Contact O'Dwyer's : 271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471; Fax: 212/683-2750
ODWYERPR.COM > Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter return to main page

Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Subscribe today


Jack O'Dwyer's NL logo
Internet Edition, September 12, 2007, Page 1


The Cranberry Marketing Committee has awarded its potential $400K PR account to Porter Novelli, according to Jan Barton, marketing director of the Wareham, Mass., group.

She considered 33 responses to the RFP, and chose PN/Washington for its knowledge of commodities, research, “new media” and cost-effectiveness.

Barton told O’Dwyer’s she was surprised that only three firms responding to the RFP provided contact info.

She is looking for a PR campaign to move cranberries beyond their traditional health pitch of fighting urinary track infection to play up their heart-health and bacteria-fighting capabilities.

Publicis Consultants (Seattle) was the incumbent.


Dave Karraker is exiting Sony Computer Entertainment America after a year of service as the consumer electronics maker eyes the key Christmas season. He was senior director of corporate communications.

The media savvy Karraker handled the high-profile but rocky launch of Sony's Playstation 3. He is joining Skyy Spirits to handle PR and events on Oct. 1.

Karraker believes Sony is “very well-positioned to have an exceptional holiday.” He intends to follow the industry as a "gamer, rather than a spokesperson."

Karraker joined Sony from Allied Domecq Spirits and Wine. Previously, he was marketing communications director at Kmart, and worked at Access Communications and Rogers & Cowan.

Sony is currently reviewing its $150M Playstation ad account that is handled by Omnicom’s TWBA Chiat/Day unit. Interpublic’s Deutsch and Seattle-based Publicis in the West are in the competitive mix.


Citigate Cunningham has named Eileen Conway and Christine Pfendt co-CEOs to succeed Paul Bergevin, who has taken a PR post at Intel.

Conway has 15 years of PR experience, and is credited with leading CC’s push into the digital music sector. Before joining the Huntsworth unit, she held the VP-corporate communications post at Macromedia and a VP slot at Edelman, where she handled Apple and Procter & Gamble.

Pfendt is a financial pro who has been with CC since ’01. She had various management slots at Ziff-Davis Events and Deloitte & Touche She is a member of the Branding Committee of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.


Publicis Groupe plans to delist its shares (American Depositary Receipts) from the New York Stock Exchange. They will trade over-the-counter.

Publicis also filed a notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission to terminate registration of the conglomerate’s securities under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

That filing immediately suspends Publicis’ reporting obligations. The official termination date is expected by the end of the year.

The French ad/PR combine cited “cost and liquidity considerations” in making the moves.

CEO Maurice Levy, according to the Publicis statement, believes the International Financial Adopting Standards that were adopted by his firm in ’05 are “generally equivalent in terms of disclosure and quality of information for investors and that it is unnecessary to publish its accounts under two reporting standards.”

Levy promises to continue publishing financial reports and press releases in English.


Sitrick & Co. is handling media inquiries for the fugitive Democratic political donor Norman Hsu, who surrendered to authorities last week to answer charges stemming from a 1991 grand theft pyramid scheme. Sitrick is actually working for Hsu’s attorney Jim Brosnahan of the law firm Morrison & Foerster.

The California apparel executive had given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates – notably Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama – and media have shown a healthy appetite for the story.

Hsu had been a fugitive for 15 years before turning himself in on Aug. 31 to face charges of bilking $1M from investors.


The use of “net debt” instead of “total debt” by companies such as the WPP Group, Omnicom, AT&T, Dana, Qwest and Verizon is a practice that misleads investors, Wall Street analysts are saying.

“Net debt” means a company’s debt minus cash and cash equivalents. The cash might not be available for repaying the debt, say the analysts, especially if there is a downturn in the economy.

The 2006 Omnicom annual report said “net debt” at the end of 2006 was $1.13 billion and total debt was $3.06B. It says that “net debt is a non-GAAP financial measure.”

(Continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, September 12, 2007, Page 2


WPP Group has acquired a 49.9 percent stake in PBN Co., a Washington-based public affairs firm with more than 100 staffers.

PBN is headed by the husband and wife team of Peter Necarsulmer and Susan Thurman.

Its “unparalleled experience in the countries of the former Soviet Union” is among the reasons for the WPP deal, according to Howard Paster, WPP’s executive VP of its PR and PA operations. The British ad/PR combine also has partnered with PBN on client work.

PBN has counseled clients such as Merrill Lynch, Motorola, PepsiCo., Bristol-Myers Squibb, Xerox and Mittal Steel.

It maintains offices in London, Moscow, Kiev, Riga (Latvia), Chisinau (Moldova) and Almaty (Kazakhstan).

Necarsulmer has advised the Russian government on securities reform and sits on the board of the U.S.-Russian Business Counsel.

Thurman works PBN’s energy clients, and is noted for handling ex-Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s visit to San Francisco in 1990.


CKPR beat two firms to be named AOR for the USO, the non-profit “home-away-from-home” group for armed services members and their families.

Ogilvy PR Worldwide and Brainerd Communications also pitched for the work.
CKPR’s New York base will handle media relations and partnership planning with the overall goal of boosting the 66-year-old organization’s profile.

Ned Powell, president/CEO of the USO, praised CKPR’s “very clear, smart strategy” to connect the organization with the public.

CKPR managing director Joel Curran said his firm will work to expand understanding of the USO beyond its well-known celebrity entertainment tours.

The USO, which has overseas centers in Germany, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Qatar, Korea, Afghanistan, Guam, and Kuwait, says families visit its outposts more than 5.3 million times each year.


Mark Corallo, media relations chief for Fred Thompson, has quit as the former lobbyist, senator and actor officially hits the presidential campaign trial.

He is the latest staffer to exit Thompson’s staff as the 65-year-old Republican seeks to assume the mantle of Ronald Reagan. Thompson hired Reagan’s White House political director Bill Lacy to run the campaign last month.

Corallo is credited with keeping the “unannounced” Thompson campaign in the news for months, and pitching the “Law and Order” actor as an attractive candidate for conservatives.

The former Justice Dept. spokesperson, now heads his own media strategy firm. His high-profile clients include Karl Rove during the Valerie Plame-CIA leak probe, and former Hewlett-Packard director Thomas Perkins in the pre-texting flap. Corallo also prepped executives from defense contractor Blackwater for House hearings on waste in Iraqi contracts.


DLA Piper, the Washington, D.C., firm which has repped Afghanistan on a pro bono basis for the past five years, wants some cash from its client to cover the “critical work that lies ahead.”

Specifically, DLA has asked Afghanistan to cough up $10K a-month so the firm can sustain its commitment to a “dedicated and priority representation [of] the government of Afghanistan,” according to a letter from DLA staffers Lawrence Levinson and Brenda Meister.

DLA’s work includes strengthening the U.S./Afghanistan bilateral relationship, attracting business investment and increasing the “knowledge base” about the Karzai Government in D.C.

The firm promises that if the value of hours billed exceeds the retainer level, it will be done for free.

Levinson is a former movie executive who was responsible for government affairs at Paramount Communications and became Viacom’s chief lobbyist after it acquired Paramount. Previously, he worked in the Kennedy, Johnson and Carter Administrations.

Meister is a veteran of United Airlines, Bush/Quayle transition team and the Dept. of Justice.


Stephen Caldeira, a veteran agency and food sector corporate PR exec, will join Dunkin’ Brands in October in its top communications and PA role.

He has been president and CEO of the Elliot Leadership Institute, a non-profit he co-founded three years ago focused on developing executives for the food service and hospitality industries.

Caldeira, 48, will report directly to Dunkin’ chairman and CEO Jon Luther.

He takes the title of executive VP, global comms. and chief public affairs officer, starting Oct. 29.

Dunkin’ brands include Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin’ Robbins and Togo’s.

The Canton, Mass.-based company is privately owned by a group of private equity firms.

Caldeira was previously VP of industry relations for PepsiCo, and earlier was president and COO of the National Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation.

Earlier, Caldeira was a managing director in Burson-Marsteller’s U.S. PA practice and was political director for ex-Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.).


Mexico has informed Hill & Knowlton that it is revamping its $23K a-month pact to promote its telecommunications sector effective Sept. 30, an H&K staffer told O’Dwyer’s.

There will be a revised contract to reflect the “new scope of work,” he said. Mexico entered the original contract in May.

H&K’s contract is with the Camara Nacional de la Industria Electronica de Telecomunicaciones y Technolgias de la Informacion.

The WPP Group unit’s original task was to do PR for MexicoIT, a joint program between the Mexican Ministry of Economy and telecom companies, to promote investments in Mexico’s IT sector.

Internet Edition, September 12, 2007, Page 3


Time Inc. is shutting down San Francisco-based Business 2.0 with the October issue due to declining advertising and red ink.

Editor Joshua Quittner and nine other staffers are shifting to Fortune to write about technology issues, arrange conferences and update its website.

Time Inc. acquired the 10-year-old magazine from Britain's Future Network in `01 for $68M. It combined Business 2.0 with eCompany Now to cover the "new economy."

Time rebuffed efforts by others including Mansueto Ventures, publisher of Fast Company, to purchase Business 2.0 and a list of 600K subscribers.


Barack Obama is garnering the most interest on the web of presidential candidates. attracted 717K unique visitors in July, according to Nielsen/Net Ratings, trailed by (437K) and (348K)., the website for Fred Thompson, topped Republicans with 381K uniques, while (124K), (116K), (113K), and (104K) were all within 20K hits of one another.

Hillary Clinton's site had the longest time per visitor averaging eight minutes, seventeen seconds. Obama (7:53) and Giuliani (7:33) followed.

Although McCain trails in traffic, he led online advertising among all candidates in July with 7.7M impressions, followed by Romney (4.7M) and Dennis Kucinich (820K), according to Nielsen.


Judith Miller, the former investigative reporter for the New York Times who hyped Iraq weapons intelligence and later went to jail to protect her source, Scooter Libby, in the Valerie Plame/CIA scandal, has joined the conservative think tank Manhattan Institute.

She has contributed to MI’s City Journal publication in the past.

Miller was a flashpoint for criticism of media coverage leading up to and following the invasion of Iraq as she wrote about Iraq's weapons programs as a potential threat to U.S. security.

Many of her claims, like aluminum tubes she reported to be for use in nuclear enrichment, were later debunked.

Several of her reports relied on unnamed sources and administration officials, and are credited with influencing public opinion in favor of war with Iraq. Ten of twelve stories that the Times later cited in re-examining its pre-war coverage carried a Miller byline.

Miller is an adjunct fellow for the Institute and writes about the Middle East and counterterrorism, as well as "the need to strike a delicate balance between protecting both national security and American civil liberties in a post-9/11 world," according to the MI website.

MI was founded by William Casey in 1978, before he became CIA director for Ronald Reagan.


Andy Rosa Adler is now entertainment/web reporter for She also will contribute reports to WNYW Fox 5 and its sister station WWOR-TV My9 in New York City.

Adler joins from KPSP/CBS 2 in Palm Springs, CA, where she co-hosted a daily entertainment program.

Earlier, she anchored news for Stanford University's Stanford Cardinal Broadcasting Network, served as west coast correspondent for American Latino TV and LatiNation and reported for KSBW, an NBC affiliate.


Bill Kupper, retired CEO of BusinessWeek Group, has assumed the publisher slot at Golfweek.

He also will oversee other assets of Turnstile Publishing Co. such as TurfNet, Fish & Fly, Art Calendar, GeezerJock and their respective websites.

Kupper joined Turnstile's board after more than 20 years at McGraw Hill, where he was named BW's president in 2000.

Earlier, Kupper spent nearly a quarter century at Time Inc., working in sales/advertising posts at Sports Illustrated, Time, Life and Health.

Kupper, who earned a Bronze Star and Air Medal as a member of the First Calvary in Vietnam, is an avid golfer. He and son, Tyler, won GW's father and son tourney in '00.

GRANDPARENTS GO ONLINE., a biweekly e-mail, unveiled a stand-alone website Sept. 4 targeted at the 78M grandparents in the U.S.

CEO Jerry Shereshewsky, a Yahoo veteran, sees the site as a social network for grandparents, offering blogs, message boards and chat forums.

There is a city guide section promoting activities and events in 25 locales for the robust over-60-something market.

Shereshewsky is looking for sponsors for the site.


NBC Universal, which had a high-profile split from Apple's iTunes, is putting its fall TV shows in's Unbox digital download store.

Amazon promised NBCU the pricing flexibility that it wanted, but failed to get from Apple. NBC's shows accounted for about 30 percent of iTunes' video downloads. NBC and partner News Corp. plan to stream ad-supported programming via its venture.


Time Warner has made an investment in Boston-based digital video advertising company ScanScout. Rachel Lam, senior VP of TW Investments, has joined the company as a board observer.

Jim Rossman, COO of Digitas who is also on the ScanScout board, said the company's technology delivers the "most relevant" ads in the "most precise context" to consumers. The ScanScout technology displays video ads related to the content on a web page.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, September 12, 2007, Page 4


Matthew Brusch, who was director of communications at Tier Technologies, government services provider, from 2004-2007, joined the National Investor Relations Institute, Vienna, Va., as VP of communication.

He will work with interim CEO Linda Keller on a national media relations program, supervising production of NIRI publications, and identifying issues of interest to members, the media and public. He will also work with NIRI chairman Matthew Stroud, VP-IR, Darden Restaurants, Orlando, Fla.

Brusch managed communications with the media and investment community at Tier and was corporate spokesperson for the company.

Before that he was at Cysive, IT services provider, from 1999-2003 as IR and PR manager. He was IR manager at Datastream Systems and worked four years at NASDAQ, rising to director of market services.

From 1987-93 he was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, serving as a Surface Warfare Officer and winning the Navy Achievement Medal for superior performance. He has an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland and a B.S. in Management from Pennsylvania State University.

NIRI has 4,400 members in more than 2,100 public companies in the U.S.


The Economist took Google's corporate arrogance to task in its Sept. 1 cover story and lead editorial, and believes privacy issues could threaten its growth.

It feels the search giant's future depends upon how it handles growing worldwide concern about what it does with personal data from users that is stored in its "cloud" of computer networks.

The magazine likens Google to a bank rather than a technology company. As banks "grew to become repositories of people's money, and thus guardians of private information about their finances, Google is now turning into a custodian of a far wider and more intimate range of information about individuals."

Because of the sheer speed in which Google has accumulated a "treasure of information," Google will be the test case of what society can tolerate, according to the Economist.

The British magazine believes many are put off by Google's "cocksure assertion of its own holiness, as if it merited unquestioning trust." It sniffs at Google's "Don't be evil" corporate motto and CEO Eric Schmidt's vow to "change the world."

Contrary to its "own propaganda," Google is "better judged as being just like any other 'evil' money-grabbing company," according to the Economist.

Google is at a crossroads. It could "voluntarily destroy very quickly any user data that it collects," according to the magazine. That option would assure privacy, but would limit Google profiting from selling the info to marketers.

If Google decides to retain consumer data, its services become more useful, but "some dreadful intrusions into privacy could occur."

The Economist believes Google needs to find a middle way. It also needs to become more transparent and open its processes to greater scrutiny.

Google is a useful capitalist tool and needs to act to counter concerns about its business operations. Relying on a "trite slogan" could lead to Google's undoing, concludes the magazine.

Briefs _________________________

CNN said it has become the first 24-hour domestic news network in high definition. CNN HD, which was made available on Sept. 1, stands as a separate high-definition signal with a programming line-up identical to the CNN/U.S. channel broadcast in the standard-definition format. As part of its initial entry into HDTV, CNN will produce all of its New York-based programs, select documentaries and special events, including Planet in Peril and presidential debates, in high definition.

The National Veteran-Owned Business Association said it will rename its magazine from Veterans Business Journal to Vetrepreneur. The new name plate will debut with the Sep/Oct 2007 issue.

The group also said, starting in 2008, the magazine will be published 10 times per year, up from its current bi-monthly frequency. Its e-newsletter will be distributed weekly. Rich McCormack is editor-in-chief.

Florida Home Improve Magazine has tapped TransMedia Group to promote its launch in affluent Palm Beach County. The magazine expects to reach more than 150,000 readers per issue. It will also target commercial trade members as well as consumers and be placed in targeted locations to reach those buyers. and CondeNet have inked a content-sharing agreement to put content from Conde Nast's online arm and its print properties on the NBC-owned 'Net news portal.

Content from sites like,, Vogue, Vanity Fair and Bon Appetit is covered by the deal.

Elite Traveler, a luxury lifestyle magazine distributed aboard private jets across the world, is taking a test run as one of the first magazines available on Apple's iPhone. Viewers can see the complete magazine on the electronic device.

Kiki Magazine debuts next month aimed at "girls with style and substance" ages 9-14.

The mag, published quarterly by B-Books of Cincinnati, was started by a local editor and educator, Jamie Bryant, who said she was frustrated by overtly-sexualized clothing and media marketed to an increasingly young audience.

"Even publications aimed at younger teens offer up soft-sex articles and overly-mature content that parents and readers are uncomfortable with," Bryant said. "There simply wasn't anything compelling being published for tween girls." Info:

Internet Edition, September 12, 2007, Page 5


Corporate and financial firm Brunswick Group said it will open a San Francisco office at the beginning of 2008, its third in the U.S., to better serve the West Coast.

The firm, which has U.S. offices in New York and Washington, D.C., is bringing in former Edelman EVP Amanda Duckworth as a partner to oversee the new outpost with current New York partner Mike Buckley, who joined in 2001.

Duckworth is slated to join from her own shop, Duckworth Consulting, in November with the new Bay Area outpost scheduled to open on January 2, 2008. In addition to 12 years at Edelman, she was head of marketing for Montgomery Securities and Thomas Weisel Partners and chief marketing officer for Morrison & Foerster for three years until 2006.

Brunswick has offices in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.


William Coleman, who was with G+A Communications in New York from 1983-1999 and later with Bratskier & Co., which purchased G+A, is partners in The Coleman Group, Kansas City, with Christine van Moorsel.

The B2B firm specializes in clients related to aviation. Current clients include Dulles Jet Center, Monaco Air Duluth and Navigance Technologies Group.

Coleman was a pilot with the U.S. Navy from 1965-71, rising to lieutenant. He was manager of PR for the PR Society in 1971-72 before joining G+A. Coleman moved to Kansas City in 1999 to work with longtime G+A client Phillips Petroleum.

Van Moorsel has been associated with Coleman for 20+ years. Staffers include designer Jim Davies; Clifton Stroud of Washington, D.C., and aviation consultant Mark Wagner. They specialize in PR but also handle ads, direct mail programs, brochures, trade shows, trade show exhibits and other projects. Info: 3907 N.E. Sequoia, Lee Summit, MO 64064. 816/350-8547.


The Abernathy MacGregor Group is helping hedge fund Third Point in its effort to oust the chairman of struggling pharmaceutical company PDL BioPharma and push the company to sell itself.

TP is PDL's largest shareholder.

The company announced plans last week to sell four commercial assets and refocus on cancer and immunological disease treatments.

Third Point sent a letter to the board on Aug. 29 that said PDL chairman Patrick Gage sent a "confusing and unwelcome message" about the company's strategy in an Aug. 28 conference call. TP says the Fremont, Calif.-based company should be sold in its entirety or in pieces and the proceeds returned to shareholders. The scathing letter hit Gage's "destructive, 'go-it-alone' research and development approach … combined with his history as chief apologies for [the CEO's] failed strategies..." CEO Mark McDade resigned in August after months of pressure from TP, which has offered its own slate of board members for the company.


New York Area

5W PR, New York/Philippe Restaurant, Manhattan eatery, for lifestyle PR.

Susan Magrino Agency, New York/illy café North America, coffee company, as AOR, including the launch of an "espressamente" Italian coffee bar in Las Vegas.

Goodman Media Int’l, New York/Art21 Inc., for publicity for fourth premiere of bi-annual PBS series; Abbott Point of Care, for corporate comms. and media outreach for its i-STAT medical diagnostic system; Discover Magazine, for media relationas and PR; HDNet, for PR for “Dan Rather Reports”; McCormick Distilling Co., for its eco-friendly spirit, 360 Vodka; Research Corp., for comms. and media outreach, and Taggies, for its baby products line.

Ruder Finn, San Francisco/StubHub, ticket marketplace, as AOR for PR. RF/Los Angeles will assist. Waggener Edstrom had the account.


Cimbrian, Lancaster, Pa./Boyd Senior Planning, for marketing research and branding; Community First Fund; Concept Connections, for an e-marketing campaign, and Pennsylvania State Nurses Assn., for branding, PR and print collateral.

Cohn, Overstreet & Parrish, Atlanta/Water’s Edge Resort (S.C.), for marketing collateral and special events; New South Partners, for PR for a Jekyll Island hotel development; Ben Carter Properties, for national PR for hotel/retail development; The Rock Ranch, for PR for the property, owned by Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy and used by schools, church groups and others for education programs.


Ackermann PR, Knoxville, Tenn./Invisible Fence Brand, as national AOR for public and media relations for the electronic pet fence maker.


Brooks & Associates PR, Van Alstyne, Tex./Wescorp Energy, oil and gas operations, for brand strategy, PR and IR.


MSR Communications, San Francisco/CPP, personality assessment tools, as AOR for PR.

Burditch Marketing Communications, Los Angeles/
Cindy Pawlcyn, chef, for PR and marketing in the U.S. Pawlcyn owns three Napa Valley eateries.

JS2 Communications, Los Angeles/Phat Phish, India-based entertainment (music and movies) company. JS2’s New York office will split duties with L.A.

Tsantes Consulting Group, San Jose, Calif./Toshiba America Electronic Components, for PR for its Imaging and Communications, ASSP and Custom SoC and Foundry units, and Silicon Storage Technology, a flash memory company, for PR.

Cook & Schmid, San Diego/Cali Bamboo, fencing and lumber, to craft a PR and marketing plan.

Correction: French/West/Vaughn’s work for WaterPartners International is not on a pro bono basis as reported in the Aug. 29 NL. FWV works for the Global Water Foundation pro bono.

Internet Edition, September 12, 2007, Page 6


Publicists need to loosen up in pitching radio guests and avoid commercial-sounding audio news releases, according to Bob Marrone, news director and morning talk show host for WVOX-AM in Westchester and Long Island, N.Y.

"I realize the publicist has a role and is trying to get their client out there, but the minute I see [an ANR], they not only want me to get their client on the air, they want to give me the questions and the answers," he told broadcast PR pro Maury Tobin in a recent podcast. "That's just not good radio."

Marrone couldn't recall using an ANR on his popular morning show. “While I understand the quid pro quo of the business - that I need to let someone plug what they're doing so that we get a good story and good radio - most of the [ANRs] tend to be commercials masked as news," he said.

Tobin runs Tobin Communications in Maryland and is critical of ANRs as offering little value for PR. He told O'Dwyer's that he conducted the interview with Marrone to reiterate that feeling because he doesn't think broadcast PR vendors are forthcoming about how infrequently packaged PR audio is used by radio stations.

ANRs avoided much of the scrutiny video news releases were hit with in recent years, but work essentially the same way. Broadcast PR companies point out ANRs' value as a news tool for breaking or developing news, or in politics, when key players often aren't immediately available for live interviews.

Marrone did have some kind words for PR pros and said he values a good pitch and noted: "I need the publicist as much as the publicist needs me."

Asked to give some tips on pitching a guest for radio, Marrone said too many pitches aren't clear about who the guest would be. "Make it easy for me to see it because I have a thousands emails to read. I've given up on interviews because I couldn't find the talent in the release."He also said publicists often send too many follow-up emails after an interview is agreed on. "Make the commitment, do a confirmation and stop with the emails," he said.

Marrone also said another mistake PR pros often make is to ask for a copy of a show after it airs. That request needs to be made well beforehand, he said.

BRIEFS: PR Society’s Georgia chapter has given its Chapter Champion Award to Rosalind Barnes Fowler, public awareness director of the Board of Regents of the Univ. System of Georgia. The award goes to a member who contributes to the chapter’s success and will be given monthly or “when appropriate.” ...The Black PR Society/N.Y. will host a career strategies and transitions panel on Sept. 18 at Burson-Marsteller’s New York offices. Panelists include Mireille Grangenois, managing dir., multicultural, B-M; Matthew Scott, staff writer, FinancialWeek; Tamica Fairley, talent development, Fleishman-Hillard; Deby Levy, human resources, Manning Selvage & Lee; Ricky Clemons, VP of communications, National Urban League, and Marsha Haygood, career/life coach, StepWise Assocs; 212/614-4599.



Siobhan Aalders, former senior VP at Weber Shandwick’s broadcast PR unit, to Ogilvy PR Worldwide, New York as a senior VP focused on technology. Ogilvy has also added tech execs Nick Ludlum, former GM of Fusion PR, as a VP in D.C., and ex-Hyperion staffer Ian Yellin as a VP in San Francisco.

Loren Fisher was promoted to VP in M Booth & Associates’ consumer products practice in New York. The firm has also upped Andrea Conrad and Katie Rogers to senior A/Ss, and Lindsay Burns and Andrew Rossi to A/Ss.

Jules Abraham, VP, healthcare, GCI Group, to Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates, New York, as director of healthcare PR, a new position. He was VP at Zeno Group, senior A/E at Manning, Selvage & Lee.

Todd Allen, manager of IR for Great Plains Energy, to Foundation Coal Holdings, Linthicum Heights, Md., as VP of investor and media relations.

Michael Lewellen, who previously headed corporate comms. for Black Entertainment Television, to VP of PR for Universal Orlando Resort, starting Sept. 17. He succeeds Cindy Gordon, who was named VP of new media partnerships for Universal. Earlier, Lewellen was at Fox Sports Network, Turner Sports and Nike.

Monique Greer, senior director of corporate comms. and IR, Dendreon, and Nicole Foderaro, dir. of corporate comms. and IR, Nuvelo, to WeissComm Partners, New York, as senior associates. The firm has also added eight associates: Danielle Bertrand, ex-A/E, Fleishman-Hillard; Erin Bittner, ex-senior A/M, The Reynolds Group; Julio Cantre, ex-VP, Ketchum Healthcare; Jessica Carlson, ex-senior A/E, F-H; Julie Normart, ex-A/S, Dorland Global PR; Brooke Shenkin, ex-AA/E, Euro RSCG Life PR, and Adrienne Turner, ex-A/M, Visual Resource.

Russ Russell, executive director of development for The Salvation Army, to Goodwill Industries, Detroit, as VP of development/marketing and PR.

Steve Solmonson, director of communications at Carlson Marketing Worldwide, to Carmichael Lynch Spong, Minneapolis, as senior counselor for clients Trane and June. He is a former Air Force public affairs officer handling events like the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, the movie “Air Force One,” and coordinating media for a Defense Dept. official’s visit to Saudi Arabia.


David Finn, co-founder of Ruder Finn, will be given the “Elizabeth Silverstein Legacy Award” by Counterpart Int’l at its 2007 World Leadership Awards in New York on Sept. 19 for his 59 years of contributions to global peace initiatives. Finn has worked with WWII vets, Eleanor Roosevelt, the Martin Luther King Foundation, and efforts to curb nuclear weapons. CI president LeLei LeLaulu called Finn a “true peace pioneer and one of the very few corporate leaders with almost 60 years to lend their considerable prestige and expertise to global peace initiatives.

Internet Edition, September 12, 2007, Page 7

ANALYSTS HIT NET DEBT (Cont’d from pg. 1)

This means that it is not covered under the "Generally Accepted Accounting Principles" that are supposed to apply to financial reports.

OMC adds: "We believe this presentation is meaningful for understanding our net debt position and it reflects one of the key metrics used by us to assess our cash management."

A guideline of the National Investor Relations Institute is that if non-GAAP numbers are reported the company must also report the GAAP number.

It recommends that the "real" quarterly income figures be reported before any "pro-forma" calculations.

OMC stock is currently around $50, which is below its high of $53.50 reached on Dec. 17, 1999. More than 40 million of the 372 million shares outstanding have recently been purchased by the company.

OMC's interest payments rose 60% ($46.9M) in 2006 from $78M to $124.9M.

WPP Only Reports 'Net Debt'

WPP Group, unlike OMC, only reports net debt and "average net debt." Analysts say it's hard to figure out the exact real debt of WPP, although Bloomberg said it was $4.8B at the end of 2006 (on revenues of about $12B).

WPP, whose primary listing is on the London Stock Exchange, put its "net debt" at about $2.4B at the end of 2006.

The report also showed WPP to have "net tangible assets of -$5.2B (because it is carrying $11.6B in good will). Its payables of $12.1B exceeded receivables of $8.8B.

Analysts say that AT&T's "net debt" figure is 38% smaller than its real debt of $17.5B. AT&T does this by counting cash on hand and excluding $1B in debt that is related to changes in foreign-exchange rates.

Verizon reported "net debt" of $49.9B for the first quarter without mentioning its total long-term and short-term debt of $54.1B.

Dana's reported second-quarter "net debt" of $2B counted $546M the company had in cash. Also counted was $841M in debt in its Dana Credit Corp. unit and $86M in cash in the unit.

Another abuse, say analysts, is claiming "non-recurring" costs when such costs occur on a regular basis.


The PR Society, whose Assembly meets Oct. 20 in Philadelphia, has created a first-ever e-mail group for the 300 delegates that will be accessible only to the delegates.

They are able to communicate with the entire list via a single e-mail.

While delegates were elected under the bylaws by last Dec. 1, and many have had their names displayed on chapter websites, the delegates are not "official" until PRS staff has determined that they have served in no more than two previous Assemblies.

The official delegates' list has yet to be posted on the PRS website.

Brad Rye of Eric Mower Assocs. and Dave Rickey of Alfa Corp., co-chairs of the Assembly task force, have sent a poll to delegates asking what they expect to accomplish in the Assembly, and whether they are expected to follow instructions of the chapter board, members, or their "own conscience" in voting.

They are also asked for their age bracket (i.e., 31-40), who is paying their expenses, how they were picked and whether they will be attending the conference.

Delegates pay the full price of $1,075 ($1,275 after Sept. 7) . The 17 members of the board go free and the more than 20 living ex-presidents of PRS have free PRS membership and free admittance to the conference for life.


Joseph DeRupo, director of communications and PR for the National Coffee Assn., has joined the PR Society as associate director of PR reporting to Janet Troy, VP-PR.

Also joining is Diane Gomez as manager of PR. Neither is currently listed as a member of PRS.

Cedric Bess, manager of PR of PRS since 2002, left the Society in March to join Wolters Kluwer Corporate Legal Services, New York, as internal communications manager.

DeRupo is a graduate of Columbia University and Columbia Law School and previously was press secretary for New York City Councilman Alan Gerson and with IBM as program manager.

The Coffee Assn. is located at 15 Maiden lane, a short distance from PRS h.q. which are at 33 Maiden lane.

Troy, before joining PRS in 2004, had worked at the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange and the New York Board of Trade.

She was not a member of PRS when she joined. She told the Bergen Record July 27, 2004 that, "I was flabbergasted that this organization [PRS] existed and I was clueless to it." She said that "Obviously, they need more visibility and I'm here to help fix that."

Controversy Brews over Coffee

There is controversy over the health side effects of coffee consumption.

DeRupo has been saying that "The scientific evidence coming out of labs around the world [about coffee] is almost entirely positive. It's absolutely clear that coffee has a protective effect against type 2 diabetes…[and] protects against colon and rectal cancers." He has also said that "One particular antioxidant that's unique to coffee may protect against gallstones, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's."

Health effects of coffee were discussed in the March 26, 2006 Today's Officer under the title: "Coffee: How Healthful Is it?"

An article by fitness specialist Nadia Lemmon on says that being a "caffeine-a-holic" is No. 1 among "Ten Totally Unhealthy Eating Behaviors to Avoid." Caffeine “consumed in large amounts on a regular basis is one of the most unhealthy and harmful things that you can do to yourself," writes Lemmon.

Limit caffeinated coffee to four times a week and "never before noon or after 8 p.m.," she advises. Even decaffeinated coffee contains small amounts of caffeine, according to Lemmon (U.S. regulations allow decaffeinated coffee to have 3% caffeine).

Internet Edition, September 12, 2007, Page 8




Analysts (page one) have rightly condemned the use of "net debt" by companies that use it including WPP Group, Omnicom, AT&T, Verizon, and Dana Corp.

Net debt is not allowed by either GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) nor the Securities & Exchange Commission. The National Investor Relations Institute says if non-GAAP figures are to be used, GAAP figures also have to be used and must come first.

The use of "net debt" to beautify the books of WPP and Omnicom is only the tip of the iceberg of financial reporting practices that block understanding of both.

While after-tax "net" is the figure U.S. companies report, WPP reports (in this order) "Headline EBITDA" (profit before finance/income costs, taxation, investment gains and write-downs, goodwill impairment, and other items); "Headline Operating Profit" (before investment gains and write-downs, goodwill impairment and other items); Reported Operating Profit; Headline PBIT (profit before finance income/costs, taxation, investment gains and write-downs, and other items); Headline PBIT; Headline PBIT Margin, and "reported Profit Before Taxes."

The "Financial Summary" on Page 15 of the WPP annual report does not report the actual profit after taxes. That's on page 149. We're not saying that WPP is not doing well financially, only that it could be clearer in its reporting. Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Deutsche all chide WPP for handing out too many shares to insiders, causing "a slightly greater share dilution than expected" (as phrased by Lehman).

If OMC had better financial reporting, both to Wall Street and the press, its stock might not be below where it was in 1999. WPP, OMC, Interpublic, Public and Havas for five years have blocked thousands of owned ad agencies and PR firms from reporting revenue or staff totals. Account lists are often no longer published. Publicis (Manning, Selvage & Lee, Publicis Consultants) has opted out of the strict U.S. financial reporting rules (page one). French companies report finances once a year.

The "No. 1 question" PRS receives each month, a promotion recently said, is "Where can I find a PR firm or consultant?" The promotion (for the 411 members of the Counselors Academy) said "Hundreds of potential clients are looking for you, but will they find you?" Our question is what has PRS been doing with these new business leads? They're never put on the PRS website for all to see. PRS veterans say these leads are given out to various favorites and are but one of the many things PRS h.q. and leaders do for those who are loyal to leadership. Other rewards are approvals of travel/meal/hotel budgets, appointments to national committees (good for resumes, new business pitches), job leads, help with chapter programs, and the $500 stipend for the June "Leadership Rally" for presidents-elect.

With strings like these on chapter leaders, who instruct their Assembly delegates, it's no wonder that not one chapter supported the Central Michigan proposal last year that would have made the Assembly the "supreme policy-making body" of PRS (like it is for the AMA and ABA). Delegates (nearly half of the 109 chapters only have one delegate) do the bidding of their boards on any issue that challenges national leaders.

The Assembly, therefore, is thoroughly politicized and does not represent the interests of the rank-and-file members. It is compromised by having 46 of its votes controlled by national leadership-17 board members, 19 district chairs and ten section chairs. They have no business even speaking to the Assembly.

New proof of the weakness of the Assembly is that the delegates have meekly accepted their morphing into a classic "Star Chamber," whose deliberations are in secret (page 7). The actual Star Chamber, created under King Henry VII in the 16th century, became synonymous with "arbitrary, secretive proceedings in opposition to personal rights and liberties" (from Britain Express website). It could inflict ruinous fines, whippings, branding and the cutting off of ears (but not the death penalty).

The Assembly started to go to pot in the 1990s when h.q. staff began strict enforcement of the three-year rule for service. This eliminated senior chapter members who had experience in the Assembly, knew Roberts Rules and were wise to the power-grabbing ways of leadership.

If the Assembly actually represented the membership, it would do the following:

1. Bar any voting this year by the 46 leaders.

2. Vote to remain in continuous session electronically and otherwise until the next Assembly.

3. Abolish the three-year rule and urge chapters to send experienced, independent members with no strings attached (not interested in new biz leads, titles, etc.).

4. Eliminate any APR requirement throughout the bylaws (as urged by the 1999 Strategic Planning Comm.)

5. Eliminate the rule that board members have to have headed chapters, districts or national committees or have voted in the Assembly (stifles supply of leaders).

6. Pass bylaw banning directors from returning to the board as officers or in any role whatever.

7. Demand PRS leaders admit the staff costs on the annual conference are close to $2M and the reported staff costs of $100K-$189K have been mis-stated.

8. Demand PRS leaders show what the balance sheet looks like with $2M in dues deferred. There's no law against showing financials several ways.

9. Demand that senior members join h.q. when openings occur. The appointment of non-member Joseph DeRupo to a PR post at h.q. (P. 7) is an insult to the membership.

10. Demand that all leader speeches and a complete financial report be given to the delegates three weeks before the Assembly. Ban Assembly leader speeches.

11. Demand that the printed members' directory again be published (PRS had $4.3M in cash as of June 30 and could well afford to do this).

--Jack O'Dwyer


Copyright © 1998-2020 J.R. O'Dwyer Company, Inc.
271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471