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Internet Edition, December 13, 2006, Page 1


Edelman’s Washington, D.C., office handled PR for the release of the Iraq Study Group’s report on Iraq.

The firm hosted reporters and ISG principals James Baker and Lee Hamilton at its offices on Dec. 6.

The 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 report’s 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.”

Edelman 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 the public.


Lou Hammond & Associates has won a review for Atlantic City’s $150K a year PR account.

The 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.

Elaine Zamansky, media relations manager for ACCVA, told O’Dwyer’s that 15 firms pitched for the account. That field was narrowed down to five or six before a final selection was made, she said.

Hammond 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.

That’s bad news for a city that has worked in recent years with some success to forge a hipper image.

Myrtle 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 firm’s travel practice, told O’Dwyer’s they are going to show there is more than just golf, sunshine and sand at the South Carolina resort. ...Catherine Bolton, PRSA's 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.


Wal-Mart pulled its $580M ad account from Interpublic’s DraftFCB after a six-week stint last week. That move led to IPG suffering its biggest stock decline since June.

Philippe Krakowsky, IPG executive VP, says the conglom is “disappointed” with Wal-Mart’s decision.

Wal-Mart’s move followed the exit of Julie Roehm, the marketing wiz who joined the company with great fanfare in January.

Roehm, a former Chrysler and Ford Motor executive, was senior VP-marketing communications at Wal-Mart. Sean Womack, VP-communications architecture also left the company.

Roehm reportedly violated Wal-Mart practices by attending a lavish dinner at a Manhattan nightspot that was hosted by DraftFCB.

Wal-Mart says DraftFCB may not repitch the account, but other IPG agencies may do so.


John Doyle, a former executive director of the American Beverage Institute, is now senior VP in Ruder Finn’s Washington office. He joins from Berman and Co., which works for restaurant, food, beverage and hospitality companies.

Doyle 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.”

Neil Dhillon, who recently took over management of RF’s D.C. outpost, prizes Doyle’s “grassroots and coalition development” skills.

Richard Funess, president of RF Americas, said the addition of Doyle and Dhillon signifies RF’s commitment to the Washington market.


Court 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.

Wren 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.

Judge Michael Dolinger of U.S. District Court on Oct. 20 rejected attempts by OMC to keep from public

(Continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, December 13, 2006, Page 2


The 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.

The 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 Journal.

The goal is an “industry-wide image program.” Such a campaign bodes well for Edelman and its Blue ad unit that work for API.

Speaker-designate 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 Alaska’s 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.”


Morgan&Myers edged five other firms for the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and Iowa Corn Growers Assn. account, Mindy Williamson, communication & PR director of Iowa Corn, told O’Dwyer’s.

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 figure secret.

Iowa is the nation’s biggest corn producer, growing more than 20 percent of the national output.

Janine Whipps, leader of M&M’s 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.

M&M’s Waterloo, IA, outpost will handle Iowa Corn. Duties include membership retention, government relations, research and business/market development.


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 Edelman’s PR21 unit, and executive VP-managing director at Edelman and VP of financial relations at Hill and Knowlton.


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 O’Dwyer’s.

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.

Entertainment publicist Leslee Dart, who split with Pat Kingsley two years ago, recast the firm to 42West to reflect its growth to about 40 staffers.

Mayer is a former Wall Street Journal reporter who earlier worked with Dart to handle “The DaVinci Code” and “A Beautiful Mind.”

Fortune (Dec. 11) has a six-page piece called “Diamonds Aren’t Forever” that says the movie raises tough questions about Africa’s bloody diamond trade. It says WDC, which is largely bankrolled by DeBeers, is waging a $15M campaign to counterattack the flick. (Fortune and BD’s 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.


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 O’Dwyer’s.

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 that—but 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.

Paul’s 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 Manhattan’s 8th Ave.


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.

Internet Edition, December 13, 2006, Page 3


Randy Rothenberg, the former New York Times ad columnist, becomes president/CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau on Jan. 8.

The 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 management magazine.

Rothenberg also was editor-at-large for Advertising Age and held jobs at Wired, Esquire and Bloomberg News.

Rothenberg 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.”

The Bureau reports that third-quarter Internet advertising jumped 33 percent to $4.2B from the `05 period.


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.

Birch’s 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 experience.”

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.


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 foods.

The PCRM has nominated Burger King, TGI Friday's and Hummer as sending the worst health messages. The ads can be viewed at

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 Reddy’s ’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.


Instant messaging is preferred over email by 72 percent of teens, according to an AP-AOL poll.

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 IM users.

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.


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 children’s 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 & Cowan.

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. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium,” starring Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman and Jason Bateman, and slated for release in November 2007.

Sixty-six percent of companies are having a holiday party this year, according to Vault Inc. That’s an 11% increase from three years ago, when 55% of companies held holiday parties. Vault queried 543 responses from U.S. employees representing various industries.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, December 13, 2006, Page 4


Forbes 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 Kazakhstan."

The 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.

Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev has reversed himself and embraced the film. A local Kazakh tour agency offers a seven-day “Kazakhstan vs. Boratistan” package.

A government official told Forbes that it was slow to realize that "any propaganda is good propaganda."

CNBC.COM RE-LAUNCHES., which was sheltered under a Microsoft, 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.


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 good guy."


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,, and XFire.

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 new unit.


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 Boston Globe.


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.


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.”

Jennifer 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.

Time 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.

National Communication Assn. has begun publishing an online magazine, Communication Currents, at 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 group.

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.

Internet Edition, December 13, 2006, Page 5


AgencyNext, 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 season’s reputation with New Englanders, many of whom famously dislike the season’s effect on the region,” reads a release from the firm. AN is blogging at

The 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.

GolinHarris 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 firm’s 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 November.

Rightclick 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 firm’s attempt to broaden its scope from interactive campaigns to a full-service public affairs shop. Info:

The 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.

Giles 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 space program.”


New York Area

French/West/Vaughan, 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.

Gale Group, New York/, for PR targeting consumer magazines and newspapers.

Geoffrey Weill Associates, New York/Orient-Express Hotels, Trains and Cruises, for PR in the U.S. for its trains and cruises.

Goodman Media Int’l, New York/Dow Jones & Co., for redesign of Wall Street Journal, and Nieman Marcus, for its annual Christmas book.

Lippert/Heilshorn & 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.

Rubenstein 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 PR.

Trylon SMR, New York/PixFusion, branded video, as AOR for media relations.

5W 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.


Kawski Investor Relations, Newton, Mass./MFIC Corp., for financial comms. and investor outreach.

Matter Communications, Providence, R.I./
Lowepro, protective cases for optics and electronics, for PR support.

Schubert Communications, Downington, Pa./GE Plastics - LNP Specialty Compounds, for promotional materials.


Citigate Cunningham, San Francisco/SurfControl, security solutions; NeuStar, directory services for networks, and PeakStream, software for high-performance computing.

aLine media PR, Los Angeles/Coral Tree Cafe, organic dining chain, for PR.

Shandrew PR, Los Angeles/Big Screen Entertainment Group, for PR supporting the recently completed film, “Babysitter Wanter.”

UPP Entertainment Marketing, Los Angeles/Avaya Inc., business comms. applications and services, for placement of Avaya systems in TV shows and film.

WDC Media, Los Angeles/FaithFone Wireless, branded mobile phones for ministry, for PR, media relations and marcom.

Gable PR, San Diego/Connect, regional economic development program, for PR and media relations.

Internet Edition, December 13, 2006, Page 6


Digital 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 company’s platform.

The 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.

CEO 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 popularity.

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 Journal’s The Hotline blog.

Reich worked for Gore at the White House and during his 2000 presidential run.


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


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

The group will continue to present its Portfolio Awards for financial marketers and agencies in May.

BRIEFS: DWJ 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.

Clarification: A story last week about the review for California’s “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.



Jason 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 Katherine Kilpatrick, Neha Mukherjee, and Rebecca Neufeld at the account services level.

Matthew 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.

Lee-Ann 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 PR’s healthcare team.

Fred Jorgensen, online marketing manager for Sylvan Learning, to Crosby Marketing Communications, Annapolis, Md., as director interactive marketing. He was previously at Trahan, Burden & Charles.

Charlie 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.

Tony 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.

Matthew 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 Int’l, Arthur Anderson, and USG.

Kris 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 client.


Kathy Tunheim, CEO of Tunheim Partners, Minneapolis, has been appointed to a three-year term on the Univ. of Minnesota Foundation’s board of trustees. She is a graduate of the university.


Ronnie 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 years.

Internet Edition, December 13, 2006, Page 7

OMC’S WREN IS CHARGED (Cont’d from page 1)

view documents related to charges that OMC improperly “off-loaded” dot-com investments in 2000 and 2001 to prevent charges to earnings.

The documents are now on the website of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman, New York, which is seeking numerous additional documents ( The link is at the top of the screen under “cases” with a further link to OMC.

The 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 OMC’s stock from the $70’s to as low as the $30’s. The New Orleans Employees’ Retirement System emerged as the lead plaintiff. OMC is now just below its high of $107 on Dec. 17, 1999.

OMC 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.”

The 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.

BLB&G 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 Street’s estimates when they knew this was not the case.”

Defendants 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.”

‘Chaucer Transaction’ Cited

Beside Seneca, there was also the “Chaucer transaction” which allegedly “had the effect of removing severely impaired e-service assets from OMC’s books without recording losses required under GAAP.”

It’s charged that OMC “parked” interests that it held in 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 BLB&G.

Had OMC disclosed its entire beneficial ownership of Organic, it would have had to record 22% of Organic’s 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 charged.

Defendants are also accused of failing to preserve relevant documents (“spoliation of evidence”).

Wren has had only three press interviews in the past four-and-a-half years, two with AdWeek and one with MarketWatch.


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 breaking.

His tenure was brief–14 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 won’t be cut off from insurance and capital sources.

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.

‘Mr. 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.”


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, N.H.

Born in Lawrence, Mass., he was valedictorian of the Keith Academy’s 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 his class.

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.

Internet Edition, December 13, 2006, Page 8




Judge 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 one).

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 by Wren).

OMC, just before Organic’s IPO in 1999, sold 4.8 million shares of Organic stock to Delta and MC, reducing OMC’s 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 via

An overview of this case on the law firm’s 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 OMC’s 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 alone.

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 Smiley’s speech to the PRSA conference Nov. 12 in which he said PR has been “sullied, demonized and devalued” was the most accessed story on 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 OMC’s 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 developed.”

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 plaintiff’s case will go on the public record eventually.

Plaintiff’s charges and OMC’s 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: “Isn’t that exactly what management consultants do?”

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 America’s 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.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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