Marsteller (WPP Group), GolinHarris (Interpublic), Porter Novelli (Omnicom) and Manning, Selvage & Lee (Publicis) are in the hunt for the corporate PR account of Dow Chemical.

The Midland, Mich.-based giant “launched a comprehensive and integrated corporate program in 2005 and continues to discuss how to accelerate these efforts,” Terri McNeill of Dow’s corporate media unit told O’Dwyer’s via an e-mail.

McNeill said Dow’s mission is to “to constantly improve what is essential to human progress by mastering science and technology.”

Reached by phone, McNeill said Dow did not have a single PR firm for corporate work, preferring to farm out that PR effort.

Dow received some bad news on Valentine’s Day when jurors ruled that Dow and Rockwell International mismanaged the Rocky Flats (Colo.) nuclear facility. The $554M verdict is for allowing plutonium to pollute private land around the former weapons site.

Dow says it will appeal the verdict. It noted in a Feb. 14 statement that despite the often unfavorable media coverage on Rocky Flats, the value of these properties has increased and the area in question has developed consistent with other Denver areas.
The company managed the Colorado nuclear site from ’52 to ’75.


American International Group is hunting for a VP-communications to help restore the corporate reputation of the $843B (assets) financial services giant.

The post has been vacant since December when Steve Rautenberg departed for New York Life. John Wooster was called out of retirement to handle PR on an interim basis.

Korn/Ferry International’s Richard Marshall (212/973-5816) is handling the search for the executive to oversee AIG’s 30-member PR unit. The post reports to AIG CEO Martin Sullivan.

Sullivan ironed out a $1.6B settlement on February 9 resolving fraud charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Justice Dept. and New York State Attorney General’s Office lodged against AIG.
The firm officially cut ties with former CEO Maurice Greenberg on Feb. 17 by ending an “agency relationship” with his Starr Tech insurance operation.

Greenberg was ousted from the AIG helm last March under pressure from a probe into the company’s accounting practices by NYAG Eliot Spitzer.


Dubai Ports World has added Clark & Weinstock to its PR/lobbying team in its effort to tamp down Congressional criticism of its $6.8B deal to run six U.S. ports.

C&W’s Vin Weber, the former Republican Congressman is leading that effort. He had co-chaired a task force on U.S. Policy Toward Reform in the Arab World with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. C&W is an Omnicom unit.

The Albright Group, Alston & Bird (the home of former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole) and Downey McGrath are also repping DPW. Former Long Island Congressman Tom Downey is a good friend of New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who has been spearheading opposition to DPW’s acquisition of the U.K.-based Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co.

Bell Pottinger is DPW’s agency of record.


Tim Warner, a top healthcare PR executive at APCO Worldwide, has moved on to Hill & Knowlton in Washington, D.C., as a senior VP and healthcare practice director.

Warner joined APCO’s public affairs and litigation team as a VP in 2003.

Warner was previously director of communications for biopharmaceutical company Immunex (now Amgen), where he oversaw PR for the launch of the blockbuster arthritis drug Enbrel. Earlier, he headed marketing and communications for software security company Widevine Technologies in Seattle.

Warner earned his political stripes as communications director for Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mt.), including oversight of the senator’s successful 1996 re-election.


Three PR firms have submitted proposals for a $520K campaign to improve recycling in Washington’s 2,000-square-mile King County, which includes Seattle and its surrounding areas.

The Frause Group, Colehour & Cohen, and The Bellwether Group have submitted proposals for the account, which includes research, marketing, PR, media outreach, PSAs and advertising.

King County, twice as large as the average U.S. county, is frustrated that hundreds of thousands of tons of recyclable materials are ending up in garbage dumps each year. The education campaign is one aspect of a multi-faceted effort toward zero waste.

An award date has not yet been set.

Internet Edition, March 1, 2006, Page 2


Catholic groups are organizing PR efforts to derail the blockbuster hopes of Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio set to release “The Da Vinci Code” on the big screen May 19.

Hoping to re-direct the same faith-based PR success that pushed “The Passion of the Christ” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” into mass-market hits, groups like Opus Dei and Catholic Exchange are offering rebuttals and organizing movements against the film, which is closely based on Dan Brown’s best-seller of the same name. The book, critics say, portrays the Catholic Church as “a sham.”

Maximus MG, an Atlanta-based PR firm, is guiding media relations for Davinci Outreach, a campaign by the lay group Catholic Outreach, the Internet savvy Catholic Exchange and religious publisher Ascension Press. Ascension last year published The Da Vinci Deception – one of several books refuting the facts of Brown’s tome – which is being marketed as a key cog in the campaign against the movie.

“DavinciOutreach is a group of Catholics that have come together and put together this initiative as a response to the book and forthcoming film,” said Maximum co-founder and executive VP Lisa Wheeler. “We’re putting together resources to help the public in breaking open what ‘The Da Vinci Code’ is really about and answering some of the misconceptions.”

The group says it aims “to help readers and moviegoers navigate their way through the web of bogus history and outright lies conjured up by Dan Brown and brought to life by Imagine Entertainment and Sony.”

Wheeler told O’Dwyer’s her firm was hired for the campaign after working on Catholic efforts for “Narnia.”

One of the groups Wheeler said the effort will work with is the conservative Catholic organization Opus Dei, which has been boosting its own PR efforts in recent weeks to counter the book’s depiction of it as a cult-like group and years of criticism from liberal Catholics.

“We want to use the current public interest to talk about the reality of Christianity, the Catholic Church and Opus Dei,” the group’s U.S. spokesman, Brian Finnerty, told O’Dwyer’s.


Fleishman-Hillard retained the services of “Flo,” the grand dame of Kansas City’s drag queens, for an educational campaign to combat the rise of syphilis cases in that city.

Mistie Stevens, a managing supervisor at F-H, told O’Dwyer’s the outreach on behalf of the Kansas City Missouri Health Dept. was aimed at the “general market as well as the gay community.”

Flo, who is John Koop, has incorporated anti-syphilis messages into his drag shows and has done PSAs and media interviews warning about the need to engage in safe sex and of the availability of free confidential testing for the disease.

The drag queen told on Feb. 20 that the mission is to provide “information in a serious way and a humorous way.”


Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich has introduced a “Resolution of Inquiry” in the House demanding that the Administration release all PR contracts with the intent of “selling” the war in Iraq.

The resolution directs the White House, State and Defense Depts. to turn over “certain documents in their possession relating to any entity with which the U.S. has contracted for public relations purposes concerning Iraq.”

American taxpayers, said Kucinich in a statement, “have a right to know whether or not their tax dollars were, or are, being used to manipulate the news, falsify intelligence or mislead the public.”

Kucinich, who ran in Democratic Presidential primaries as an ardent opponent of the war, blames Congress for being “negligent in its oversight of this Administration and its misguided war policy.”


South Carolina advertising and PR agency ASA has won a competitive pitch to lead a seven-figure marcom account to develop public safety campaigns for the state of South Carolina.

Mount Pleasant, S.C.-based ASA has teamed with Tom Sawyer Co., a Columbia, S.C.-based events firm, and Lonestar PR, a firm focused on Hispanic outreach based in Charleston, to cover the comprehensive account.

ASA’s PR division will handle PR strategy, media relations and evaluation/reporting, according to asaPR principal/owner, Dean Foster. ASA’s advertising arm will guide marketing strategy, creative and advertising efforts for the state, Foster noted.

The $1.5M, two-year base contract could be worth $7.5M if all options are picked up through 2011. Work begins March 3.

Chernoff/Newman was the incumbent. Also pitching were Jackson-Dawson (Greenville, S.C.), Chernoff Newman (Columbia) and DESA (Columbia).


Houston-based IR firm Dennard Rupp Gray & Easterly assisted client Willbros Group, an oil services contractor which plunged into crisis mode after nine workers were taken hostage in Nigeria.

DRG&E partner Jack Lascar handled media inquiries with Willbros VP of IR, Michael Collier.

The kidnappings were the latest in a series of events by militants aiming to disrupt the oil industry in the African country.

Willbros employees – three from the U.S., one British, two Egyptian, two Thai and one Filipino – were working on a project for The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, part of Royal Dutch Shell.

A statement put out by Collier and Lascar on Feb. 18 said the company has not yet been contacted by the militants, but that it has a crisis management team working with “appropriate parties and authorities to seek an early and safe resolution of the situation.”

Internet Edition, March 1, 2006, Page 3


News Corp. will unveil My Network TV, a low-brow affair aimed at viewers aged 18 to 48, on September 5.

Taking a page from daytime TV, MNTV will offer new episodes of the same show each night Monday through Saturday from 8:00 to 10:00.

Twentieth Television has initially developed “Desire” and “Secrets” programs that are based on the popular Spanish language Telenovela format for its sister unit.

Desire is about two brothers on the run from the Mafia who fall in love with the same woman, while Secrets showcases greed, lust and ambition in the fashion industry.

Roger Ailes, chairman of Fox TV Stations, said MNTV will be a “viable alternative” to traditional network viewing fare.

Fox stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Orlando and Baltimore are the anchor affiliates of the fledgling network. Those stations serve 24 percent of the U.S.

Twentieth TV has more programming under development for the new network including “Catwalk” (search for the next “it” supermodel), “Celebrity Love Island,” “On Scene” (crime investigations), and “America's Brainiest” (quiz show).

My Network TV is slated to compete with The CW, the entity formed by the marriage of Time Warner’s WB and CBS’s UPN.


Seattle Post-Intelligencer associate publisher Kenneth Bunting has questioned whether Donald Rumsfeld approves of the military paying to place stories in Iraqi papers.

After Rumsfeld last week said he misspoke by saying the practice had ended and clarified the remarks by noting the practice is only being reviewed, Bunting penned a column under the headline “True democracy has independent media” questioning Rumsfeld's support for the tactic.

“Even before backtracking this week, when he was still supposedly under the mistaken impression that the practice of paying Iraqi editors for news stories had stopped, Rumsfeld seemed to be sanctioning unconventional communication techniques that he said are needed to counter the sophistication of U.S. enemies,” Bunting wrote.

He noted the “sometimes pushy” Pentagon press corps have allowed Rumsfeld to leave the question unanswered.

Bunting criticized the pay-for-placement tactics of the Defense Department’s PR contrator Lincoln Group, arguing that if the U.S. goal in Iraq is sustainable democracy, it is not “ethically sound” nor effective to encourage the war-torn country’s “fast-developing but fledgling news media to sell its message and become the mouthpiece of an occupying government.”

Bunting supports the Defense Secretary’s earlier statement that paying to place stories is “not what we ought to be doing” in Iraq.


New CEO Richard Zannino has revamped Dow Jones & Co. into three units: consumer, enterprise and community media.

The consumer group includes the Wall Street Journal franchise (domestic/international print editions, online, TV and radio) Barron’s (print, online and conferences) and MarketWatch (online, newsletters, TV and radio) and “consumer-facing” joint ventures (SmartMoney and Vedomosti). Gordon Crovitz has been named president of this group, as well as publisher of the WSJ franchise.

The enterprise group includes Dow Jones newswires, licensing services, indexes, reprints and permissions, as well as Factiva, joint venture with Reuters. Clare Hart, who has been running Factiva, will head the enterprise unit when she joins the DJ & Co. on March 1.

The community group, headed by Jim Wilcox, is comprised of DJ & Co’s 15 daily and 19 weekly Ottaway Newspaper chain.

Zannino said the new structure shifts the company from a “channel-focused publishing company” to “franchise, market and customer-focused media company.”

The revamp will result in the loss of 20 jobs and an annual $8M in savings.


Viacom plans to supply content to Internet portals in a bid to triple digital revenues over the next three years, said CEO Tom Freston during an earnings conference call.

In announcing a 68 percent drop in profit to $130M, Freston says he expects digital revenues to hit the $500M mark by ’09.

Viacom, earlier this year, announced deals to make its content available through Yahoo! and AOL.

The company is parent to MTV Networks, Nickelodeon, BET, CMT and Comedy Central.


Bill Emmott, editor of The Economist for 13 years, plans to step down to focus on writing books, including one in the works about the growing rivalry between China and Japan.

“Editorially and commercially, The Economist is in top form and in great hands, which makes it a good moment to go,” he said in a statement.

A new editor will be chosen by the magazine’s board of directors, subject to approval of four independent trustees.

Emmott, 49, was tapped as the influential magazine’s 15th editor in March 1993. He has been with the publication for 26 years and penned six books, four about Japan.

Emmott’s time at the helm is viewed favorably by The Economist Group. Sir Robert Wilson, chairman of TEG, called Emmott “a highly successful editor,” and pointed to circulation inceases under his watch. “He will surely be remembered as one of the great editors of The Economist,” said Wilson.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, March 1, 2006, Page 4

People ________________

Benjamin White, Wall Street reporter for the Washington Post, was named to that role for the Financial Times. He succeeds David Wells, who was named deputy world news editor for the Times in London. White takes over on March 13.

White was a political researcher and assistant to columnist David Broder at the Post, before serving as a staff writer. He earlier worked for the National Journal's online unit.

Carol Dittbrenner has been promoted to deputy features director for TV Guide. She has been a senior editor for the past six years, managing story development.

Dittbrenner was formerly an editor at Us for eight years.

George Chamberlin, a veteran San Diego reporter and editor, has been named executive editor for The Daily Transcript and San Diego Source. He has regularly contributed to both publications.

Chamberlin made his first public appearance discussing corporate responsibility at a PRSA meeting on Feb. 27.

He also continues as business editor for KOGO Radio and hosts the Sunday radio show “Money in the Morning.”

Bernard Ohanian, former associate editor for National Geographic, has joined AARP Publications as editorial director. He is charged with oversight of the “editorial synergy” of AARP The Magazine, the AARP Bulletin and Spanish title AARP Segunda Juventud, as well as their respective websites.

Ohanian was at NG for 12 years, serving as editorial director of the magazine's international editions for four years, a term which saw NG launch 19 foreign editions.

Diane Malloy, associate publisher of sales and marketing for Time Inc.’s Teen People, has joined Prevention as associate publisher of the Rodale Inc. title. Before a 10-year career at various People titles, she was a manger for Family Circle and was part of the team that launched Fitness in 1992.

Andrew Koch, Washington bureau chief for Jane’s Defense Weekly, has been named SVP for government relations/consulting firm Scribe Strategies & Advisors' new defense and homeland security unit.

Jane's, meanwhile, has named Stephen Trimble as bureau chief of the Americas. He has recently reported on defense issues for Flight International.

Carl Portale, former publishing director of Hachette Filipacchi Media who oversaw titles like Elle and ElleDecor in a ten-year career, has been named VP and publishing director for Glam Media's He heads all advertising, marketing and branding initiatives for the portal, after serving as an advisor for the last six months.


WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell's two-month battle with Marco Benatti, former head of its Italian operation, has moved from the ad trade to the mainstream media.

WPP axed Benatti on Jan. 9 for his alleged failure to declare a financial interest in Media Club, which was acquired by the ad/PR conglom in ’03.

Benatti claims he acted properly and was fired because of a leadership clash with Italy’s COO Daniela Weber.

The Australian, Feb. 18, reports that Sorrell has acknowledged a “personal relationship” with Weber. Sorrell last year divorced his wife of more than 30 years.

The Times of London reported on Feb. 20 that Benatti has threatened to sue Sorrell over the “immense damage he has personally created by his repeated defamatory statements.” He said the damage to his reputation has been enormous.

The Feb. 19 online edition of The Independent ran a headline “WPP’s Italian Nemesis to Take Battle to Sorrell.” It covered the impending takeover fight for control of Fullsix, an ad agency controlled by Benatti but 30 percent-owned by WPP.

Rome’s Il Messaggero called WPP's Italian situation, “fantastic American-style tabloid material … that only lacks a UFO and an appearance from Elvis,” according to Feb. 20’s Ad Age.

The Australian's headline was “Sorrell state of affairs: Italian debacle rocks WPP.”

It noted that the chief of the No. 2 marketing services company has “found himself ensnared in an imbroglio in Italy, the land where the perils of imperial overreach first surfaced millennia ago.”

Ted Turner, Time Warner’s top individual shareholder, said on Feb. 24 that he will not seek another term on the company’s board of directors.

Turner said in statement that he decided to forego another term “after much deliberation.”

Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Carla A. Hills will also end his tenure on the board because of the company’s retirement policy.

A consortium of private equity companies is planning a bid for publishing and market research company VNU, according to the Wall Street Journal.

VNU publishes Adweek, Billboard and Hollywood Reporter and owns the Nielsen TV ratings and ACNielsen consumer tracking units.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Carlyle Group, offered to buy VNU earlier this year after investors quashed the company’s $7B acquisition of healthcare-data firm IMS Health.

Herb Greenberg, who writes a column for the San Francisco Chronicle carried by MarketWatch, has been subpoenaed by the SEC as part of the regulatory agency’s probe of research firm Gradient Analytics. The subpoena seeks all “unpublished” communications between the 32-year journalism veteran and the company. Dow Jones, which syndicates his column, has objected to the subpoenas.

Internet Edition, March 1, 2006, Page 5


Publicis Groupe has set up a stand-alone business unit focused on the digital/interactive sector to handle consulting, development and investing.

The firm, called Denuo, has offices in Chicago and New York and is headed by Rishad Tobaccowala, chief innovation officer for Publicis Groupe Media. He has built a team of about 15 executives from in and outside of Publicis.

Publicis bills Denuo as a “plug-and-play” unit working alongside its various units to boost marketing and communications efforts in the digital realm, including wireless and gaming marketing.

Denuo is working with Internet TV service Brightcove and streaming video company Shadow TV.

PR POLLING: The majority of Americans are ready to elect an African-American or female president but balk at tapping a Hispanic commander-in-chief, according to a Diageo/Hotline poll conducted by Financial Dynamics. Fifty-six percent of 807 registered voters polled said they would cast a ballot for a woman for president and 52 percent said they’d elect an African-American. Only 27 percent, however, believe America is ready for a Hispanic president. Those that forsee a female president were split equally among men and women (57 percent and 55 percent, respectively). A hypothetical matchup of Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain has McCain up, 50 to 40 percent, compared to 51-38 in January.
Witeck-Combs Communications and Packaged Foods (part of predict the buying power of the U.S. gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender adults will reach $641 billion in 2006, up from $610B in ’05. The firms, which break down buying behaviors and trends in a $3,500 report, say 6-7 percent of the adult U.S. population (from 14-16M adults) identify themselves as GLBT.

BRIEFS: Former Food & Drug Commissioner David Kessler, whose activist policies riled some healthcare PR firms during his tenure from 1990-97, earns $100K for serving on Fleishman-Hillard’s advisory board. As dean of Univ. of California/San Francisco’s School of Medicine, Kessler also earns $50K from PepsiCo’s health & wellness blue ribbon advisory board and $21K from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Kessler told the San Francisco Chronicle that he is proud of his board service. ...Boasberg\Wheeler Communications, Kansas City, Mo., has acquired Hamele Marketing Communications, a nine-year-old Overland Park, Kan.-based healthcare marcom firm. ...Hawaii’s High Technology Development Corp. has issued an RFP for a firm to guide an integrated media relations services program to boost the state’s high-tech sector. Budget is curbed at $50K. The RFP is on the TDC’s website. ...Pinnacle Worldwide, a network of PR firms, has added two agencies to its roster: Carr Marketing Communications of Buffalo, N.Y., and FBI Comms. of Tokyo, Japan. The network counts 58 offices across 30 countries.


New York Area

G.S. Schwartz & Co., New York/The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, non-profit focused on civics education for college students; Direct Impact, direct marketing company, and Poker Creations, promotions company for online poker applications for national brands.

Porter Novelli, New York/Jim McNeill, the “Ice Warrior,” for comms. support prior to and following his 1,100-mile solo expedition to all four North Poles in one season. The trip is expected to conclude in June at the geographic North Pole.

Rubenstein PR, New York/Trump Tower Philadelphia, for PR to support sales and marketing for the 45-story condo complex; New York Disaster Counseling Coalition, media health service for first responders, as AOR, and Sharon Parker, author, for PR to support her book, “Look Out Cancer ... Here I Come!” and her charitable Life Lover Foundation.


Perkett PR, Boston/BlueNote Networks, for an extended contract after the firm launched BNN in late ’05; MeeVee, developer of personal video entertainment search technology, for its upcoming launch, and StreamBase Systems, which develops stream processing software, for PR.

Schubert Communications, Downingtown, Pa./ Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, for a PR-led marcom campaign, and the Univ. of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, for an intergrated marketing push to launch a project management education initiative.

Mickey Ibarra & Associates, Washington, D.C./the Hispanic Media Coalition, which is composed of Hispanic groups looking to address media-related issues that affect Hispanic Americans, and the Alliance for Excellent Education, for Hispanic outreach to promote high school graduation and preparation for post-secondary education for Latinos.

E. Boineau & Co., Charleston, S.C./Half Moon Outfitters, sporting apparel retailer, as AOR for marketing and PR.

Transmedia Group, Boca Raton, Fla./Past Perfect Consignment Gallery, for PR.

The Zimmerman Agency, Tallahassee, Fla./LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort and SpaTerre (Naples), for PR and promotions.


Blue Horse, Milwaukee/The Crossings at Tudor Oaks, for PR for the continuing care retirement community.


Mayo Communications, Los Angeles/Hospital Association of Southern California, for media relations for a study on the economic impact and contribution of the region’s healthcare facilities, and Southern California Gas Company, for a media campaign for the company’s Energy Efficient Expo.

Reverb Communications, Twain Harte, Calif./ Signature Devices, video game developer focused on 3D graphics, for media relations and messaging for product launches.

Internet Edition, March 1, 2006, Page 6


Electronic discussion is the new public relations, according to Boulder, Colo.-based tech and consumer firm Metzger Associates, which has identified that axiom among 10 trends from its annual New Media Summitt this year.

Metzger reports other trends as buyers have more information than sellers; customers will pull what they want before purchasing and reject what sellers push on them; blogs are important because buyers want discourse, and with instant feedback brand loyalty can shift quickly; objective journalism is dying, and things like Google News are the trade magazines of the future.

The firm also notes RSS is the new news and information channel for the latest generation; search engine optimization is the new advertising; new technology adoption rates are faster than ever, and because change is happening faster than anyone can keep up, you don’t have to be a techie to utilize new media.


Tierney Kennedy, division VP for MultiVu, PR Newswire’s broadcast arm, has joined Medialink Worldwide as SVP of client solutions for the company’s U.S. broadcast division.

Kennedy, a healthcare specialist, follows Larry Thomas, MultiVu’s president, who left to become COO of Medialink last year.

She focuses on business development and account management for Medialink’s flagship business.


Nancy Sells, an 18-year veteran of PR Newswire, has been named to the new post of VP of sales strategy and implementation. She reports to COO Dave Armon.

Sells, a former president of Nat’l Investor Relations Institute’s Denver chapter, was VP of PRN’s Media Intelligence Products unit.

Parsippany, N.J.-based Forrest PR has upgraded its Press Navigator media relations platform to include distribution to both user-defined and the firm’s own media/analyst contact lists.

Forrest has developed its own editorial calendar and journalist database that is searchable based on keyword, publication or industry beat.

BRIEFS: Atlanta-based broadcast PR company KEF Media Associates was on-location for the Torino Winter Olympics. KEF conducted satellite media tours and produced video news releases for five Olympic sponsors. Staff was set up at a villa on the Po River near downtown Torino. The KEF team booked and coordinated more than 100 satellite interviews of Olympic athletes for American TV media through the first week of the games. ...PLUS Media, New York, produced a satellite media tour for Manning Selvage & Lee with supermodel Cindy Crawford. The tour was part of a national campaign calling for applicants to the first annual Amazing Women of the Year contest for Procter & Gamble’s Swiffer brand.



Heather Drucker, publicity manager for Kodansha America, to the new post of publicity director for Bookspan, New York, the joint venture between Bertelsmann AG and Time Warner that runs book clubs.

Tony Bawidamann, who recently managed successful campaigns for two New Jersey State Assemblymen, has joined MWW Group as a VP in its public affairs unit. He focuses on PA work at the state and federal levels for the firm. Previously, he was a political director and consultant for the Florida House Democratic Caucus and served as a legislative assistant for several Democratic Florida Congressmen, including Robert Wexler, Earl Hutto and Charles Bennett. Earlier, he spent four years as executive director and communications director at the South Carolina Democratic House Caucus.

Caren Benjamin, comms. director for Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s Member Support Program, to Vanguard Communications, Washington, D.C., as an A/S. Benjamin, who was press secretary for Sen. Bob Graham and a writer for the Associated Press, heads the firm’s public affairs team.

Greer Beaty, public information officer, for North Carolina’s Smart Start initiative, to French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C., as an account supervisor. He manages NCSU Fitts Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering, NCSU Office of Public Affairs, and Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau accounts.

Ana Burke, a financial executive for MRM Worldwide, to Zeno Group, San Francisco, as chief financial officer for the firm. She was previously executive director of finance and operations for Landor Associates.


Nicole Lowe to management supervisor, CRT/tanaka, New York.

Donna Ricciardi to management supervisor, Eric Mower and Associates, Syracuse, N.Y. Nicole Elliott was promoted to interactive A/E. The firm has also added John Lacey, former comms. dir. for Americans for Gun Safety, as a supervisor in its PA unit.

Pam Jenkins to president of Powell Tate | Weber Shandwick, Washington D.C., succeeding Lance Morgan, who has been appointed to the new post of chief communications strategist for the company. Morgan, who has been with the company for 18 years, said he'll be devoted full time to client work and development.

Michael Szudarek to partner, Marx Layne & Co., Farmington Hills, Mich. He was a VP.

Wayne DeVeydt, SVP and chief accounting officer of WellPoint, Indianpolis, Ind., has added oversight of investor relations to his duties. Tami Durle, VP of IR since 2001, has left the company.

Lindsay Klinck to A/S, Michael & Partners, Dallas.
Delia Lopez to account director, Valencia, Perez & Echeveste PR, South Pasadena, Calif. She manages the firm’s consumer strategies division.

Internet Edition, March 1, 2006, Page 7


Helen Ostrowski, CEO of Porter Novelli, urged members of the Westchester/Fairfield chapter of PRSA to practice disclosure when dealing with the media.

She said that PR pros who create an unfavorable view of unworthy clients hurt the reputation of the entire PR industry.

Ostrowski, addressing chapter members at Luca’s Steakhouse in Greenwich, referred to stories about the Lincoln Group and its contracts to place favorable stories about the U.S. in Iraqi media.

She called the Lincoln Group's activities propaganda rather than PR.

The “disclosure bar” is higher than ever for companies and PR firms, according to Ostrowski, whose firm is a member of the Omnicom Group of Companies.

Trust Is Foundation of PR

According to coverage by the Greenwich Time, Ostrowski said, “The foundation of our business is trust,” and this involves knowing who is behind a story.

Ostrowski had praise for the media, watchdog groups and regulatory bodies that work to unmask those who are tying to trick the public. “The American public is more forgiving of companies that tell the truth consistently,” she said, advising companies to admit mistakes when they make them.

Her message to the audience was, “When in doubt, disclose,” the Greenwich Time reported.

Paying the media to use stories is mostly a practice that takes place in other countries, according to the Porter Novelli CEO.

This practice is against the ethics of both PR and journalism, she added.

Assistant business editor Richard Lee covered the story for the Greenwich Time. He interviewed several of the PR pros in attendance including Mary Ellen McLean of McLean & Co., Fairfield.

She told him PR's reputation has been suffering in recent years.

“When I tell people I’m in public relations, they tell me I'm a spin doctor,” she said, adding: “Spinning is not public relations.”

According to the Greenwich Time’s story, Ostrowski said that as Americans grow more cynical about what they see, hear or read in the media, the pressure is increasing on PR firms to urge clients to be more clear in their dealings with the media.

Mentioned in her speech was Richard Scrushy, former CEO of HealthSouth.

Scrushy Was Embarrassing

The Greenwich paper said that he was “chastised in the media after it was discovered that he paid a reporter to write favorable stories about him during his trial for accounting fraud and violation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.” He was acquitted last June.

Ostrowski, according to the Greenwich Time, said the revelation was an embarrassment even though Scrushy was exonerated.

Another Ostrowski quote from the paper was: “Your know in your heart when you have to disclose. When in doubt, disclose.”


Companies need the perspectives of members of key minority groups such as African-American, Hispanic, gay, and lesbian in order to enjoy longterm success, Cheryl Procter-Rogers, president of PRSA, told 373 at the Feb. 17 meeting of PRSA/Georgia in Atlanta.

Procter-Rogers, regional corporate affairs director for HBO in Chicago, said PR pros are in a prime position to affect diversity decisions at the corporate level and urged them to do so.

Proper diverse strategies can give a company an edge in the marketplace, she said.

She told the gathering to avoid “confirmation bias,” meaning only being interested in that which confirms beliefs they already hold.

The audience included 203 students who were taking part in the chapter's annual collegiate conference. The chapter supports chapters at Clark Atlanta University, Georgia State, University of Georgia, and Kennesaw State.

Besides promoting diversity, Procter-Rogers said PR pros should lead their companies in making sound ethical judgments. “We must demand that our companies do the right thing,” she said.

She urged the audience to be “honest and truthful and disclose information” and “lead by example.”

Another observation was: “You cannot assume someone else will advocate ethical behavior.”

Take Risks, Procter-Rogers Advises

She advocated “strategic risk taking” based on adequate research. “Brilliance” cannot take place without risk, she further advised. “Step outside of your comfort zone to avoid mediocrity,” she said. She urged the PR pros and students not to be afraid of being controversial as long as they believe in what they are recommending.

“If your work resonates with you, it will resonate with others,” she said.

Continuing Work of Phair

In a question-and-answer period after the speech, Procter-Rogers told an O’Dwyer reporter at the event that her presidency would be a “continuation and will build upon the leadership” of the presidency of 2005 president Judith Phair.

Procter-Rogers urged those in the audience to consider becoming accredited and she was asked what the difference is between APR and non-APR members.

Just because someone has not taken the test, it does not mean they are not as qualified as someone who has passed it, she answered. APR is “another level of distinction and demonstrates a level of competency in PR knowledge and expertise,” she said.

It’s not a question of whether an APR member is better than a non-APR member, she later said during a phone interview.

Procter-Rogers has said she will be guided by what members want but she did not poll those present on issues such as whether proxy voting should be allowed in the Assembly or whether the PRSA national board should be “decoupled” from APR.

She said she didn’t ask the questions because she had been invited to make a speech.

Internet Edition, March 1, 2006, Page 8




High finance-U.K. style is on display with the sale of Citigate Sard Verbinnen by Huntsworth back to George Sard and Paul Verbinnen (2/22 NL).

Huntsworth is headed by Peter Gummer, whose Shandwick acquired 33 PR firms in the 1980s, selling it to Interpublic for $170 million in 1998 while still about $75 million in debt.

IPG overstepped itself on this and many other deals. It has admitted booking $514 million in non-existent profits and has had to restate earnings as far back as 1996. Its stock collapsed from $57 to $10.

Incepta purchased Sard Verbinnen & Co. in 2000 for an initial $58M when SV’s fees were $13.8M.
Depending on performance up to February 2005, SV could have gotten another $92M in Incepta shares.

Last May, Huntsworth and Incepta merged to form Huntsworth with 125 offices in 23 countries.

Huntsworth, having paid $58M for SV, is now letting the renamed Citigate Sard Verbinnen buy itself back for $20M, including an initial payment of $2.5M by Jan. 1, 2007 and the rest by Dec. 31, ’09.

Huntsworth, in offloading CSV, criticized it, saying not enough of its business is in annual retainers. CSV had $16.9M in revenues, of which $5.2M were in retainer fees. Most of CSV’s income, as in the past, has come from mergers and acquisitions. It was involved in 200 M&As in 1999. In another knock, Huntsworth said the fees are on 30-days notice.

The U.K.’s Telegraph profiled Gummer on Dec. 9, 2004, expressing shock that he should again be building an “international PR empire” at 63 after selling Shandwick to IPG. The paper described Gummer as “the embodiment of the Thatcherite Tory peer: monogrammed shirt, salmon-and-cucumber Garrick Club tie, fruity baritone, and Basil Rathbone looks (Rathbone played Sherlock Holmes in movies).”

Shandwick acquired 33 firms with 1,700 employees and fees of $100M from 1986-89, paying $90M initially with a cap of $280 million. The promise was that they would be allowed to keep their own names, culture and management. Debt topped $100M+. Not much of that extra $170M was ever paid because of draconian profit quotas that rose geometrically.

Gummer said in 1989 that while Hill & Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller were trying to have “the same brand throughout the world,” Shandwick “would do precisely the opposite.” He believed in “local people, organized and sensitive to local cultures,” and said the names of the firms “should be unchanged; their local goodwill intact.”

However, almost all the firms were soon either merged with each other or closed. Some principals went back on their own. About the only surviving names out of the 33 are Golin Harris and Rogers & Cowan. Among the names that disappeared were Dorf & Stanton; Henry J. Kaufman & Assocs.; Rand PR; Adams Group; Casey Comms.; Wenz-Neely; Rubenstein, Wolfson; Hi-Tech, and Miller Comms. Alex Stanton, Amanda Brown-Olmstead and Stan Bratskeir (Rand) started new firms.

Shandwick stock, once 195 pence, dipped as low as 2.75 pence on Sept. 10, ’92. Gummer bought three million shares at less than four pence. It later rose to 40 pence. IPG paid 70 pence, Gummer holding 9.5M shares worth $10.8M. He had sold $4.65M worth of stock in ’89.

The mega-bucks being tossed around here, much of them borrowed, reminded us of the U.K.’s Valin Pollen buying the Carter Organization of New York in 1987 for $115 million, including $50M in cash when operating income of Carter was $22M.

Sole stockholder Don Carter in 1991 was serving up to four years in prison on charges of grand larceny and income tax evasion...VP went into receivership in 1992. Gavin Anderson & Co. bought the London office in 1991 ... another U.K. disaster was Corporate Communications, closed by the banks in 1992, leaving $50M in debt, said the U.K. press. Stock held by 343 investors, once valued at $20M, became worthless. Also losers were more than 500 suppliers including newspapers. CC had purchased Georgeson & Co. for an initial $12M in cash.

Another $7.5M was never paid. Oddly, the Charles Barker part of CC was sold privately for 130,000 pounds in 1992 to investors including some who headed CB.

Left behind were the debts, causing complaints in Parliament about this “midnight auction.” In 1997, Bozell Sawyer Miller Group (later part of IPG) paid $11M for CB.

PRSA president Cheryl Procter-Rogers (page 7) gave great advice to 373 on Feb. 17 in Atlanta including “Demand that our companies do the right thing” and “lead by example.” We only hope she follows this advice in her PRSA presidency. The “right thing” would be calling on PRSA to open elections this year to all members and not just the elite APRs; demanding correct financial statements from the staff including reporting the staff costs of nearly $2 million for annual conferences; releasing the transcript of the 2005 Assembly that debated proxy voting for an hour and a half; having a spring Assembly instead of the $100K “New York weekend in June” picnic for chapter presidents-elect; restoring $2.2M in office costs to 13 categories of spending so the profit or loss of programs can again be seen; putting the resignation of director Gary McCormick on the PRSA website; letting students join PRSA from any college; ordering the staff to go back to work on the printed directory (which benefits all 20,000 members), and stop its love affair with the money-losing conference (which benefits 1,000, mostly insiders).

There can be no “advocacy programs” any more because PRSA has ducked on the ethics of NewsUSA’s offering premiums to editors who use its stories. PRSA cannot now moralize on any issue because of this and because its own house is in such ethical disorder. Procter-Rogers says she’ll do what members want but she had 170 of them in front of her Feb. 17 and wouldn’t ask them anything.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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