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Internet Edition, May 31, 2006, Page 1


The Sunshine State, recognizing the construction industry’s vital cog in the Florida economy, is turning to PR to boost a program to recruit workers to the sector.

In the aftermath of two devastating hurricane seasons, the state sees unemployment at record low levels amid the rebuilding, but its growing economy is having trouble meeting the demand for workers in construction industry fields.

In December, the state allocated $6M through its Agency for Workforce Innovation to create and fund the “Florida reBuilds” program, providing entry-level and advanced training to Floridians who want to move into the building sector or climb the ladder.

The program is intended to bolster trades like roofing, masonry, carpentry, concrete finishers, plumbing, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), electricity and heavy equipment operations.

So the AWI has issued an RFP for a PR and marketing firm to evaluate the program and develop and launch its initial marketing plan.
It is offering a $500K budget and a one-year contract to the firm with the best proposal.

Vernique McGirt ([email protected]) is overseeing the solicitation, while Warren May, director of communications for AWI, will manage the resulting contract.


Mike Fernandez, chief communications officer for ConAgra Foods, has joined the No. 1 auto insurer State Farm as VP of corporate communications and external relations.

The appointment ends a year-long search by the Bloomington, Ill.-based company, which was looking for a veteran communicator with government affairs savvy. Fernandez takes over for Barb Kirchgasler, who has moved on to another executive leadership position, according to spokeswoman Mia Jazo-Harris.

The 49-year-old executive has held top PR posts at U.S. West and Cigna and was press secretary to former Sen. Ernest “Fritz” Hollings (D-S.C.).

Fernandez previously held marketing and communications posts at Eastman Kodak Co.

State Farm says it administers 73 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the U.S. and Canada. It took a PR hit earlier this month when more than 650 Gulf Coast homeowners sued as a company-commissioned engineering report said home damage was not caused by hurricane-force winds following Katrina, but was the result of floodwater, which is not covered.


Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin is investigating TV stations that presented VNRs as news reports in the aftermath of the Center for Media and Democracy’s survey of 77 stations that aired VNRs with disclosing sponsorship.

The FCC warned stations in ’05 that they could be fined if they air VNRs without disclosing the source of the material.

They could face a $32,500 fine for each violation, up to a $325K penalty for multiple infractions, said FCC spokesperson Clyde Ensslin.

The Center’s study found that though video producers properly labeled the material as being sponsored, the disclosure was stripped before airtime. “We commend the FCC for taking the issue of undisclosed fake news seriously,” said Diane Farsetta, the Center’s senior researcher and the co-author of the report, “Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed.”


Edelman has acquired A&R Partners, a Silicon Valley technology firm with 115 staffers and $15M in billings last year.

Bob Angus, co-founder and managing partner of A&R, told O’Dwyer’s that he and Edelman CEO Richard Edelman began talking about the merger three years ago.

“The more we talked about it, the more we realized it was just a tremendous match,” he said.

“It’s a strategic match, unlike a lot of things that happen in our industry. This one has some tremendous advantages for our company,” Angus added.

The new entity will be called A&R Edelman and brings the largest independent Valley firm under the No. 1 overall independent firm with $260M in ’05 fees.

Edelman’s Mountain View office will merge into A&R’s San Mateo headquarters.

Richard Edelman said the move makes technology the firm’s third largest practice behind consumer and healthcare. Pam Talbot, Edelman’s U.S. CEO, will oversee the acquisition. Angus will serve as president of the unit.

Pam Pollace, the former Intel VP, heads Edelman’s technology practice. Luca Penati, the firm’s former high-tech chief, departed late last year for Ogilvy, along with his wife, Dushka Zapata, an executive VP in Edelman's Silicon Valley office.

A&R has offices in New York, San Diego, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Denver, Portland and Louisville. Key clients include Adobe and Palm.

Internet Edition, May 31, 2006, Page 2


The Council of American-Islamic Relations is calling on Arab businessmen to fund a $50M media campaign to improve the image of Arabs.

Chairman Pravez Ahmed made that pitch during a speech in Dubai on May 21. He considers the amount a drop in the bucket, especially for oil-rich Dubai which is enjoying a massive economic boom.

Ahmed said a PR campaign would help prevent another “DP World,” referring to the furor over the prospects of Arabs running U.S. seaports.

Rabiah Ahmed, a spokesperson at CAIR’s Washington headquarters, told O’Dwyer’s that the civil liberties group has “spoken to a number of PR firms in the aftermath of 9/11.”

Hill & Knowlton, she added, has been used to develop a series of TV, print and radio ads.
That WPP unit was involved in the recent fracas surrounding Dubai International Capital’s bid for defense contractor Doncasters Group, supplier of aerospace components to Boeing, General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and Honeywell.


Edelman’s Blue Worldwide is handling next month’s launch of an image campaign from the American Iron and Steel Institute, Nancy Gravatt, VP-communications told O’Dwyer’s.

The effort is designed to introduce the “new steel” industry to political movers and shakers. Gravatt had high praise for Blue staffers.

She called Blue’s chief creative director Gail Anne Grosso “brilliant.” Grosso doubles as Edelman’s U.S. creative director. Gravatt described Blue president Bob McKernan as “a great strategist.”

Gravatt also emphasized the work of Harris Interactive, which conducted the research for the image work. AISI plans to spend about $3.5M for ads in National Journal, Roll Call and Washington metro stations.

They ads are designed to overcome the image of steel as a dirty and old-fashioned industry. They will play up innovation and technology, touting steel as an environmentally progressive business that contributes much to the nation’s economy.


Mike Smith, who was executive VP and general manager of Euro RSCG Magnet’s Washington, D.C., outpost has launched Michael Smith Business Development in Alexandria.

Smith told O’Dwyer’s that he will focus on the telecom sector. “The telecom consolidation trend is now over,” he says, adding “resurgence is at hand.”

Smith says he is a tech guy coming out of the Middleberg side of the Euro RSCG Magnet equation.

He expects the firm will be chasing more consumer accounts now that Edelman’s Lisa Sepulveda is at the helm of the Havas entity. She was executive VP/consumer brands at Edelman.

She told O’Dwyer’s that the firm is not yet ready to talk about Smith’s replacement.

Smith is available at 703/623-3834.


Interpublic CEO Michael Roth said the ad/PR conglom is “breaking the cycle of accounting errors” and expects to post double-digit profit margins in `08 when it achieves “peer growth.”

At the May 25 annual meeting, Roth said IPG was a “diffuse and opaque organization” that is moving to become a “cohesive and fully transparent” operation.

In today’s tricky media environment, IPG can no longer be “advertising-led.” The company is knocking down “silos and stressing an open architecture” that provides all of its advertising/PR/marketing assets to meet the needs of clients.

IPG, according to Roth, is not a “brand.” It is a resource provider, policymaker and financial steward.

Roth said the firm has spent heavily to beef-up its financial controls. He expects outlays for professional fees to drop by $200M in `06 and `07.

Roth hailed IPG’s PR units as “best in class.” He singled out recent Weber Shandwick wins (Northrop Grumman, Abbott Laboratories and Roche) and Golin/Harris (Dow Chemical with sister ad agency, FCB) as major corporate achievements.

The shareholder resolution to “recoup” management bonuses paid during years in which financials were restated was handily defeated. Only 3.8 percent of shareholders supported that measure.

A shareholder asked Roth why IPG “outsourced” its internal financial controls to Deloitte & Touche when it paid $89M to its auditor of record, Price Waterhouse, in ’05.

Roth said IPG needed the integrity of an outsider to help put its financial house in order.


Ruder Finn has picked up the Travel Alberta account, and is charged with promoting tourism to Canada’s fourth largest province.

The firm will work the New York print and electronic media to pitch Canada’s “Rocky Mountain Playground” and its urban and cultural offerings.

Gail Moaney heads RF’s travel and economic development group. Arhlene Flowers and Matt Snow handle the account.

Alberta enjoyed some recent buzz connected to the Oscar winning flick, “Brokeback Mountain” that was filmed there.

Derek Coke-Kerr, managing director of TA, is excited about the new direct air access to Calgary, the “gateway” to the Rockies.

Denver-based Frontier Airlines kicked off twice-a-day direct service to Calgary. It is the first discount American carrier to operate north of the border.

Frontier, in conjunction with Canada’s Denver Consulate, sponsored a “Summertime in the Rockies Sweepstakes.”

Winners will enjoy free lodging at the Calgary Marriott Hotel and receive tickets to Calgary Zoo; Botanical Gardens and Prehistoric Park; Glenbow Museum; Calgary Tower; Heritage Park; and Canada Olympic Park. They will also get a complimentary gondola ride in Banff and a “snocoach” ride on the Athabasca Glacier.

Internet Edition, May 31, 2006, Page 3


Philadelphia Media Holdings, which is fronted by ad/PR man Brian Tierney, is buying Knight Ridder’s Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News from McClatchy Co. for $562 million.

Gary Pruitt, CEO of McClatchy, called the deal “good for McClatchy, good for the buyers and good for Philadelphia.” He is happy that his company received a “full, fair price” that was consistent with its projections.

Tierney described his group as “long-term owners” who are committed to “vigorous, high-quality journalism.”

Circulation for the Inquirer is down five percent to 350,457 for the latest six-month period. The Daily News is off 9.4 percent at 116,770.

The Philadelphia deal is expected to close this summer, when McClatchy completes its $6.5 billion KR transaction.

McClatchy has now sold six of its dozen “orphans.” The auction of the KR papers is expected to generate $2 billion.


Kekst & Co. is representing HM Capital Partners, the Texas-based equity firm that is taking a look at Knight-Ridder’s “orphans.”

HM executives joined by Fort Worth Business Press owner Richard Connor toured the printing plant of the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader on May 22.
Connor is the former publisher of the TL. He left the TL in ’86 to run the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. They also met with current TL publisher Pat McHugh.
HM was formerly known as Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst The sale price for the TL is reportedly in the $50M to $80M range.


ABC has tapped Charles Gibson of “Good Morning America” fame to anchor the wobbly “World News Tonight” program. He replaces Elizabeth Vargas, who is going on maternity leave this summer.

WTN tumbled into last place in the ratings game last month, trailing NBC and CBS for the first time since ’01.

ABC News president Dave Westin, with great fanfare, appointed Vargas and Bob Woodruff as co-anchors last November. They were presented as part of the youth movement.

Woodruff was injured in a roadside bombing in Iraq on Jan. 29, and is still recovering. Vargas is to return in the fall as co-anchor of “20/20.”
Gibson, 63, will remain at GMA through June. No replacement has been named.


Tribune Co. is buying ForSaleByOwner in a bid to expand its classified advertising offerings. The site has 1.6M unique visitors each month, which puts it in the Top Five ranking of real estate sites.

FSBO charges sellers fees from $90 to $900 enabling homeowners to avoid the traditional six percent real estate commission. The site claims to have saved sellers $1B in commissions since `99.

FSBO allows a seller to post up to 1,000 words and up to six color photos of the property. It also offers support services such as home buying/selling tips and mortgage/neighborhood information.

FSBO says 86 percent of its users sell their homes within five months of posting. There is a money back guarantee if the house doesn't move.

Tribune Interactive, which FSBO becomes a part of, runs, and in addition to online versions of its newspapers.

Michael Kaminer PR handles both the TI and FSBO accounts.


Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. will introduce a U.S. edition of the Times of London on June 6.

The paper will be printed on the presses of the New York Post, and 10K copies a day will circulate in the tri-state area. A copy will cost $1.

The paper is targeted at upscale readers in the finance area and members of the media. Robert Thomson, editor of the Times, described that group as the “penthouse demographic.”

The printed Times will compete with the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and the Financial Times, which is published by U.K.’s Pearson.

The FT has been in the U.S. since ’97. Thomson was its North American managing director from ’98 to ’02.


Hearst Corp. has named Good Housekeeping editor-in-chief Ellen Levine as its editorial director for Hearst Magazines.

The 63-year-old Levine became the first female e-i-c at GH when she took the post in `94. She is responsible for growing its ad pages by 50 percent to 1755 over the past decade. Revenues jumped 160 percent to $481M.

At her new post, Levine is in charge of developing new titles and evaluating opportunities for brand extensions, books, digital alternatives and cross promotions.

Rosemary Ellis, editorial director of Prevention, succeeds Levine. Both report to Cathy Black, HM pres.

Hearst owns 20 titles including Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, O The Oprah Magazine, Esquire, Marie Claire and Popular Mechanics.

The Hollywood Reporter plans a daily website covering entertainment and media law news. The site, Hollywood Reporter ESQ, debuts June 5 and the first weekly issue will be published beginning June 6.

The site will have three searchable databases: Industry Dealflow (business transactions and talent deals), Hollywood Docket (litigation complaint filings) and Attorney Rolodex (contact information for lawyers and business affairs executives).

Emily Boak of The Rosen Group (212/255-8455) has info about the new website. The HR is published by VNU.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, May 31, 2006, Page 4


Editorial space dedicated solely to life in the office is still somewhat of a new phenomenon, albeit a growing one. As a result, it's common for PR pros to be at a loss on how to pitch story ideas for the workplace beat.

“I’m in the business section, but I don’t see myself in business at all. I’m into people,” said Patricia Kitchen, columnist for Newsday’s Change@Work.

Nearly 100 PR pros showed up to hear some of the nation's top workplace columnists sound off about what makes a good pitch at a May 19 panel hosted by The Publicity Club of New York.

Mackenzie Dawson, editor of the @ Work section of the New York Post, said workplace columns can be distinguished from standard business copy because the former is generally more lifestyle-oriented than the later.

Dawson said the @ Work column, which began in September, looks for stories that are “quirky, opinionated, brazen, and fun.” Many times, a would-be business story can be altered in pitch to accommodate the workplace editor.

“A lot of publicists have a hard time differentiating my section from the business section. I really don’t care about quarterly results,” Dawson said. “If, on the other hand, you have a story about an employee who accidentally sent a mass email out with a spread sheet containing everyone’s salary - now that I want to see.”

Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, staff writer for Time’s Workplace column, defined workplace stories as “the intersection of work and life, people and performance.”

Changing workplace a key theme

Takeuchi Cullen said her columns don’t focus on executive profiles or product reviews. Instead, she prefers trend-oriented pieces that describe “how people are working today, and how the workplace is changing.”

“This is a section that really speaks to everyone,” said Dawson, “from active job seekers to people who might be happy in their current career but who are looking to improve their lot, like getting along better with their co-workers.”

That isn’t to say that workplace columns don’t tackle business. Kitchen said Newsday is interested in stories dealing with international workforce issues, as well as the generational gaps between members of the workforce.

Penelope Trunk, Boston Globe contributor and editor of “The Brazen Careerist,” said some of her favorite topics include working mothers and how members of the Y-Generation have changed the workforce.

In other words, editors want stories that highlight what’s going into the workplace, not what’s coming out.

“We like to talk about the real people who are working today, to give readers a sense of who is out there,” said Katherine Lee, columnist for Working Mother.

The panel said publicists should use the entertainment angle of workplace columns to their advantage because it broadens the range of topics PR pros can pitch.

“You show me a story, I can find a career angle somewhere,” Kitchen said.

Knowing what to pitch within this broad range, however, takes a level of foresight. The panels suggested following trends that are currently hot in the media and tailoring a pitch to accommodate those interests.

“Think like a journalist,” Takeuchi Cullen said. “I imagine that your job is tough because it has so much to do with timing, but if you can see the big story in an influential publication like the Wall Street Journal, chances are it's something we’re thinking about too. It’s a weird convergence where we're all thinking about the same thing at the same time for whatever reason. If you feel a trend coming on, chances are we're feeling it too.”

Blogging draws interest

Case in point: a current hot-topic in workplace publications is the issue of blogging. Takeuchi Cullen said “the word blog is a lot like the word sex to a lot of editors.” Because blogs are still a generally new concept, and because blogging is often related to the workforce, editors are especially interested in the ways the two can intersect.

“I did a story about someone who got fired from their job because of their blog. Blogs are relatively new so a lot of companies have not figured out how to incorporate it into legal procedures – and that’s something I’m very interested in,” Dawson said.

On the other hand, there are topics that will always be mainstays in work-related publications. For example, Dawson said the Post is always looking for entertaining stories about jobs that everyday people don’t have. “We like the kind of stories that people can read about on the subway and say, ‘Wow, that’s cool,’” she said.

Trunk said she’s even more likely to quote a blog because the content is often edgier and many times is written by younger workers who “don’t have a voice anywhere else.”


Wedding portal The Knot has signed a newspaper distribution deal with Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services to distribute editorial content from its lifestyle magazine, The Nest, which is beginning a run in print this year. The title covers issues for newlyweds.

U.K.-based Fair Game publishing has launched a U.S. and Canadian edition of Fair Game magazine, a bi-monthly women’s soccer magazine aimed at female soccer players, their coaches and their fans.
The magazine covers every level of women’s soccer, from youth through the collegiate system to the senior women's soccer leagues and national teams.

TiVo plans to launch a TiVo Guru Guide to highlight recommended shows from publications like Entertainment Weekly, Star, Sports Illustrated, Automobile, Billboard, CNET and others.

TiVo subscribers will be able to automatically record Guru Guide recommendations.

American Media, parent to titles like Star, The National Enquirer, Shape, and Men’s Fitness, has launched a corporate website at

Internet Edition, May 31, 2006, Page 5


Judy Smith, the veteran crisis counselor who heads Impact Strategies in Washington, D.C., is handling PR for the defense team of convicted murderer Michael Skakel.

The Kennedy family cousin was convicted of slaying his Greenwich, Conn., neighbor in 1975 after a high-profile trial in 2002.

The defense team got a recent boost when President Bush’s former Solicitor General, Ted Olson, signed on to help with the Supreme Court appeal. Olson represented Bush before the high court during the contentious 2000 recount.

Smith, a former press secretary for President George H.W. Bush, is heading communications for the defense team as it prepares the Supreme Court filing. She has earned similar experience working high-profile cases for basketball star Jayson Williams, music mogul Phil Spector, and the family of missing Capitol Hill intern Chandra Levy. She recently provided PR support to the King family after the death of Coretta Scott King.

Smith noted the “magnitude” of the Skakel case and said her team would focus on making sure “those involved are given an opportunity to tell their side of the story.”


Fenton Communications has published a PR guide for non-profits called “Over Here: How to Get U.S Media Coverage on Global Issues.”

David Fenton, founder and chair of the firm, noted the rise of an entertainment-driven media has made it difficult for non-profits to get coverage of global issues.

Fenton EVP/GM Lisa Witter said that because news outlets have less money to maintain foreign bureaus, groups “on the ground” like non-profits have more opportunities to be the media’s “eyes and ears.”

The guide includes case studies like a fact-finding delegation to Iraq for the National Council of Churches, and a report by the Global Fund for Women on the South Asian tsunami.

Fenton is slated to host a workshop on the guide on July 11 in New York at the N.Y. Nonprofit Coordinating Committee, Copies can be downloaded at

BRIEFS: Porter Novelli has taken over the remaining 20 percent stake of its Singapore office to give the Omnicom firm 100 percent control over the unit, which will be known as Porter Novelli Pte Ltd. EVP Edward Dixon has moved to the office from New York. ...WinMark Concepts in Washington, D.C., which is marking 16 years in business, said it is the nation’s longest continuously operating marketing and communications firm targeting the gay and lesbian sector. Philip Morris was its first client for its “Direct Male” campaign. It is currently handling campaigns for DeKuyper cordials and Fannie Mae. ...Financial Dynamics has opened a Russian operation in Moscow under the direction of former research analyst Michael Guerin.


New York Area

Formula, New York/Sumit Diamond Corp., designer and wholesaler, as AOR for PR.

Geoffrey Weill Associates, New York/The Grove, English country house/hotel, for PR counsel.

The Bromley Group, New York/La Canadienne, footwear brand; Rebecca & Drew Manufacturing, women’s apparel, and DuPont Teflon, licensed by Invista, for marketing and events.

5W PR, New York/Phinder Technologies, for PR and financial communications. The firm has also picked up Echoworx, Plum Organics, KickApps, Waddajuice, and

Roher PR, Chappaqua, N.Y./International Laser Display Assn., for PR.

Thomas PR, Melville, N.Y./Spymac, Macintosh community claiming one million registered users, as AOR for PR.

J.B. Stanton Communications, Norfolk, Conn./
Nextbase, high-end audio products, for PR.


Schubert Communications, Downingtown, Pa./
Netzsch Fine Particle Technology, for marketing comms.

Chris O. Communications, Severna Park, Md./
William Data Systems, IBM mainframe specialist, for PR to support its U.S. expansion.

Fleishman-Hillard, Miami/, as AOR for PR and media relations. The portal claims to be the largest source of distressed property listings. F-H’s Washington, D.C., office will assist with the account.

rbb PR, Miami/The Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences (South Beach); Lionstone Development, and Online Vacation Centers, for PR counsel and media relations.


The Vandiver Group, St. Louis/Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services, for emergency risk communications, the fourth year the firm is handling the account. The latest pact runs for one year with three year-long options.

GolinHarris, Chicago/Society of Actuaries, as AOR for PR, including brand development, members comms. and external comms. Ten Midwest firms pitched for the work, which is led by VP Trent Frager and account group supervisor Victoria Entwistle.

Zapwater Communications, Chicago/Saltaus and Five Star Bar and Grill, both eateries, for PR counsel and media relations.


CTA PR, Louisville, Colo./Harken Energy, to redesign its website; Eagle Oil and Gas Exploration Co., for production of a logo and marketing book, and SteelStar Corp., for design and production of a corporate brochure.

JS2 Communications, Los Angeles/Papyrus, stationery and gifts retailer, for consumer PR.


Publicis Consultants, Paris/Thomson, digital video technology, for an 18-month project to unveil a new corporate identity.

Internet Edition, May 31, 2006, Page 6


M Booth & Associates and Ketchum were the top winners at PRSA/N.Y.’s annual Big Apple Awards confab May 25 at the Rainbow Room.

More than 300 PR industry professionals attended the event to hear NBC’s Al Roker give the keynote address and ABC7 “Eyewitness News” reporters Michelle Charlesworth and Joe Torres present 31 awards and 15 honorable mentions.

David Finn, co-founder and chairman of the Ruder Finn Group, received the John W. Hill Award for leadership in the practice of PR, “service to the industry and general public, and demonstrations of the highest standards of ethical conduct.”

“[PR is] a function in which we try to communicate what we and our clients believe in, what they are, their values, and cultivate them realistically ... to build support and respect,” said Finn, whose firm took home three Apples and three honorable mentions.

Finn left the audience with two messages: “We cannot put off living until we are ready,”and “Do whatever you dream of doing now.” His advice to young professionals and students: “Read a lot and study a lot about ethics, sociology and bring a perspective to the community.”

Ketchum’s senior counsel John Paluszek received the Philip Dorf Award for mentoring practitioners and students, and Bridge Global Strategies A/E Linda Krebs received PRSA’s President’s Award for service to the chapter. Paluszek said that, given a more globalized world, "the horizon is expanding tremendously around the world and everything depends on perceptions". He said he joined the UN Global Compact in an effort to operate in a socially responsible fashion.

But M Booth & Assocs. was the big winner, taking home eight awards and one honorable mention. They included nods for crisis communications with the U.S. Virgin Islands Dept. of Tourism; marketing communications for support of new products with Arm & Hammer, and public affairs with Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Ketchum, the other top winner, was awarded six Apples and three honorable mentions. The firm’s work for Kodak was recognized in the corporate communications and marketing communications/international categories.

Burson-Marsteller took home a pair of Apples and honorable mentions, and Chandler Chicco Agency won two awards.

Art Stevens, president of PRSA/N.Y., said the organization's goal is to transform young PR professionals “from cradle to majority.” He believes that PRSA is the “spear carrier of the PR profession.”

Like Paluszek, he noted the shrinking of borders and rising focus on the international arena. "The world is smaller and globalization will be stronger in the future – from Manilla, Singapore to Paris – it will be an exciting ride," he said.

ABC reporter Charlesworth said the award event "is about the craziness of PR, and these PR people are very altruistic." The chapter earned $64K in sponsorship funds from the Awards.



Ann Peterson, EVP for Rogers & Cowan, re-joins Lippe Taylor, New York, as EVP of entertainment marketing. She was a SVP at LT from 1995-01.

Marina Hoffmann, VP in LaForce+Stevens’ design and hospitality unit, to Rubenstein PR, New York, as a senior VP. She was previously with Veeder+Perman and Loving & Weintraub.

Denise Gordon, senior manager of human resources for Deloitte Consulting, to Hill & Knowlton USA, New York, as director of HR.

Brandyn Bissinger, former producer for Banyan productions and producer for CBS3 News (Philadelphia), to Furia Rubel Communications, Fountainville, Pa., as a media relations specialist. Most recently, she managed reporters and photographers for FOX29 News and earlier was a producer for NBC10 in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

Joe Davis, chief of strategic communications for NASA, has resigned that post for an unnamed private sector post. He was formerly principal deputy director of public affairs for the Dept. of Energy under Sec. Spencer Abraham, to whom Davis served as communications director and press secretary.

Eric Haley, a former reporter and PR freelancer, to Palm Beach Media Associates, Boca Raton, Fla., as director of media relations.

Marla Oxenhandler, independent consultant, and Leo Sarmiento, director of corporate comms. for The Sol Group, to senior A/Es, O’Connell & Goldberg, Hollywood, Fla.

Leslie Kupchella, a public affairs exec for Tunheim Partners, to Carlson Companies, Minneapolis, as director of executive communications. She was formerly press secretary to Gov. Tim Pawlenty during his first two years in office, and served as press secretary to Norm Coleman during his 2002 Senate Race. She was comms. director for Coleman when he was mayor of St. Paul.

Eunice Muñoz, VP of PR and communications at Banco Popular North America, to Lopez Negrete Communications, Houston, as director of PR amid a revamp of that unit. Clients include Wal-Mart, Visa USA and Azteca Milling.

Allison Cornia, a consumer marketing executive for Real Networks, to Digeo, based in Kirkland, Wash., as VP of marketing and communications. She formerly held marketing posts at Microsoft.

David Woolery, Horton Lantz and Low, to Owen Media, Portland, Ore., as an account director.

Samantha Geer, PR director for the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, to Immedia Management, Vancouver, B.C., as a senior associate for PR.


Jeff Terrey to VP, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Comms., Boston. Also, Travis Small to senior A/E.

Elizabeth Maybach and Julie Buckley to account directors, The SheaHedges Group, McLean, Va. Stephanie Stadler to A/E.

Jennifer Birks and Caitlin Ring to account managers, MGA Communications, Denver.

Internet Edition, May 31, 2006, Page 7


The Environmental Protection Agency, acknowledging a need to improve outreach and communications efforts for its rules protecting workers from pesticides, is considering a Spanish-language radio campaign targeting Hispanic farm workers in the southeast.

The federal agency is looking to highlight the Worker Protection Standard, which requires workers to be provided with protective equipment and to be educated about pesticide safety.

The EPA is looking for a firm to develop and distribute 10-12 PSAs targeting Spanish-speaking workers, many of which are unaware of the rules or that they can report violations without consequence, according to the EPA. The goal is to increase the reporting of violations and boost Spanish-speaking farm workers’ calls to a toll-free number to answer pesticide-related questions.

The push would mainly cover the state of Georgia. Sharyn Erickson ([email protected]) is overseeing the search for a firm.


Robert Marston calls for CEOs to forge alliances between PR executives and legal advisors, giving each an equal voice in determining strategy in a “thought leader” piece written for Chief Executive Magazine.

He faults CEOs who turn exclusively to lawyers rather than PR executives when the corporate chips are down. Though lawyers are “critical components of any good crisis communications team, they are invariably focused on “protecting the company from lawsuits rather than on matters that can affect its reputation.” Silence is often the advice of counsel, according to the Robert Marston And Assocs. CEO.

But stonewalling, continues Marston, is not a good option because both the public and media are not willing to give American business the benefit of the doubt in these post-Enron/Worldcom and Tyco days.

“Anything less than candor, in today’s highly charged atmosphere, can have serious consequences for a corporation and those who are responsible for its success,” writes Marston.
He hails corporate PR people as “sensitivity barometers,” able to “detect even subtle mood shifts or changes in the way internal and external audiences perceive a company.”


Bob Winslow, who was president of Text 100’s North America unit, has joined Fleishman-Hillard as senior VP and managing director of the Omnicom’s unit high-tech practice in San Francisco.

At Text, Winslow was responsible for 160 staffers in five offices. Blue-chip clients included Motorola, Yahoo!, Novell, Nokia, Sprint Nextel and EarthLink.

Winslow began his career at IBM in ’80, and eventually was in charge of the $200M Citicorp Global account. Later he co-founded Affero, a venture that used the web to raise funds for social responsibility groups.

Winslow reports to Jack Modzeleski, senior partner and client relations president. His job is to help the tech group “establish thought leadership, develop growth opportunities and attract marquee talent.”


Procter & Gamble has enlisted more than 600,000 “moms,” women from age 28 to 45, to participate in its “VocalPoint” word-of-mouth program.

The May 29 BusinessWeek called the campaign a “state of the art method for reaching the most influential group of shoppers in America: moms.”

The women who talk up P&G products and hand out discount coupons have extensive social networks. The VocalPoint person speaks to at least 25 other women during the day. That compares to about five for the average mother.

P&G went national with VocalPoint in March following tests in Buffalo, Tulsa and Columbus. BW reports that a VocalPoint effort for Dawn Direct Foam resulted in doubling of its sales.

The VocalPoint campaign has put P&G in the crosshairs of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. That’s because P&G does not require its “connectors” to divulge that they are pitching the products in return for a steady supply of samples from the Cincinnati-based marketing behemoth.

WOMMA requires full disclosure.

Commercial Alert, the Ralph Nader offshoot, has filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission about VocalPoint. Gary Ruskin, CA executive director, told BW he dislikes the “commercialism of human relations.”

The FTC expects to rule on CA’s complaint by the end of the year.


Riester~Robb has successfully defended its $5M year recycling communications account with the state of California. It has handled the account since 2000.

Los Angeles PR firm The Rogers Group, teamed with ad agency Mering and Associates, and Sacramento-based Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn were finalists for the sweeping effort, which covers PR, social marketing, advertising and business outreach.

The review came as recycling rates have not kept up with booming sales of beverages sold in recyclable containers. The account, an initial one-year pact with two year-long options, is with the recycling division of California’s Dept. of Conservation.

Thirty firms took an interest in the review, including MWW Group, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, The Rogers Group, Fleishman-Hillard, Weber Shandwick, Hill & Knowlton, Manning Selvage & Lee.


Deborah Curley, senior VP in charge of consumer technology for Weber Shandwick, has joined Racepoint Group as a SVP to head the tech firm’s San Francisco operation.

Marijean Lauzier, president and CEO of Racepoint and a former top exec at WS under Larry Weber, said the firm has been looking for an executive team to lead its West Coast expansion.

At WS, Curley headed PR efforts for Hitachi America, Intel, Silicon Graphics, GreenMountain Energy and, among other clients.

Curley noted a “reemergence of technology companies” currently happening on the West Coast which requires progressive marketing and PR.

Internet Edition, May 31, 2006, Page 8




The big story last week was the conviction of former Enron CEOs Jeffrey Skilling and Ken Lay on fraud charges that could jail them for life.

The Wall Street Journal was exultant at the convictions as well as those of execs at Worldcom, Tyco and Adelphia Cable. The convictions prove that “assertions of widespread corporate fraud back in 2001-02 were way overblown,” said the WSJ.

We think the lesson that executives have taken from Enron, Worldcom, etc., is that there is no need to hide bad results from stockholders and no need to prop up the stock price in order to pull millions and even tens of millions from a company.

There are numerous ways of doing this legally. CEO pay has soared to 600-800 times average worker pay and it’s all perfectly legal. Quite often, the amount of bonuses, restricted stock, deferred compensation, etc., is not related to stock performance.

Perfect examples of this are Interpublic and Omnicom, whose stocks have performed poorly in the past seven years. IPG collapsed from $57 to under $9 and OMC’s stock is around $92 vs. $107 in 1999. OMC’s dividend is 90 cents a year or about 1%. Despite such performance for stockholders, execs of both firms have paid themselves well.

Advertising Age, in a page one story May 22, described the “nice pay for lousy results” being drawn by IPG execs in the past ten years even though IPG has had to restate results for every year since 1997. Audits found $514 million in imaginary profits, on which bonuses were based.

CEO Phil Geier collected $33.2 million from 1997- 2000; John Dooner, $15.5M from 2001-02; David Bell, $7.8M from 2003-04 (plus $18,240 in tickets to sporting events in 2005), and current CEO Michael Roth got $14M in 2005. He could collect three times that if IPG is sold.

Five IPG execs got $124M over the past nine years (vs. $232M as envisioned). Included is $37M in bonuses for years that were later restated.
Proposals at the IPG annual meeting May 25 to recoup the bonuses were defeated.
Dooner had promised that IPG would be “No. 1 in PR” and its Weber Shandwick unit did achieve that in 2001 with $545M in fees (as tabulated by the Council of PR Firms). IPG also owns Golin Harris and MWW, among other PR operations.

While rapping IPG execs on the knuckles, AA seems quite impressed with Omnicom, saying “OMC CEO John Wren and his cohorts were rewarded for handsome performance.” We almost choked on that because OMC stock has gone nowhere in nearly seven years.

Wren is overpaid, according to Forbes, which points out he got $36.6M from 1998-04 while OMC’s six-year “annual total return” was -2%. Wren’s pay in 2006 includes $13.3M in profits from the sale of stock after options were exercised. He got $186,293 in “personal use” of company aircraft in 2005.

Why has OMC stock jumped ten points recently? One reason is the huge share buybacks (nearly $1 billion) that have cut shares outstanding from 187M in 2003 to 181M at the end of 2005. In 4Q of 2005, 1.1M shares were repurchased. Earnings rose 9% in 2005 to $791M, but cash fell $329M to $835M while “net debt” rose $318M. OMC defines “net debt” as total debt minus cash and short-term investments. Financial analysts say “net debt” is a ridiculous concept and that OMC should acknowledge its debt of $2.39 billion without trying to soft pedal it...OMC has slipped back into its old routine of refusing to identify acquisitions, on which it spent $327M in 2005, including 15 new purchases. This habit angers analysts who say they don’t know what OMC is. Reacting to criticism in 2002, OMC identified 17 purchases which included a print broker in Portugal; a company that lets consumers test drive new cars; a private eye firm in S.F. set up by two ex-FBI agents, and a Czech firm that designs training programs...IPG was even more secretive about its acquisitions, reporting more than 200 in its quarterly reports to the SEC, but in almost every instance failing to name the acquired firm.

We must not forget Martin Sorrell, the CEO of WPP (B-M, H&K, Cohn & Wolfe), who took in $40M in 2004, making him the highest paid CEO among the U.K.’s top 100 companies. His pay was more than double No. 2 on the Bloomberg list. While top ad execs pull down record pay, lower level staffers find every penny they spend is pinched by corporate overseers...before making our speech May 17 to the PRSA chapter in Fairfield county, we passed around to the audience of 65 the proxy statement of IPG showing eight different methods of pay for execs beside regular pay, expense accounts, health plans, vacation, etc. These were SCRIPS (Sr. Exec. Retirement Income Plan); CAP (Capital Appreciation Plan–deferred compensation); SARPUS (Share Appreciation Performance Units); MICP (Mgmt. Incentive Corporate Performance Award); ISO (Incentive Stock Options); SARS (Stock Appreciation Rights); PIP (Performance Incentive Plan), and LTPIP (Long Term PIP).

Description of these plans takes up 57 of the 66 pages in the proxy and shows what’s on the minds of IPG managers–$$...the Greenwich Post (an independent weekly with circulation of 14K) did a 2,000-word story on our speech May 25 while the daily Greenwich Time provided no coverage nor did the Connecticut Post. Our reporting career started out at the CP when it was called the Bridgeport Post. But we couldn’t interest the paper. A financial reporter at the BP explained that Greenwich (a half hour from Bridgeport) was too far to go to cover a story. We would think a paper with Connecticut in its title would have correspondents all over the state. GT is now owned by Tribune Co., which we worked for as ad columnist for the Chicago Tribune from 1970-74.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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