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Internet Edition, March 22, 2006, Page 1


California is reviewing its $5M recycling communications account currently with Riester-Robb.

The account covers PR, social marketing, advertising and business outreach for the Golden State’s Dept. of Conservation. Budget is capped at $5M a year.

R-R has handled the account since 2000, when the state passed its “bottle bill” to increase the number of containers from which Californians can receive a rebate for recycling.

The firm helped develop a state-wide campaign and website,, and later shifted the drive’s focus from urging Californians to recycle to demonstrating how to do it. But recycling rates have not kept pace with increases in sales of recyclable container beverages, the state notes in its new RFP.

The overall goal of the campaign is to raise beverage container recycling rates and boost the number of public and private venues with recycling programs.

Mark Oldfield ([email protected]) of the DoC’s public affairs office is taking questions.


Andrew Gowers, the former editor of the Financial Times, has joined Lehman Brothers as chief of corporate communications, advertising, brand and marketing strategy for Europe.

He reports to John Phizackerley, a member of Lehman’s European Executive Committee in London, and Scott Friedheim, global head of strategy and CCAB&MS in New York.

Christine Chinnery, head of corporate communications in Europe, reports to Gowers, who began his journalism career at Reuters in ’80.

He joined the FT in ’83, and left in November.


RF Binder Partners has picked up Staples in a shoot-out with Tilson Communications and Alan Taylor Communications, Carolyn Kravetz, director of communications at the world’s largest office supply chain, told O’Dwyer’s.

She said Staples will add at least 70 stores in ‘06, its 20th anniversary year. RFB has market expansion program experience as evidenced by its work with Dunkin’ Donuts and ZipCar. Nancy Moss, who heads RFB’s Boston office, is responsible for the Framingham, Mass., chain. Kravetz said Staples uses a number of PR firms including ATC. Staples chalked up $16B in fiscal `05 revenues and projects earnings to increase from 15 to 20 percent in `06.


Hill & Knowlton is guiding Dubai International Capital as the United Arab Emirates-owned entity seeks to win the blessing of the Treasury Dept.’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. for its $1.2 billion acquisition of Doncasters Group Ltd., Kelli Parsons, general manager at H&K/D.C., told O’Dwyer’s.

The U.K.-based Doncasters runs nine aerospace plants in the U.S., supplying components to General Electric, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, Hamilton Sunstrand and Honeywell. DIC announced the deal in December, but the potential acquisition moved into the spotlight following the political uproar connected with Dubai Ports World’s bid to run six major U.S. seaports.

Parsons says she is handling the account at H&K with Don Meyer, the former special assistant for communications strategy at the Defense Dept.

H&K is getting input from WPP Group’s public policy shop Wexler & Walker. That firm’s president Jack Howard and managing director John Duncan work on the DIC business. Howard was deputy director of the Bush II White House’s office of legislative affairs. Duncan joined W&W in `05 from the Treasury Dept.’s legislative unit.


Burson-Marsteller denies a Greenpeace charge that a batch of H.J. Heinz baby cereal sold in China contained genetically-modified rice.

Greenpeace says it commissioned a German laboratory to test about 20 baby food and snack products sold in Beijing. The environmental group claims that testing found GM ingredients that carry a protein that is fatal to insects.

Heinz says its own independent testing did not find any traces of GM, and those test results have been submitted to China’s Dept. of Agriculture. Greenpeace wants Heinz to make public the results of its test.

The Chinese Government is conducting its own investigation of the Heinz products. China has not approved the sales of any type of GM rice.


GolinHarris spearheads an Interpublic team that has picked up the marketing communications account of Dow Chemical. It edged a WPP Group collection of shops that included Burson-Marsteller.

Dow selected the IPG group to “help accelerate its integrated, corporate reputation strategy on a global basis,” Dow media relations staffer Terri McNeill told O’Dwyer’s via an e-mail. 

Internet Edition, March 22, 2006, Page 2


Andrew Young, former United Nations Ambassador, three-time Congressman and Atlanta Mayor, is serving as pitchman for Wal-Mart because the world’s largest retailer is “making middle-class lifestyles available to poor people.”

That representation has sparked controversy, according to Gannett’s USA Today. Young has taken some strange turns in his old age, Joseph Lowrey, former head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, told the paper.

Young’s GoodWorks International, which promotes economic development in Africa and the Caribbean, is paid by Working Families for Wal-Mart, an entity headed by Pat Boone that receives funding from the Bentonville, Ark.-based chain.

Young, 74, said Wal-Mart’s critics don’t understand that “ending poverty means generating wealth and not just fighting to redistribute the existing wealth.” He believes Wal-Mart’s foes are anti-globalization, and are on the losing side of history.

Wal-Mart’s foes also fail to recognize the amount of poverty in the U.S. Young told the paper that the biggest underserved market in the world is neither China nor India, but the American rural poor and inner cities. “That’s approximately a $2 trillion market that nobody pays attention to,” he said.

Young will give interviews, speeches and write editorials praising the accomplishments of Wal-Mart. The former Martin Luther King aide has taken heat in the past for his corporate work. In ’97, he defended Nike’s labor practices overseas.

Young did rap Wal-Mart a bit, saying the chain needs more diversity among suppliers and should be more sensitive to community needs. He also feels Wal-Mart should put security cameras in some parking lots.


Alaska has issued its much anticipated RFP for a PR campaign to improve the state’s image in the “Lower 48.”

Gov. Frank Murkowski will pay a PR firm up to $150K for a two-month campaign to begin April 27.
The RFP says the “nation’s view of Alaska is sorely distorted.”

The state has been battered in the media over opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for energy development, and held up to “public ridicule in recent months by the ‘bridges to nowhere’ campaign.”

Those “national misperceptions and misinformation regarding Alaska impact other controversial issues with our federal government—disputes over selected land along the pipeline corridor, timber harvest in the Tongass National Forest, Glacier Bay access, predator control and wetland designation.”

The Frontier State trusts that hiring a PR firm will help establish a “factual basis concerning Americans’ current attitudes and perceptions about Alaska.”

R. Shawn Henderson (907-465-3899) has details about the RFP. Proposals are due March 30. The state will announce the contract winner on April 17.


Ruder Finn is setting up a panel of Hindu scholars in the bid to forge a better understanding of the religion in the U.S., Dena Merriam, RF’s vice chairman, told O’Dwyer’s.

Hinduism is the world’s No. 3 religion. It has 850 million followers, with more than 700 million of them in India, which is taking its place on the world’s stage.

RF’s effort is an outgrowth of the firm’s representation of Austin, Tx-based Vedic Foundation, which fought a battle this month with California’s Board of Education over the depiction of India in elementary and middle school textbooks.

Merriam said California did approve some changes in the textbooks. For instance, a “Where’s the beef?” title for a section on India was removed.

The Foundation, however, believes the approved textbooks are an insult to Hinduism. The organization, which some criticize as a right-wing nationalist group, advocates on behalf of “authentic Hinduism.” It believes the “age of materialism,” British colonial rule and anti-God elements have distorted the meaning of the religion.

Merriam, who studied Hinduism while earning a masters’ degree at Columbia University, denied that VE is a fringe group.

Misperceptions about Hindus and Indian-Americans abound in the U.S., according to Merriam. She said that was clearly evident in the aftermath of 9/11 when people branded Indian-Americans as terrorists.

Merriam, who has handled a number of interfaith events at the United Nations, recommends that Hindu organizations take a page from Jewish and Muslim groups, and get better organized in the U.S.

She said RF’s work to promote greater awareness and understanding of Hinduism is an independent effort.


The City of Phoenix, not satisfied with a five-year ongoing regional water conservation effort, has put out a request for qualifications for a firm to develop its own campaign to increase conservation in the desert city.

Arizona made national headlines this month after a record 143-day drought ended with a winter storm. That record eclipsed the 103-day mark set only six years ago. Ongoing drought conditions are part of a decade-long pattern of below normal precipitation both locally and in the watersheds serving Phoenix, according to city data. Recent planning investigations indicate that pattern could extend for another 10 or more years.

Phoenix has been part of a regional push, “Water: Use it Wisely,” but says recent drought years have led it to re-evaluate its role in that joint public information campaign. The city foresees its own marketing and public information effort to gauge public perception of water sources and drought conditions, to analyze segments reached with drought preparedness messages, and communicate conservation messages to different segments of the public.

Proposals are due April 7 to Shannon Autwell of the city’s Water Resources and Development Planning Section.

Internet Edition, March 22, 2006, Page 3


McClatchy Co. CEO Greg Pruit said that he will sell a dozen of Knight Ridder newspapers following the completion of the $4.5B takeover deal that creates the No. 2 publisher after Gannett.

The targeted papers include the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, San Jose Mercury News, Akron Beacon Journal (OH), Wilkes Barre Times Leader (PA), Aberdeen American News (SD), Grand Forks Herald (ND), Fort Wayne News-Sentinel (IN), Contra Costa Times (CA), Monterey Herald (CA), Duluth News Tribune (MN) and St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN).

Pruitt described those newspapers as “terrific publications, but they do not fit our long-standing acquisition and operating strategies.”

Price tag called ‘bargain’

All the talk about the “death” of the newspaper industry allowed McClatchy Co. to acquire Knight Ridder for a “price that would have seemed an unimaginable bargain only a few years ago,” wrote Pruitt in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece. He argued that “newspapers are still among the best media businesses-and the most important.”

Pruitt noted that 91 million people watched Super Bowl XL last month, while nearly 125 million people read Sunday newspapers.

Adding newspaper web sites to paper readership shows that “far from shrinking our audiences are growing steadily,” wrote Pruitt, whose firm is paying $4.5B for the No. 2 newspaper chain.

In an editorial, the Christian Science-Monitor cheered Pruitt’s view, noting the CEO’s view of the newspaper business as a combination print-online enterprise. “When looked at that way, McClatchy’s total audience is growing, and so is the potential reach of newspapers – though it's taken a while for the industry to fully embrace this view.”

Hilary Black, founding editor and entertainment director of Meridth Corp.’s More magazine, has been named editor-in-chief of Tango. EIC Elise O'Shaughnessy has left the “love and relationships” magazine “to pursue other commitments,” according to founder/president Andrea Miller.

Black, a former Random House, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster book editor, had a key role in More's rate base rise from 300K to 1.3M.


Fast Company identified six careers it said won't exist in 2016, including gatekeepers, bloggers and Indian customer service representatives.

The magazine said gatekeepers like TV schedulers and Wall Street researchers are endangered, as well as bloggers ("Pay someone to write snarky comments?”), advertising creatives ("Talented amateurs making ads for fun and posting them online seem to better at your job than you are."), and Indian call-center operators ("American customer service is rescued from oxymoron status as companies realize that being nice to the people with the money is the only way to win.")


Hearst Corp. is making a push into the credit ratings business via acquisition of a 20 percent in Fitch Ratings.

The New York-based publisher paid $592M to France's Fimalac SA for the investment. It was attracted to Fitch because of its strong profit performance and growth prospects.

Fitch competes with McGraw-Hill’s Standard & Poor’s Rating Services and Moody’s Investors Services.


President Bush and the Los Angeles Times traded words last week after the Times ran an article referencing devices designed to thwart improvised explosive devices in Iraq, a story which the president said aided "the enemy."

Bush criticized the paper in a March 13 speech saying insurgents had posted instructions on the Internet for defeating new technology aimed to thwart IEDs within five days of its publication.

The Times said the article was about an internal Pentagon debate on the anti-IED technology and did not provide specific information about the actual “Joint IED Neutralizer.” The paper said it deliberately withheld some details about such netutralizers from its report. The Times also said it spoke to several Defense Department officials before the article appeared and that none expressed concern that its publication could endanger U.S. troops. It also noted that “no one in the U.S. government came to us after the story was published to complain about it.”

Bush did not name the paper specifically, but White House officials later said it was the Times story that the president was referring to.


Cullen Murphy, former managing editor for The Atlantic Monthly, and national writer William Langewiesche have joined Vanity Fair as a part-time editor and correspondent, respectively.

Murphy, ME for 20 years, effectively stepped down from that post at The Atlantic after the magazine moved to Washington, D.C., late last year. Langewiesche has written for the magazine for 15 years.

The New York Times’ media writer David Carr jibed: “That is an awful lot of editorial firepower to put under a cover that is typically anchored by someone like Paris Hilton tugging at her clothes.” But he noted VF, under Graydon Carter, “has invested in new editorial resources at a time when other news organizations are madly cutting anything that is not nailed down.”

In addition to Mr. Murphy and Mr. Langewiesche, Carter has recently hired Todd Purdum, a former reporter in the Washington bureau of the Times, and Douglas Brinkley, the presidential historian.

The Newspaper Assn. of America has kicked off a $50M ad campaign via The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., to be carried by 700 newspapers highlighting “how engaged consumers are with newspaper advertising.” Info:

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, March 22, 2006, Page 4

Briefs ___________________

The New York Times will drop its daily stock table listings on April 4, promising expanded market information on its website. The move saves the paper newsprint costs.

The Times will replace the tables with two-pages of market and economic information. Complete stock tables will be published on Sunday.

The paper has also launched a blog by wine critic Eric Asimov (

Crain’s New York Business featured former PR exec Mallory Factor in its “gotham gigs” department.

Factor’s Free Enterprise Fund sued last month to overturn the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Fund has hired Kenneth Starr to pursue the case.

Factor contends that SOX burdens Corporate America with unnecessary costs.

Meredith Corp., the media company which publishes 24 magazines like Better Homes and Gardens and Fitness, has established Meredith Video Solutions to distribute past and current content.

Paul Karpowicz, president of Meredith Broadcast Group is in charge.

Comcast Corp. is negotiating to buy E! Entertainment Television from 40 percent-investment partner Walt Disney Co., according to a report in Broadcasting & Cable. EET is composed of the Style Network, which provides fashion news to about 40 million homes, and E!, which reaches more than 85 million homes with celebrity news.

The people briefed on the negotiations would not disclose a price, but analysts put the value of E! Entertainment at more than $2.5 billion.

Court TV has hired Morris + King Co. to promote its public affairs programs. The PR firm will “shine a klieg light” on offerings such as CTV’s “In Pursuit of Justice,” “Choices” and “Careers in Justice,” said Judith King, partner at M+KC.

Time Warner and Liberty Media are 50-50 joint owners of CTV.

CMP Media has revamped Dr. Dobb’s Journal, a print magazine for professional software developers and managers, by merging it with Software Development magazine. CMP says expanded editorial coverage and contributions from the industry, as well as integration with and SD Events are all a part of the overhaul. The new incarnation of the 30-year-old Journal will be unveiled with its June 2006 issue.

Billboard has launched, a weblog that aims to connect the music magazine's editorial staff with fans. Initial coverage focuses on the South by Southwest Music & Media Conference and Festival.

The magazine says the new blog is the first forum for readers to give opinions and comments in real time.

BabyUniverse, a Fort Lauderdale-based retailer, has produced an e-zine and website, PoshCravings, which the company says is its initial foray into the content arena. The move follows BU's acquisition of PoshTots and includes news on topics like baby clothing fashion designers, parenting advice and family travel.

AARP Publications has set up a proprietary research service for advertisers to cover the 50+ market. Industry trends, market projections, ad effectiveness and brand awareness studies, and direct marketing services are all included in the AARP Publications Market Intelligence package.

People ___________________

Steve Butler is leaving Knight Ridder’s Washington bureau to become executive director of the Institute of Current World Affairs. He was foreign editor.

John Battelle, founder of the Industry Standard, has launched Federated Media Publishing to link advertisers with bloggers.

Douglas Trueblood, who managed the marketing and custom publishing division at The Desert Sun, a Gannet unit, has joined Billboard as executive director of marketing and brand development.

Trueblood oversees marketing, PR and promotional efforts for Billboard Information Group’s products, including the magazine, directories, books, web properties and other entities.

Earlier in his career, he was director of marketing and promotions for The Hollywood Reporter, a sister publication under Billboard’s parent, VNU.

He was formerly VP of entertainment marketing for and director of marketing for Universal Studios in Florida and Japan.

Sheila Mahony, former marketing director for Time Inc.'s Women’s Group, has been named director of brand strategy for Time Inc.’s Cottage Living.
The two-year-old title recently boosted its rate base to 900K.

Mahony was formerly group sales development director for corporate sales and marketing for Time Inc. and sales development director for Real Simple.

Mike Wallace, 87, has become “correspondent emeritus” on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” He has been with the show since its debut in ’68.

Wallace who once remarked that he would only retire when his toes turn up, said they are “beginning to curl a little.” He will keep an office at CBS headquarters and finish out the current season.

Joan Boykin, former director of marketing, new products, PR and retail for natural snack food company The Hain Celestial Group, has joined InnoVision Health Media as its new president. InnoVision publishes Alternative Medicine magazine, as well as the peer-reviewed journals Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine and Integrative Medicine.

Former president Karolyn Gazella has been named VP of the company’s book division, which is slated to publish The Definitive Guide to Cancer in early 2007.

Internet Edition, March 22, 2006, Page 5


Ron Christie has exited his executive VP-director of global government affairs post at Ruder Finn’s Washington, D.C., office. The 36-year-old Christie is now VP & counsel principal at Navigators, headed by fellow former Dick Cheney aide, Cesar Conda.

Christie joined RF less than a year ago. RF co-CEO Kathy Bloomgarden at that time hailed Christie’s “ability to counsel clients at the highest level.”

Christie had served as Cheney’s deputy assistant for domestic policy for healthcare, tax and budget issues. He joined RF directly from Patton Boggs.

At RF, Christie handled the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and United Exhibits Group, organizer of the “Gold of Nimrud” tour of Iraqi antiquities. He has been busy promoting his book, “Black in the White House,” and making the rounds of cable TV as a political commentator.

Richard Funess, president RF Americas, told O’Dwyer’s that the firm may use Christie in the future as a lobbyist. He added that RF had completed its work for NURFC and UEG.

Andy Rosenberg, former public policy strategist to Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) who joined RF last year and was paired with Christie for a Democratic and Republican punch in D.C., has also left the firm.

Funess said Rosenberg decided that PR wasn’t his cup of tea, and returned to the lobbying world.

BRIEFS: Joseph Honick, president of Bainbridge Island, Wash.-based GMA International Ltd., will be the keynote speaker for the First International Housing Exposition in Jinan, China, from April 13-16. Honick is a former SVP of the National Association of Home Builders. He founded GMA in 1975 to counsel and represent American firms seeking to do business abroad, focused on Japan and China. ...Minneapolis firm Olson took home best of show honors at PRSA/Minnesota’s Classics Awards on March 10. The firm’s work for Phillips Union Whiskey targeted celebrities and national media like USA Today, N.Y. Times and Time. The first-ever blend of Kentucky Bourbon and Canadian Whiskey features flavored lines in cherry and vanilla. OLSON also earned a nod for its PR work for NSF International’s “Scrub Club” campaign, which teaches children how to properly wash their hands. ...Vanguard Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based PR firm, was named one of Working Mother’s Best Small Companies. Vanguard was cited for its flexible options for working parents. ...The Titan Agency, Atlanta, has opened a Miami office with the ambitious goal of staffing 30 in the city by the end of 2007. Felix Brambilla, who recently headed Overseas Travel and Events of Florida, and an agency veteran of Young & Rubicam and BBDO, heads the office. Titan Miami is at 201 South Biscayne Blvd., #2859, Miami, FL 33131; 786/228-8680. ...Topaz Partners plans to move from Malden, Mass., to Woburn on March 24. Info: 18 Commerce Way, #700, Woburn, MA 01801; 781/404-2400.


New York Area

Blinn PR, New York/Protegrity, data security; a21, online digital content marketplace, and Meecrop Capital Markets, commercial real estate lender.

Padilla Speer Beardsley, New York/; Development Dimensions International, global human resources consulting firm; National Stem Cell, biotech focused on R&D of stem cell therapy products and devices, and Guidon Performance Solutions, management consulting firm.

Stanton Crenshaw Communications, New York/STMicroelectronics, semiconductor manufacturer, as AOR for PR in the U.S. with a focus on business media relations. The company cited SCC’s financial and tech experience in making the selection.


Auto PR, Rochester, Mich./Kolbenschmidt Pierburg North America, powertrain component producer, for strategic comms. Planning and counseling, media relations, executive outreach and special events.


Envision Works, Beford, Texas/Sweet & Sassy, salon franchise for kids, for PR and adv. as the company branches out from Texas to Tennessee and Florida.


Fleishman-Hillard, San Diego/Jet Set Management Group, talent/modeling agency, for ongoing PR in 2006 after the firm launched the agency in late 2005.

PRx, San Jose/Orchard Supply Hardware (subsidiary of Sears), for comms. for its 75th anniversary, and Coca-Cola, to promote its youth soccer tournament in northern California aimed at the Hispanic market and called “Copa Coca-Cola.”

Rogers & Cowan, Los Angeles/Christopher Lowell Enterprises, home design brand/personality, as AOR for PR in the corporate, consumer and entertainment sectors. R&C said Lowell has several projects on the horizon, including the announcement of a major retail relationship, a national book tour, and launch of a TV and radio venture. Lowell’s TV show has been on The Discovery Channel for a decade.

Solters & Digney, Los Angeles/Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, for events surrounding its 60th anniversary, including the “Diamond Jubilee Le Masquerade Ball.” The Orchestra plays to 70,000 children in 35 cities each year and maintains a residency program on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Lee Solters (323/651-9300; [email protected]) is looking for PR firms/clients or other entities for cross-promotion efforts.

Tellem Worldwide, Los Angeles/Mattel and Live Nation, for PR supporting the debut of the “Barbie in Fairytopia” live stage show, set to be produced in 80 cites in North America this year.

WeissComm Partners, San Francisco/Threshold Pharmaceuticals, a biopharma company focused on therapeutics for benign prostate enlargement and cancer; Cardica, maker of anastomotic systems for coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and Iomai Corp., vaccine and immune system stimulant developer for needle-free delivery.

Internet Edition, March 22, 2006, Page 6


CFO magazine’s conferences group has executive-level speaking opportunities for two events in Atlanta and Chicago this year.

The group notes that the phrase “corporate performance management,” or CPM, is gaining favor in executive suites as reference to the coordination and use of metrics and intelligence gathering to help senior managers pursue profitable growth at an acceptable level of risk. CFO said its long-term focus on CPM was key to a recent Burson-Marsteller survey listing CFO Conferences as one of the 10 most valued podiums for C-level executives. The group has expanded its CPM lineup with the two events – June 4-6 in the Windy City, and Nov. 4-7 in Atlanta. Info:


Thomas Hessemer, former divisional VP for MultiVu, has joined News Broadcast Network, New York, as director of client services.

Hessemer was previously with Dogmatic and WestGlen Communications.

NBN president Mike Hill said Hessemer’s public affairs experience [he worked in PR for 10 years] will be useful to clients working with PSAs.


On the Scene Productions, Los Angeles, produced a satellite media tour for The Walt Disney Co. featuring Muppet hecklers Statler and Waldorf as the duo commented on the Oscars earlier this month. The 21-city tour locked in 89 airdates including ESPN’s “Cold Pizza” and the Fox National Feed.

OTSP also produced video highlights packages for Dreamworks Pictures sneak preview of “Dreamgirls” and for Iconix Brand Group and designer Badgley Mischka featuring Mary Kate and Ashley Olson. Both VH projects aired on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra” and MTV, among other outlets.

BRIEFS: Spunlogic, an interactive marketing firm, was tapped by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to conduct usability testing groups and research for The firm notes that CHA, as one of the largest pediatric healthcare systems in the U.S., relies on its website to reach several different audiences. ...The Council for Marketing and Opinion Research has named Patrick Glaser as director of respondent cooperation to boost the groups’ efforts in respondent relations for survey and marketing research. He was a survey specialist with Mathematica Policy Research in Princeton, N.J. The Council was set up in 1992 by the American Marketing Association, Advertising Research Foundation, Council of American Survey Research Organizations, and Marketing Research Association. ...The NewsMarket, New York, has been named a top 100 private company on The OnHollywood 100 list of private digital media and entertainment companies. AlwaysOn Network produces the annual list and OnHollywood events.



Interpublic on March 17 announced the retirement of co-chairman David Bell. He will become chairman emeritus and consultant to the troubled ad/PR conglom.

IPG CEO Michael Roth says in a statement that he supports Bell’s “decision to make this transition” and is happy that he will be available to “assist us on specific industry of client initiatives.”

Bell says he still has “many things on my ‘to do’ list as on the list of things that I have accomplished.” He is “pleased to have been in position to step into the leadership role at Interpublic during a difficult time.”

The 62-year-old Bell joined Interpublic in ’01 with the acquisition of True North.


Yier Shi, senior comms. advisor to the commissioner and associate commissioner of the Food and Drug Adminstration, to Dittus Communications, Washington, D.C., as a senior director in the firm’s food, agriculture and nutrition practice. Shi was the FDA’s chief speechwriter and lead media contact during Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. He was formerly a press secretary for the Republican National Committee and Rep. Doug Ose (R-Calif.).

Marjorie Sorge, principal, M3 Strategies, to Metaldyne Corp., as VP of corporate communications. She was formerly director of corporate communication for Visteon Corp. and was editor-in-chief of Automotive Industries magazine.

Carissa Lester, VP of marketing and comms. for the Morris Animal Foundation, to GroundFloor Media, Denver, as senior PR manager.

Jennifer Van Every, senior PR manager for San Jose-based Xilinix, to Coakley Heagerty, San Jose, as director of PR for the tech firm. She was formerly communication manager for The Health Trust.


Nicholas Scibetta to SVP and global director of Ketchum’s communications and media strategy network. He joined the firm in 1999 and is based in New York.

Joe Paluska, deputy director of Hill & Knowlton’s U.S. technology practice, has been named director. He joined H&K in 2002 and remains based in San Francisco. Earlier, he was with Applied Comms. and worked in-house for MCI in Washington, D.C.


Jacques Coup de Frejac, founder of French PR firm Information et Entreprise and a member of Fleishman-Hillard’s International Advisory Board, died earlier this month in Paris at the age of 86. The Swiss native was aide-de-camp to Gen. Charles deGaulle during World War II and later served as President deGaulle’s director of information for the French Government in Algeria. He formed IET in 1962 and built the firm into France’s largest communications consultancy. He retired in 1984 and was a founder of F-H’s advisory board in 1990. During his time in PR he counseled clients from McDonald’s and John Deere to the French government.

Internet Edition, March 22, 2006, Page 7


Vollmer PR has edged Hill & Knowlton and Fleishman-Hillard for a mid-six-figure PR account to support clean air campaigns in the 13-county Houston-Galveston region of Texas.

First-year budget is $562K, with $450K coming from the federal government, and is with the Houston-Galveston Area Council. Estimated budgets for option years rise to $652K for 2007 and $682K in 2008. Under the 1990 Clean Air Act, the region has until 2009 to cut ozone-harming emissions or it will lose $1 billion in federal subsidies.

Vollmer, which has two option years on the account, is charged with developing and executing a “Commute Solutions Month Campaign” to promote alternatives to driving solo, as well as a “Clean Air Action Campaign.” Those efforts are aimed to encourage business and government participation in voluntary emission reduction efforts and carpool programs.


Mike Waldron, who was deputy director of PA at the Dept. of Energy, has joined Dittus Communications, the Washington, D.C.-based firm that Financial Dynamics recently acquired. He joins DC’s crisis and issues management practice.

Waldron served as national spokesperson for Energy Secretary Sam Bodman. He handled PR for the Energy Policy Act of 2005, advocated for the expansion of nuclear power and crafted communications surrounding the restoration of power to the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

DC has been active in communicating the corporate rebirth of the Gulf Coast. Client Shell Exploration and Production received much positive press regarding the return of its 1,000 employees to New Orleans’ biggest office tower, One Shell Square.

The New York Times (March 7) noted that Shell could easily have shifted its workers to Houston, the nation’s energy capital, but displayed a “sense of corporate responsibility” in returning to the Crescent City.

The company polled its workers and found that more than 80 percent of them wanted to go home to New Orleans. Shell is leasing housing to the 120 employees who were left homeless after the flood.


Euro RSCG Magnet has won a competitive pitch to lead PR for the summer launch of SV Supreme, a premium Russian vodka. PT&Co. competed for the business.

Executive VP Roy Bumsted heads the account for Magnet, which will focus on national consumer and lifestyle publications and overlay work by New York agency MGL Advertising and Westport, Conn.-based promotions firm Next Level.

The SV Supreme brand, dubbed “the silk vodka,” is slated to be rolled out with a narrowly targeted approach through key metro markets in June by Soyuz-Victan Ltd.

The company has operations in Moscow and Ukraine, and also markets Medoff vodka in addition to the SV brand.


Fleishman-Hillard says it was wrong to “blog” about the disappearance of 12 giant St. Louis Cardinals redbirds from billboards in the St. Louis area without saying that it was in on the heist.

The missing birds reappeared on billboards of radio station KTRS, the new home of the baseball team.

The idea was to build “buzz” for KTRS. The “birdnapping” idea was the brainchild of advertising agency Schupp Co.

F-H blogged on Cardinal forums about the birdnapping, failing to say that it was in on the stunt.

Jim Woodcock, senior VP at Fleishman-Hillard told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the blogs were a mistake, but there was no intention to mislead.

“The profile should have been identified as is consistent with (F-H) standards and industry practice,” Woodcock said.

The paper quoted PRSA board member Michael Cherenson, who said a company should disclose its identity when there may be a conflict of interest. He said the public is best served by full disclosure. “Avoiding deceptive practices is the rule of thumb,” added Cherenson.


The Kawesch Laser Eye Center is using Ogilvy PR Worldwide’s Beverly Hills-based BWR PPI (placement, promotions and integration) to line up celebs for free Lasik surgery.

Matt Meyerson, senior VP-product placement, is in charge of the effort. The Center, which did Jessica Simpson’s eyes, is “looking for good names who would be willing to get the surgery in exchange for usage of pics in ads,” according to an e-mail from Meyerson.

Dr. Gary Kawesch has been called the “messiah of eyeballs” for his Lasik work. The Center’s site features testimonials from singer Carlos Santana and former New York Giants kicker and football broadcaster Pat Summerall.


Charles Coté, who handled public affairs for the Medicare prescription drug benefit as a strategist for Spectrum Science Communications, has joined the Pharmaceutical Care Management Assn. in Washington, D.C., as director of public affairs.

The national group represents pharmacy benefit managers which administer prescription drug plans through employers, unions and Medicare.

Coté reports to VP/strategic planning and public affairs Phil Bando.

At SSC, Coté managed all aspects of the “Bob Dole on Medicare” campaign, which was aimed at educating the public about the new Plan D drug benefit.

Earlier, Cote was director of communications for two unsuccessful North Carolina gubernatorial campaigns, Patrick Ballantine and Richard Vinroot, both Republicans.

In Jan. 2005, he joined Americans for Prosperity of North Carolina (“limited government and free markets”) as communications and legislative affairs coordinator.

Internet Edition, March 22, 2006, Page 8




Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld’s speech on the role of media to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York Feb. 17 is being seen as a landmark statement on U.S. PR policy.

Media don’t like his view that communications rather than U.S. policy itself is the culprit. “The Administration still doesn’t get it,” headlined The Economist Feb. 25. Locking up prisoners for years without trial in Guantanamo Bay is against U.S. principles and “no amount of spin” will erase this, said the magazine. Bush Administration attempts to “reserve the right to torture people” cannot be spun away, it adds.

Rumsfeld’s theme was that foreign media are full of anti-U.S. propaganda while U.S. media are critical of our government’s media forays, such as the Pentagon’s paying for positive stories in Iraqi media.

U.S. media jump on any flaw in U.S. PR moves while not complaining about the anti-U.S. foreign press, said Rumsfeld. Media do not “apply the same standard to the enemy or even sometimes to themselves,” he said.

An example given by Rumsfeld was the anti-U.S. propaganda that swept the world after (false) charges were made that a Koran had been flushed down the toilet at Guantanamo. People were killed in the ensuing riots. Rumsfeld says it took the U.S. too long to rebut the charges. This recalls Mark Twain’s observation that a lie will be “half way ’round the world before truth gets its boots on.”

Here is the good part of the Rumsfeld speech that could be applied throughout PR. He wants a speedier government response system that can “anticipate and act within the same news cycle ... instituting 24-hour press centers and raising internet operations and other communications channels to the same status as traditional press relations...with less reliance on the print press.”

The message for the PR world is that both companies and PR firms should have this quick-response capability, with PR pros being on call 24/7. The first impression made is often the lasting one. How many company or agency websites have 24/7 phone and/or e-mail contacts? Too many PR units shut down on the weekends when the newsweeklies, newspapers and broadcast media are going full blast.

Much of PR today is integrated with other functions. Relying on committees to make decisions spreads responsibility but it’s often hard to get the committee together or agree on anything. One or two people with good judgment is what’s needed.

A problem for video news release producers is inflated claims of usage, which leads to lack of credibility for the entire industry. Hundreds of millions of “impressions,” sometimes representing double and triple the entire U.S. population, are claimed, notes Doug Simon of DS Simon Productions, who is campaigning for accurate reports. Actual viewers may be a fraction of the total claimed, he says. The real figures are still good when compared to the cost of a commercial, he points out. Nielsen remains the best source for audience measurement although it does not cover all the local cable channels ... the Canadian version of Sarbanes-Oxley is Bill 198, passed shortly after SOX in 2002. Bill 198, if anything, is stricter than SOX in demanding accurate financials and providing penalties. Yet PainePR, Irvine, Calif., was able to obtain from its publicly-held Canadian ad parent, Cossette Communication Group, a W-3 showing total payroll and was able to report its net fees of $11.4 million. Cossette is Canada’s biggest ad agency. But ad conglomerates WPP, Omnicom, Interpublic, Publicis and Havas continue to claim that SOX makes it too dangerous for them to release statistics on any of their hundreds of PR and ad agencies ... the U.S. trade gap of $725 billion in 2005 is not to be sniffed at, says an e-mail from Kenneth Russell of Huntsville, Texas. Says Russell: “We traded the cotton farm instead of the cotton. The garment factory instead of the garments. The cow instead of the milk and cheese. We traded the things that make products instead of the products.” He feels the U.S. should not be trading its basic wealth to China and other nations especially for items we can produce at home. There is no “trade gap,” he says. “What we traded are our factories, farms and businesses.” This was good writing – dramatic and fact-based – the kind of writing that’s needed in PR ... we noted here March 8 that debt of the five ad conglomerates was about $12 billion but we had not yet checked out the debt of Huntsworth, which sold back Citigate Sard Verbinnen to George Sard and Paul Verbinnen. As of June 30, 2005, the latest report available, Huntsworth had “net bank debt” of 71.5 million pounds (about $125 million at the current exchange rate of $1.75). Non-current liabilities totaled 118M pounds. Operating income for the first half was 54M pounds.

Non-current assets of 284M pounds included 270M in intangibles. Current assets of 90M included 73M in receivables. The firm has 45 offices in 22 countries.

The PRSA COO search committee sent a poll to leaders saying its job is to “attract the Society’s next leader.” Respondents are asked to pick among characteristics such as “visionary,” “charismatic leader,” and “accomplished speaker.” Obviously the committee feels neither president-elect Rhoda Weiss nor treasurer Jeff Julin have these qualities. How could they be “charismatic leaders” when they have been almost totally silent in seeking high PRSA office? The specs show the dominance of the staff in PRSA affairs. The new “leader” of PRSA is to be a staff person, not an elected member. Symptomatically, a list of 11 desirable skills has “association leadership” at the top and “media relations” at the bottom. Almost wherever one looks at PRSA, media get short shrift. Candidates must be aware of the undemocratic, anti-communications and anti-New York attitudes of both PRSA leaders and staff as well as the current dominance by the educators and past presidents. They should track down Rob Levy, former No. 2 staffer, and find out why he suddenly left in 2004.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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