The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, December 13, 2006, Page 1
EDELMAN HANDLES IRAQ REPORT.
Washington, D.C., office handled PR for the release of the
Iraq Study Groups report on Iraq.
firm hosted reporters and ISG principals James Baker and
Lee Hamilton at its offices on Dec. 6.
bi-partisan ISG report was released on Dec. 5 and described
a dire situation in Iraq. The report calls for a withdrawal
of U.S. forces over the next 15 months. The New York
Times in a news article about the reports release
called the publication a remarkable condemnation of
American policy drift in the biggest and most divisive military
conflict to involve American forces since Vietnam.
handled media relations and other PR support for the release
of the 9/11 Commission Report in 2004. Like the 9/11 report,
copies of the ISG publication are being sold for $10 to
CITY AXES WS FOR HAMMOND.
Hammond & Associates has won a review for Atlantic Citys
$150K a year PR account.
Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority had worked
with Weber Shandwick since 2003, collecting nearly $1M in
fees since then. The firm pitched to defend the account.
Zamansky, media relations manager for ACCVA, told ODwyers
that 15 firms pitched for the account. That field was narrowed
down to five or six before a final selection was made, she
begins work on its two-year contract amid coverage of a
quadruple murder just outside the seaside New Jersey gambling
resort. Four women suspected of being prostitutes were found
dead in a ditch behind a seedy motel last month.
bad news for a city that has worked in recent years with
some success to forge a hipper image.
Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau named M Booth
& Assocs. its
PR firm after a wide review. Joan Bloom and
Joan Brower, co-heads of the firms travel practice,
told ODwyers they are going to show there is
more than just golf, sunshine and sand at the South Carolina
outgoing executive director, has been named project director
at Wall Street West. She starts in January. WSW is a non-profit
group that woos New York City financial companies to establish
their disaster and back office operations to northeastern
Pennsylvania. Bolton is to manage PR and special events
to hike awareness of the venture. Prior to PRSA, Bolton
was VP-communications at the International Copper Assn.
DROPS BOMB ON IPG.
pulled its $580M ad account from Interpublics DraftFCB
after a six-week stint last week. That move led to IPG suffering
its biggest stock decline since June.
Krakowsky, IPG executive VP, says the conglom is disappointed
with Wal-Marts decision.
move followed the exit of Julie Roehm, the marketing wiz
who joined the company with great fanfare in January.
a former Chrysler and Ford Motor executive, was senior VP-marketing
communications at Wal-Mart. Sean Womack, VP-communications
architecture also left the company.
reportedly violated Wal-Mart practices by attending a lavish
dinner at a Manhattan nightspot that was hosted by DraftFCB.
says DraftFCB may not repitch the account, but other IPG
agencies may do so.
Doyle, a former executive director of the American Beverage
Institute, is now senior VP in Ruder Finns Washington
office. He joins from Berman and Co., which works for restaurant,
food, beverage and hospitality companies.
is co-founder of the Center for Consumer Freedom, a group
sponsored by food/beverage/restaurant companies, to fight
the intrusion of the nanny state.
Dhillon, who recently took over management of RFs
D.C. outpost, prizes Doyles grassroots and coalition
Funess, president of RF Americas, said the addition of Doyle
and Dhillon signifies RFs commitment to the Washington
WREN HIT WITH FRAUD CHARGES
papers that Omnicom has been trying to keep sealed for five
years have been made public and they detail charges of fraud
against CEO John Wren and CFO Randall Weisenburger as well
as charges against OMC itself.
and Weisenburger are said to have participated in the "off-loading"
of certain dot-com investments in 2000-2001 via personal
ownership of stock and stock options and personal control
of entities and that this was not fully reported to the
SEC or even OMC's board of directors.
Michael Dolinger of U.S. District Court on Oct. 20 rejected
attempts by OMC to keep from public
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, December 13, 2006, Page 2
OIL BLOCKS DEM ATTACK.
American Petroleum Institute is reaching out to lobbying
allies in a bid to raise a $100M war chest to fend off a
legislative onslaught by resurgent Democrats as they take
control of the House and Senate in `07.
group has been in touch with the National Petrochemical
and Refiners Assn., Independent Petroleum Assn. of America
and other energy groups, according to a report in the National
goal is an industry-wide image program. Such
a campaign bodes well for Edelman and its Blue ad unit that
work for API.
Nancy Pelosi is setting the tone for the crackdown on Big
Oil. She issued a statement on Dec. 4 deriding reports that
President Bush is mulling lifting the moratorium on drilling
in Alaskas Bristol Bay. She said America cannot sacrifice
its marine ecosystems and robust tourism/fishing economies
for the sake of extracting every last drop of oil
from American soil. The San Francisco lawmaker warned
that while the Bush Administration dances to the oil
companies tune, Democrats intend to achieve energy
independence within 10 years.
IOWA PLANTS CORN ACCOUNT AT
five other firms for the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and Iowa
Corn Growers Assn. account, Mindy Williamson, communication
& PR director of Iowa Corn, told ODwyers.
She narrowed the list
down to a trio, which included McCormick Advertising, before
selecting M&M on the strength of its knowledge of both
consumer and agricultural markets.
Williamson declined to
name the other contender, saying each of the firms did a
wonderful job. She prefers to keep the budget
Iowa is the nations
biggest corn producer, growing more than 20 percent of the
Janine Whipps, leader
of M&Ms integrated marketing practice, is excited
about news on the corn new usage front.
Nearly 80 percent of gasoline
sold in the Hawkeye State in June was an ethanol blend.
E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent petroleum) is pitched
as a clean-burning domestically produced renewable energy
source that may enable the U.S. to cut oil imports from
the turbulent Middle East.
IA, outpost will handle Iowa Corn. Duties include membership
retention, government relations, research and business/market
HUBBELL HEADS PR FOR CANTOR
Robert Hubbell, executive
director for leadership and internal communications for
KPMG, has joined Cantor Fitzgerald in New York as managing
director of communications and marketing. CF is remembered
for losing 658 employees from the 9/11 attacks on the World
Trade Center, where it was based.
Hubbell is a former president
and CEO of Edelmans PR21 unit, and executive VP-managing
director at Edelman and VP of financial relations at Hill
WDC REBUFFS BLOOD DIAMOND.
The World Diamond Council
has hired 42West to counter fallout from the Dec. 8 release
of Blood Diamond, the movie about conflict diamonds
from war-torn Africa, a WDC staffer told ODwyers.
Veteran crisis counselor
Allan Mayer is handling the effort. Mayer joined 42West
in October from Sitrick & Co. to establish a Los Angeles
strategic communications component for the New York-based
firm that was formerly known as the Dart Group.
Leslee Dart, who split with Pat Kingsley two years ago,
recast the firm to 42West to reflect its growth to about
Mayer is a former Wall
Street Journal reporter who earlier worked with Dart to
handle The DaVinci Code and A Beautiful
Fortune (Dec. 11)
has a six-page piece called Diamonds Arent Forever
that says the movie raises tough questions about Africas
bloody diamond trade. It says WDC, which is largely bankrolled
by DeBeers, is waging a $15M campaign to counterattack the
flick. (Fortune and BDs studio Warner Bros. are part
of the Time Warner conglomerate).
USA Today (Dec.
4) describes BD as a thriller that ignites furor over its
unsparing depiction of the African diamond trade.
PAUL PROMOTES LAUGH FACTORY.
The Laugh Factory has
retained MGP & Assocs. to promote its Times Square Club
and brand, Mike Paul, CEO of the New York-based shop told
His firm was hired in
the aftermath of the Michael Richards racial meltdown
last month at the Hollywood Laugh Factory. (There is another
outpost in Long Beach.)
Paul did not handle the
Richards crisis,Howard Rubenstein dealt with thatbut
he did reach out to his personal friend, Paul Rodriguez,
who shared the bill with Richards.
Paul noted that Richards
is a comedic actor vs. a stand-up comic. That is a
big difference, said Paul.
Pauls goal is to
position the Laugh Factory as a great entertainment venue.
He also will play up its charitable activities (feeding
the homeless/Christmas toy drive) and its role in the redevelopment
of Manhattans 8th Ave.
ABLACK HEADS PR FOR TALENT
Cecile Ablack, communications
director for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, has
left the public sector for the top PR post at Hollywood
talent powerhouse William Morris Agency.
Ablack, a London native,
took the reins as senior VP of corporate communications,
on Dec. 6. Chris Petrikin, senior VP of corporate communications,
remains in that role at William Morris.
Prior to working for Villaraigosa,
Ablack was associate dean at Yale University overseeing
international public affairs and planning for its business
school. She previously was a public affairs official for
Clinton Administration Commerce Secretary Ron Brown following
a career in advertising.
Edition, December 13, 2006, Page 3
HEADS `NET AD BUREAU.
Rothenberg, the former New York Times ad columnist, becomes
president/CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau on Jan.
50-year-old joins from the Booz Allen Hamilton management
consultant firm, where he had been senior director of intellectual
capital. During his seven-year stint at BAH, Rothenberg
was chief marketing officer and editor-in-chief of its strategy+business
also was editor-at-large for Advertising Age and
held jobs at Wired, Esquire and Bloomberg
succeeds Greg Stuart. The IAB has just launched a new marketing
campaign that is themed Media More Engaging.
Its purpose is to show how interactive advertising is
the only medium that intersects between the three pillars
of audience, experience and effectiveness.
Bureau reports that third-quarter Internet advertising jumped
33 percent to $4.2B from the `05 period.
TV GUIDE'S BIRCH UPPED.
Ian Birch has been named
executive VP and chief content officer of Gemstar-TV Guide
International. He will retain his title of editor-in-chief
of TV Guide.
Birchs job is to
integrate content opportunities across TV Guide, TV Guide
Online and TV Guide Channel. Birch reports to Rich Battista,
CEO. He says Birch will greatly enhance our ability
to maximize the creation of this content to provide our
consumers a more seamless and distinctive guidance and entertainment
Birch joined TV Guide
in `04. Prior to TVG, he had been editorial director of
UK celebrity and entertainment weekly magazine heat and
its sister title Closer.
As a freelance journalist,
Birch has been published by London Sunday Times,
The Observer, The Face, Time Out London
and Q Magazine.
BK, TGIF, HUMMER ADS CITED.
The Physicians Committee
for Responsible Medicine is conducting a badvertisement
contest to choose the ad that spotlights the trend of daring
men to prove their manliness by eating unhealthful
The PCRM has nominated
Burger King, TGI Friday's and Hummer as sending the worst
health messages. The ads can be viewed at www.pcrm.org.
PCRM is hosting an Internet
vote on the ads.
The BK spot for the Texas
Double Whopper has young men wolfing down burgers
to the tune of I Am Man, a send-up of the Helen
Reddys 72 hit I Am Woman.
The TGIF ad mocks a man
who orders a vegetable medley while his buddies are chowing
down on steak and pork dishes. Another guy who buys tofu
redeems his manhood by purchasing a Hummer.
The ads, according to
PCRM, push fat and cholesterol-laden foods to promote those
risks. The Washington-based doctor group ridicules the ads
because two-thirds of American males are overweight, and
one-third of them will die of heart disease.
This new genre of TV ads
is tantamount to daring men to smoke or abuse alcohol, PCRM
dietitian Susan Levin said in a statement.
The PCRM was founded in
`85 as a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive
medicine and conducts clinical research.
AP-AOL GAUGE IM USERS.
Instant messaging is preferred
over email by 72 percent of teens, according to an AP-AOL
The popularity of IM services
is also gaining ground with adults as one in four say they
send more IMs than emails and more than half (54 percent)
said they send an IMs every day.
The survey polled 1,513
Fifty-six percent of teens
use IM to share photos and 33 percent said they share music
and video over IM. Notably, adults use the audio and video
chat features more than teens (19 percent compared to 15
percent, and 17% to 11%, respectively).
More than half (53%) of
teen IM users have used IM to get help with their homework.
One in four (27%) adult
IM users say they send messages at work with 59 percent
saying they send at least six or more IMs each day. More
than one in four (41%) say that instant messaging makes
them more productive in the workplace.
GODSICK LEADS MKTG. FOR
Jeffrey Godsick has been
named president of marketing at the yet to be named joint
venture to market family films between Twentieth Century
Fox and childrens book publisher Walden Media.
Godsick, currently EVP
of marketing at Twentieth Century Fox, will oversee marketing,
publicity and promotions staff for the venture from Fox-Walden
offices in Century City starting in January.
Godsick handled marketing
for the release of Because of Winn-Dixie, which
involved both companies. He is a twelve-year veteran at
Twentieth Century Fox, joining as SVP, publicity and promotions.
At Fox he has overseen campaigns for Independence
Day, The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition, The
Day After Tomorrow, and Cast Away, to
name a few. Earlier, he was a senior executive at Rogers
The two companies said
the venture will produce family-friendly movies at a variety
of budget levels rated G through PG. They noted that films
rated at those levels only make up 10 percent of those produced
yet reap nearly 30 percent of box office revenues.
The first releases will
be Mr. Magoriums Wonder Emporium, starring
Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman and Jason Bateman, and slated
for release in November 2007.
percent of companies are having a holiday party this year,
according to Vault Inc. Thats an 11% increase from
three years ago, when 55% of companies held holiday parties.
Vault queried 543 responses from U.S. employees representing
news continued on next page)
Edition, December 13, 2006, Page 4
SPURS KAZAKHSTAN TOURISM.
reports that Kazakhstan is enjoying a mini-tourism boom
in the aftermath of Sacha Baron Cohen's "Borat: Cultural
Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of
number of visitors to the website of the country's D.C.
embassy has doubled since the movie debuted, and staffers
now get 100 tourism-related questions a week-compared to
none before Borat.
president Nursultan Nazarbayev has reversed himself and
embraced the film. A local Kazakh tour agency offers a seven-day
Kazakhstan vs. Boratistan package.
government official told Forbes that it was slow to realize
that "any propaganda is good propaganda."
which was sheltered under a Microsoft MoneyCenter.com,
has re-launched as an independent entity.
The 40-staffer entity
hopes to win surfers from top rated MSN Money and Yahoo
Finance by offering more video features.
CNBC president Mark Hoffman
is confident that the site will attract watchers of CNBC,
which generates more than $525M a year.
TRIB NAMES INNOVATION EDITOR.
The Chicago Tribune
has named Bill Adee its associate managing editor for innovation.
His task is to shape the paper's Internet future and to
produce top-notch journalism online.
Adee was the paper's sports
editor. He reports to George de Lama, managing editor, who
praised Adee as a "thoughtful editor and all-around
MTV TARGETS MEN.
Viacom's MTV Networks
unit has created the MTVN Entertainment Group, a multi-media
platform geared to attract men aged 18 to 34.
The operation combines
TV, online and gaming content. It joins Comedy Central,
Spike TV, TV Land, Game.Trailers.com, AddictingClips.com
Judy McGrath, CEO of MTV
Networks, says the new unit will deliver under-served
demos through killer content.
MTVN provides the
communities that form around our brands and content with
immersive, multi-platform entertainment experiences,
said McGrath in a statement.
Doug Herzog heads the
BOSTON HERALD CUTS STAFF.
Boston Herald publisher
Patrick Purcell is slicing at least 10 editorial staffers
from the payroll as the paper is reporting a nearly $3M
budget deficit. The Newspaper Guild of Greater Boston has
okayed a 26-month pay freeze.
Purcell said the cutbacks
are necessary for Boston to continue to be a two newspaper
town. The Herald competes with the New York Times Co.-owned
1105 BUYS WASH POST PUBS.
1105 Media, the Chatsworth,
Calif.-based publisher of Federal Computer Week,
has reached agreement with The Washington Post Company to
acquire its government publishing and events group, Post
Newsweek Tech Media. That unit includes Government Computer
News, Washington Technology, Government Leader,
Defense Systems, online properties and the FOSE trade
show. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
1105 said the deal will
put its readership at 240K government subscribers and government
decision makers. The combined group will be renamed the
1105 Government Information Group, and will be led by Anne
Armstrong, currently publisher of 1105's FCW Media Group.
WILLIAMS WINS DUE TO HARD
NBC Nightly News is the
No. 1 newscast because anchor Brian Williams focuses on
hard news, according to an exclusive report by Broadcasting
& Cable magazine. Williams has topped his ABC and
CBS competitors in 100 of the 104 weeks of his tenure.
The NBC program spends
more time on the story of the day and breaking
news than its competition, according to the magazine.
Only 17 percent of NBC's
content is soft news, vs. 21 percent for ABC
and 22 percent for CBS.
The General Electric unit
also runs fewer commercials. The show breaks its first ad
a minute behind the others. Notes B&C: Never underestimate
how much the remote control-wielding viewers of the evening
news dislike it when advertising interrupts editorial content.
Henkus has been hired by Inc. magazine as
senior marketing manager. She joins from Harvard Business
School Publishing and the Harvard Business Review,
where she was in charge of integrated marketing. Earlier,
Henkus was at Wired.
Warner has named Gail MacKinnon senior VP-global
public policy. She reports to executive VP Carol Melton.
Based in Washington, MacKinnon
will handle TW's government, political and public policy
initiatives. She also will be responsible for the media
combine's outreach to its various trade associations.
MacKinnon is senior VP-government
relations at the National Cable and Telecommunications Assn.
She joins TW in January.
Communication Assn. has begun publishing an online
magazine, Communication Currents, at www.communicationcurrents.com.
The publication includes stories and essays dedicated
to the study of communication and its impact on everyday
life ... from romantic relationships to politics to intergenerational
communication, according to the 92-year-old trade
It also summarizes and
translates newly published academic articles into shorter
stories that are usable for broad public audiences.
Joann Keyton of the University
of Kansas is editor.
13, 2006, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
a Natick, Mass.-based marketing and PR firm, has launched
a tongue-in-cheek campaign as agency of record for winter.
Winter has selected the firm as its New England region
agency of record following an exhaustive review of leading
agencies in the area. Specifically, AgencyNext has been
retained to improve the seasons reputation with New
Englanders, many of whom famously dislike the seasons
effect on the region, reads a release from the firm.
AN is blogging at www.winteriscool.com.
Financial Relations Board has hired 15-year veteran
Leslie Wolf-Creutzfeldt as senior VP and head of its just-created
technology division. Claire Koeneman, co-president of FRB,
cites the tremendous resurgence in the technology
business as the need for the new unit. She wants to
position FRB to serve high-tech companies from pre-IPOs
to established multinationals. Wolf-Creutzfeldt led
the China unit at Adam Friedman Assocs. She has worked at
Thomson Financial, FD Morgen-Walke and Ann McBride Co. FRB
is part of Interpublic.
has made a $50K donation for a scholarship program at Roosevelt
Univ. in Chicago, alma matter for GH founder and current
chairman Al Golin (class of 50). The contribution,
billed as part of the firms 50th anniversary, will
go to undergraduate and graduate students as part of the
Al Golin Scholars in Communication program. Golin was not
aware of the program until it was announced by GH president/CEO
Fred Cook and Roosevelt President Chuck Middleton in late
Strategies, a Washington, D.C., public affairs firm,
has changed its name to Adfero Group. Adfero means to
carry or bring news in latin. The move is part of
the firms attempt to broaden its scope from interactive
campaigns to a full-service public affairs shop. Info: adferogroup.com.
Federalist Group is hiring Moses Mercado to court
the new majority on Capitol Hill, according
to Wayne Berman who heads the Republican-heavy firm. Mercado
is deputy executive director of the Democratic National
Committee. He served as New Mexico state director for the
Kerry/Edwards ticket and was a key aide to Rep. Dick Gephardt.
TFG is part of Ogilvy PR.
Communications was brought on by Element 21 Golf
Company to promote its PR stunt that had a Russian cosmonaut
use one of its irons during a late November spacewalk. The
firm said it landed coverage at just about every major news
outlet, including CNN, ABC, Associated Press, and USA
Today. Mark Jeffers, VP of sports marketing for the
firm, quipped: It was certainly the first time I ever
ran a press interview with my subject flying around the
microphone and chasing golf balls. He noted the cosmonaut,
Mikhail Tyurin, really wanted to publicize the international
New York/R.G. Barry Corp., The Dearfoams Co., for media
relations, product placement and program development support
for its accessories footwear lines following a review.
Group, New York/FamousStyle.com, for PR targeting
consumer magazines and newspapers.
Weill Associates, New York/Orient-Express Hotels,
Trains and Cruises, for PR in the U.S. for its trains and
Media Intl, New York/Dow Jones & Co., for
redesign of Wall Street Journal, and Nieman Marcus,
for its annual Christmas book.
& Associates, New York/
Aradigm Corp., liquid drug delivery systems; Cardio Vascular
BioTherapeutics, which is developing a protein drug for
coronary artery disease treatment; Ziopharm Oncology, biopharmaceuticals;
DOR BioPharma, cancer, gastrointestinal and bioterrorism
product developer; InfoLogix, enterprise mobility services,
and EpiCept Corp.
PR, New York/CIFO, the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation;
Classic Travel Service, luxury travel agency; Patroon, New
York eatery; Wollman Skating Rink, Central Park rink, for
SMR, New York/PixFusion, branded video, as AOR for
PR, New York/Music Nation, artist development, as
AOR to promote its online video music competition. The six-figure
account previously resided with Hill & Knowlton. 5W
has also picked up Global Realty Development Corp., and
the Israel Consulate General in New York, for media training.
Investor Relations, Newton, Mass./MFIC Corp., for
financial comms. and investor outreach.
Communications, Providence, R.I./
Lowepro, protective cases for optics and electronics, for
Communications, Downington, Pa./GE Plastics - LNP
Specialty Compounds, for promotional materials.
Cunningham, San Francisco/SurfControl, security solutions;
NeuStar, directory services for networks, and PeakStream,
software for high-performance computing.
media PR, Los Angeles/Coral Tree Cafe, organic dining
chain, for PR.
PR, Los Angeles/Big Screen Entertainment Group, for
PR supporting the recently completed film, Babysitter
Entertainment Marketing, Los Angeles/Avaya Inc.,
business comms. applications and services, for placement
of Avaya systems in TV shows and film.
Media, Los Angeles/FaithFone Wireless, branded mobile
phones for ministry, for PR, media relations and marcom.
PR, San Diego/Connect, regional economic development
program, for PR and media relations.
Edition, December 13, 2006, Page 6
NEWSMARKET REVAMPS PLATFORM.
PR video host The NewsMarket has launched a new site for
media to search and download content, part of a year-long
revamp of the companys platform.
company houses about 600 hours of video clips for clients
like Google and Microsoft. It said requests from journalists
have risen to 250K through November, compared with 320K
for all of 2005.
Shoba Purushothaman pointed to media like the Wall Street
Journal and Business Week adding editorial video
content to their sites as an example of the increase in
Reich Exits Mindshare.
Brian Reich, former briefing
director for Vice President Gore, has left Mindshare Interactive
Campaigns to become director of new media at Cone in Boston.
Reich is the editor of
the Thinking About Media blog and writes a regular column
for National Journals The Hotline blog.
Reich worked for Gore
at the White House and during his 2000 presidential run.
ONEUPWEB STUDIES PODCASTING.
Oneupweb, a search engine
marketing and podcasting shop based in Lake Leelanau, Mich.,
has published a white paper on the Power and Principles
of Podcasting, an update of two previously white papers
on corporate podcasting.
The paper, which covers
everything from what podcasting is to sourcing options and
integration suggestions, is available at oneupweb.com.
FCS ADDS AWARD.
The Financial Communications
Society plans to present its first FCS Financial Marketer
of the Year Award in March at the New York Yacht Club.
The award is open to any
firm in the financial services industry. Nominations are
due Jan. 15. A form is at www.fcsinteractive.com.
The group will continue
to present its Portfolio Awards for financial marketers
and agencies in May.
Television was tapped by GCI/Chicago to produce and
distribute a B-roll and bites package for a new procedure
for dystonia, a neurological disorder affecting about 300K
in North America. DWJ contracted with a crew to interview
a key subject in Kyoto, Japan. That crew took a bullet train
to Tokyo and sent the footage to DWJ via fiber for editing.
The interview was done at 1 p.m. Tuesday and arrived before
9 a.m. Tuesday at DWJ because of time zones.
A story last week about the review for Californias
5 a day account should have noted that the account
is reviewed every three years. While federal changes are
a part of the development of a new campaign, the state stressed
that it has been pleased with past work by Runyon Salzman
Einhorn and Hill & Knowlton.
Chupick, 36, VP of media relations at Plesser Holland
Associates, to Bliss Gouverneur and Associates, New York,
as a VP. Stacey Thompson,
34, former director of market strategy at market research
company GfK, joins as a senior A/E. The firm has also added
and Rebecca Neufeld
at the account services level.
Chadderdon, senior executive for Source Sentinel,
to Welch Allyn, Skaneateles Falls, N.Y., as VP for corporate
communications and global brand management. He was previously
VP of corporate comms. for Carrier Corp.
Murphy has moved to Weber Shandwick's Cambridge,
Mass., office for a VP spot in its healthcare practice.
She is a 10-year veteran who is leaving Feinstein Kean Healthcare,
where she handled brand support and consumer education for
Merck Vaccines unit. Earlier, she was a member of Ogilvy
PRs healthcare team.
Jorgensen, online marketing manager for Sylvan Learning,
to Crosby Marketing Communications, Annapolis, Md., as director
interactive marketing. He was previously at Trahan, Burden
Jones, director of marketing and member services
for the National Assn. of College and University Business
Officers, to the Heart Rhythm Society, Washington, D.C.,
as VP of marketing and comms. He was formerly international
corporate relations director for AT&T.
Greene, former managing director at Sterling Hager
and PR manager at Viewlogic Systems, to Reliance Financial
Corp., Atlanta, as director of corporate comms. He was part
of a start-up team at StillPoint Advisors for the last three-years.
Gonring, VP of global marketing and communications
for Rockwell Automation, to Gagen MacDonald, a Chicago-based
employee comms. firm, starting Jan. 1. He has been with
Baxter Intl, Arthur Anderson, and USG.
Staaf, director of client services and a 16-year
veteran of Webb PR, Denver, has left to become the regional
director of public affairs for Safeway, Inc., a long-time
Tunheim, CEO of Tunheim Partners, Minneapolis, has
been appointed to a three-year term on the Univ. of Minnesota
Foundations board of trustees. She is a graduate of
Lippin, a veteran music publicist, died of breast
cancer on Dec. 4. She was 59. Lippin was president of the
Lippin Group and had represented artists like Prince, Eric
Clapton and Stephen Stills. Her husband, Dick, is chairman
and CEO of the Los Angeles-based firm. She started her career
as a junior film critic for Parents magazine and
later went into PR with the Solters and Roskin agency in
New York. She was also co-manager for Brian Wilson for several
Edition, December 13, 2006, Page 7
WREN IS CHARGED (Contd
from page 1)
documents related to charges that OMC improperly off-loaded
dot-com investments in 2000 and 2001 to prevent charges
documents are now on the website of Bernstein Litowitz Berger
& Grossman, New York, which is seeking numerous additional
The link is at the top of the screen under cases
with a further link to OMC.
June 13, 2002 Wall Street Journal charged that OMC
had shifted 16 dot-coms to off-balance sheet entities in
2001 to avoid a charge of $89 million on first half earnings
of $246M. Numerous lawsuits were filed in the wake of the
collapse of OMCs stock from the $70s to as low
as the $30s. The New Orleans Employees Retirement
System emerged as the lead plaintiff. OMC is now just below
its high of $107 on Dec. 17, 1999.
has fought the charges, its annual reports saying each year
that they are baseless. But it also adds: There
can be no assurance as to the ultimate effect of these matters.
WSJ on Feb. 9, 2006 reiterated its charges and quoted two
CPA professors (Edward Ketz of Penn State and Charles Mulford
of Georgia Tech) as agreeing with the WSJ.
says that senior management of OMC, rather than
taking a loss on its dot-coms, perpetrated a scheme
to defraud investors into believing that OMC had not suffered
a loss...and that it had continued to meet or exceed Wall
Streets estimates when they knew this was not the
are said to have engaged in other actions throughout the
period under discussion in which they utilized a number
of related-party vehicles to fraudulently avoid reporting
operating losses associated with the e-service assets.
Beside Seneca, there was
also the Chaucer transaction which allegedly
had the effect of removing severely impaired e-service
assets from OMCs books without recording losses required
Its charged that
OMC parked interests that it held in Agency.com
and Organic with related-party entities to avoid recording
operating losses linked with those investments. OMC ultimately
took private the two entities it repurchased from Seneca.
CEO John Wren and CFO
Randall Weisenburger are said to be involved in the parking
of stock in Organic that they personally owned.
It does not appear
that OMC ever disclosed its additional interest in Organic,
which was parked with Wren and Weisenburger, says
Had OMC disclosed its
entire beneficial ownership of Organic, it would have had
to record 22% of Organics losses at year-end 2000
and the first Q1 of 2001, causing earnings to decline over
ten cents and five cents per share, respectively, it is
Defendants are also accused
of failing to preserve relevant documents (spoliation
Wren has had only three
press interviews in the past four-and-a-half years, two
with AdWeek and one with MarketWatch.
LOU THOMPSON JOINS PITTS
Louis Thompson, who retired
as CEO of NIRI in September, has joined Kalorama Partners,
Washington, D.C., a firm that was set up in 2002 by former
SEC chairman Harvey Pitt.
Pitt led the SEC during
the period when such scandals as Enron and Worldcom were
His tenure was brief14
months. The Washington Post said he was drummed
out of his office in 2002 after missteps made
him appear ineffectual at battling a wave of corporate fraud.
Among other tasks, Kalorama
will help companies to have strong anti-fraud procedures
so they wont be cut off from insurance and capital
Thompson becomes a managing
director of the firm whose seven partners include Robert
Herdman, former SEC chief accountant, and John Sampson,
specialist in derivatives.
Thompson has also joined
Genesis, Denver, which offers IR, design and integrated
communications services. He has become a member of the PR
Newswire Disclosure Advisory Board and is writing a monthly
column for Compliance Week.
Investor Relations, Says Pitt
Pitt called Thompson Mr.
Investor Relations and said he put the IR profession
on the map.
Said Pitt: For the
last quarter century he has focused on issues that affect
financial professionals. He knows his way around the corridors
of power with respect to financial regulations. He bears
the bulk of the professional responsibility for the growth
of the IR profession.
IR NL FOLDED; JAMES KENNEDY
Kennedy Information, Peterborough,
N.H., has folded Investor Relations Newsletter into
IR Guide, which provides ongoing analyses of IR issues
that are saved in a binder that runs to 1,500 pages.
The 42-year-old monthly
was purchased in 1998 from Remy Publishing, Chicago. Kennedy
itself was acquired in 1996 by Wayne and Marshall Cooper.
They paid an estimated $2 million for the company, which
had sales of about $2M and 24 employees. James Kennedy and
his daughter, Kathleen Burke, XVP, were given ten-year contracts.
The Coopers expanded activities
to include conferences and seminars, boosting sales to the
$10-$15 million range. Staff grew to more than 50. The company
was acquired in 2000 by the Bureau of National Affairs,
Washington, D.C., for $47M including assumption of liabilities.
James Kennedy, 82, who
founded the company in 1970, died Nov. 3 in Munsonville,
Born in Lawrence, Mass.,
he was valedictorian of the Keith Academys 1941 class
and served in the U.S. Army 1942-45. He received an M.S.
from the Mass. Inst. of Technology, graduating first in
Kennedy worked in 1954
at Bruce Payne and Assocs. consulting firm, New York.
He founded Kennedy Information
in 1970 after moving his family to Fitzwilliam, N.H. He
is survived by his wife, Sheila, seven children and 24 grandchildren.
Edition, December 13,
2006, Page 8
Michael Dolinger has taken a wrecking ball to the
legal stonewall that Omnicom and CEO John Wren have tried
to erect around the company relative to the class action
lawsuit against OMC and several of its top executives (page
The charges that OMC improperly
off-loaded its dot-coms in 2000-2001 to preserve
earnings are well known but the outed legal
papers show the extensive personal involvement of Wren and
CFO Randall Weisenburger in what appears to be a shell
game of corporate transactions designed to mask what
really went on.
For instance, both are
said to have personally held shares of the Organic dot-com
via Delta Holding Ventures and MC Development (MC was controlled
OMC, just before Organics
IPO in 1999, sold 4.8 million shares of Organic stock to
Delta and MC, reducing OMCs interest in Organic from
22% to 17%. OMC then told auditors it only held 17% of Organic
and as a result was able to avoid accounting for that
under the equity method.
Says the charges by the
plaintiff: It does not appear that OMC ever disclosed
its additional interest in Organic, which was parked with
Wren and Weisenburger.
Several similar transactions
are described in legal papers which are now on public view
An overview of this
case on the law firms website said OMC was faced with
a decision in 2000-2001: bite the bullet and take the loss
on its dot-coms or perpetrate a scheme to defraud
investors into believing it had not suffered a loss.
The Wall Street Journal article of June 12, 2002
described the resignation of audit chairman Robert Callander
and charges that OMC improperly hid the losses on 16 dot-coms.
Wren denied the charges and called the WSJ story inaccurate.
Challenged by the WSJ to document this, Wren did not reply.
In an interview a year later with MarketWatch, when OMCs
price had recovered to its former level, Wren said he disregarded
the advice of some of his PR units (which include Fleishman-Hillard,
Ketchum and Porter Novelli) and opted to maintain a low
profile. He has given three interviews since July 12, 2002,
in which financial details were not discussed (MarketWatch
and two with AdWeek).
The stonewalling and
press-avoidance tactics of Wren, which include taking
the annual meeting out of New York City four years in a
row and rebuffing reporters who tried to question him at
those meetings, have been a failure based on the stock price
OMC has still not regained the high of $107 that it reached
seven years ago (12/17/99) in spite of having borrowed $1
billion to help remove 17 million shares from its float.
Since OMC is the biggest owner of PR firms (about $1 billion
in fees), this stonewalling and press-dodging is bad for
the PR industry, which has enough image problems. Tavis
Smileys speech to the PRSA conference Nov. 12 in which
he said PR has been sullied, demonized and devalued
was the most accessed story on odwyerpr.com
in November. It shows that PR pros are concerned with
how the public views PR.
Judge Dolinger has
struck a blow for transparency in rejecting OMCs
bid to keep the dot-com case under wraps.
If the public has a right to be at trials, it also has
a right to see court documents, he said. Only if there are
extraordinary circumstances can this right be
waived, he added. On the question of whether OMC has made
such a case, he says: Plainly, they have not.
He rejected its claim that public access to these
accusations will cause OMC some unspecified harm and
public airing should wait until the full record is
Were this allowed, just about every case, from initial
filing to summary-judgment motions, would be subject to
sealing, ruled Judge Dolinger. As a final argument, he notes
OMC concedes the full plaintiffs case will go on the
public record eventually.
Plaintiffs charges and OMCs responses are
neither so scandalous (or libelous, as defendants suggest),
nor so facially meritless as to suggest that they should
be hidden from public view, he said.
James Kennedy, whose
obit is on page 7, had a newsletter aimed at management
consultants that was noted for its irreverent style. Asked
how he could write about consulting without actually doing
it, he would say: Isnt that exactly what management
Several firms threatened him with lawsuits and a publisher
dropped a book he had written because of concern over possible
legal action, said an obit in Consulting Magazine...rolling
back Sarbanes-Oxley has become an editorial campaign of
the business page of the New York Post. SarBox
Detox Now said a headline Dec. 1 that covered findings
of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, headed by
ex-Goldman Sachs president John Thornton and ex-Bush Administration
official Glenn Hubbard, now dean of the Columbia University
Business School. One argument is that costs of SarBox are
driving investment banking business to London and other
financial markets. Only 8% of new offerings were handled
in the U.S. in 2006 while nearly half were handled there
in the late 1990s. The committee wants to free small firms
from costly SarBox scrutiny, restrict shareholder lawsuits
and protect accountants from big lawsuits. Says the Post:
Heavy-handed regulations imposed hastily by lawmakers
to fight runaway corruption like that of Enron have instead
handcuffed corporate Americas global clout.
SarBox is blamed by the five ad/PR conglomerates for making
it too risky to publish annual billings or employment figures
for their thousands of ad agencies and PR firms.