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Internet Edition, July 16, 2008, Page 1


Karen Hughes, who was communications director for President Bush and U.S. propaganda czar, has joined Burson-Marsteller as vice chair.

The 51-year old Texan will team with Mark Penn, B-M CEO and former pollster for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential bid, to offer one-stop crisis and public affairs services.

Hughes served as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy from `05 to `07. As counselor to President Bush, Hughes managed the White House Offices of Communications, Media Affairs, Speechwriting and Press Secretary.

She consulted the `04 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign and worked with Bush for five years when he was Governor of Texas.

Austin-based Hughes will serve on B-M’s newly created strategy team.


Georgia has awarded its first recycling PR account to Hill & Knowlton after a competitive RFP process that drew 15 proposals to a lucrative RFP. H&K’s pact with the Peach State is worth more than $743K for 12 months and includes four option years. It aims to cut down on the 2.6M tons of common recyclables that Georgians toss out each year.

The state’s Dept. of Community Affairs – Office of Environmental Management will oversee the pact, which it hopes to roll out by the first quarter of its 2009 fiscal year.

The Atlanta operations of Edelman, GolinHarris, and GCI pitched, as did PR firms based in the city like Cookerly and Tedco Worldwide.

H&K’s Tampa office led its pitch.


Chris Komisarjevsky, former CEO of Burson-Marsteller, is now a strategic advisor to Edelman CEO Richard Edelman. He also will serve pro-tem chair of Edelman’s global corporate practice and counsel the No. 1 independent firm’s leadership development program.

Komisarjevsky stepped down from B-M in `05 after more than six years at the helm. Most recently, he was senior counselor at APCO Worldwide.

Edelman praised Komisarjevsky as “one of the most accomplished counselors” in the PR profession.

Komisarjevsky will “advance the quality of our c-suite interactions, according to Edelman’s statement.


Kekst & Co. is handling the Chapter 11 filing of Steve & Barry’s, the popular deep discount retailer that calls itself a victim of the credit crunch.

S&B features fashionable clothing priced under $10. Lines are endorsed by celebrities/sports figures such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Stephon Marbury, Amanda Bynes and Venus Williams.

The Long Island-based retailer was founded in 1985 by childhood friends, Steve Shore and Barry Prevor.

They issued a statement to say though S&B’s “strong growth and sales performance” far outpaced the industry, “tough economic times, the credit crisis and a landscape of other troubled retailers reduced the appraised value of our inventory and access to funding.” Privately held S&B claims first-month sales are up 25 percent this year.

S&B has 276 outlets. K&C’s Wendi Kopsick said no decisions have been made about store closings. The chain employs 8,600 people.


U.K.-based Barbara Gibson has been named chair of the International Assn. of Business Communicators.

The 20-year plus PR veteran runs SpokesComm, a London-headquartered strategic communications planning and media training shop.

Gibson is past region chair of IABC Europe and Middle East and past president of chapters in central Florida and the U.K.

At last month’s IABC conference in New York, Gibson said she wants to make the group less North America-centric. Her goal is to highlight best communications practices wherever they may be.

IABC also named Irene Monley, chair of its research foundation. She works at Tyco Electronics, responsible for global human resources communications.


Martin Sorrell, CEO of the WPP Group, whose stock has fallen to the mid-$40’s from its 52-week high of $76.50, told the Financial Times June 30 of ongoing difficulties in trying to manage the 300+ companies in the group.

WPP is also in the midst of a hostile nearly $2 billion takeover of the Taylor Nelson Sofres research firm. TNF prefers to merge with GfK of Germany.

(Continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, July 16, 2008, Page 2


Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens has launched the PickensPlan program in an effort to wean this country off foreign energy.

New York-based Sloane PR is handling media relations for PP, which wants to harness domestic energy alternatives such as wind power and natural gas to reduce the dependence on energy imports. Elliot Sloane told O’Dwyer’s that his firm picked up Pickens via a reference from a “mutual acquaintance.”

Pickens urges Americans to rally around his effort and challenge the new President to unveil a program to break the “hammerlock of foreign oil” within the first 100 days of his Administration.

Pickens is putting his money where his mouth is. He plans a potential $6B outlay in Texas to create the world’s largest wind farm.

The founder of Mesa Petroleum fends off the notion that he has turned “green.” Pickens told the Guardian his business is making money, and that there is going to be a lot of money made in alternative energies.

As Mesa CEO, Pickens made his mark during the `80s via high profile corporate runs at Gulf Oil, Phillips Petroleum and Unocal.

Pickens now heads BP Capital Management, which has $4B in energy-oriented assets under management.


Kellogg Company is working with Hunter PR to bring back the Hydrox brand as the crème-filled cookie marks its 100th anniversary this year.

Sunshine Biscuits first sold Hydrox cookies in 1908, three years before the main challenger, Oreos, hit the market.

As the Wall Street Journal put it in January: “For many years, the contest between Oreo and Hydrox was akin to that of Coke versus Pepsi, the Beatles against the Rolling Stones, dog people and cat people. It was not just a choice, but a declaration of identity.”

Kellogg came to own the Hydrox brand when it acquired Keebler in 2001 but it discontinued the cookies, re-branded as “Droxies,” in 2003. A grassroots movement on the Internet urged the company to bring back the cookies and Kellogg has responded with an August target date to test the market again with a “limited edition” run of Hydrox in honor of the anniversary.


The Intelligent Transportation Society of America wants proposals from PR firms that are interested in promoting its World Congress slated for New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center from November 16-20.

There will be more than 800 speakers at 200 sessions dealing with the latest developments in communications-based electronics. The Society works to apply high-tech solutions to improve the performance of the nation’s infrastructure and vehicles.

The PR firm will create messages to address issues such as safety, congestion reduction/mobility, environmental sustainability and security.

Outreach is expected to both consumer and trade media. The firm is to organize pre-show media briefings in New York and D.C., set up media tours for key ITS staffers and handle the show’s media room. Post-show publicity is geared to supplying the media with follow-up reports on the show.

ITSA’s PR firm will report to Sabrina Quirarte, director of communications. She is receiving proposals through July 18 at [email protected].


Chrysler is realigning its human resources and communications functions and eliminating its top employee relations post following a sharp drop in sales in June. The Big Three Detroit automaker said executive VP Nancy Rae, who heads human resources and corporate communications, will lead the integration of those two functions with employee relations.

Bob Nardelli, chairman and CEO of Chrysler, said in a statement that the move is part of a long-term strategy to create “organizational synergies” for the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company.

Chrysler said it is cutting production at a St. Louis pickup truck factory and shuttering a nearby minivan plant in response to a sales drop of 36 percent in June. Lori McTavish, who was director of corporate and internal communications, gets the new title of executive director, communications, under Rae. Four key staffers covering communications — product/brand, executive, corporate business affairs, and sales/dealer/motor parts — report to McTavish.

John Fraciosi, SVP of employee relations, will retire on Sept. 30 after 31 years and his position is being eliminated. Chrysler is owned by Cerberus Capital Management.


The Government of Dubai’s strategic affairs committee has hired DLA Piper for a ten-month project worth $480K. DLAP is the home of former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who chairs the firm’s global board.

The firm is to provide government affairs services, a task that includes contact with journalists.

DLAP partner John Merrigan, former chair of the Democratic Business Council, which represents corporate interests in the Democratic Party, and ex-Middle Atlantic chair for Kerry for President, reps the Arabs.

He is joined by Republican Ignacio Sanchez. He served on the Bush-Cheney transition team as director of policy advisory committees for the Treasury Dept. and Office of U.S. Trade Representative. He was a speaking surrogate on Spanish language media during the campaign.

Dubai also has a $25K a-month contract with Johnson, Madigan, Peck, Boland & Stewart to promote “Brand Dubai,” and a $1.2M annual pact with Levick Strategic Communications for media and stakeholder relations.


Robert Hopkins, chief of strategic communications for NASA, is stepping down to open a Washington, D.C.-area office for management consulting firm Phillips & Company.

Hopkins oversaw the offices of communications planning, education, legislative and intergovernmental affairs, and public affairs for the space agency. The Navy veteran previously held PA posts at the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Chris Shank has been named acting chief of strategic communications for NASA. Shank is director of strategic investments in the office of program analysis and evaluation and earlier was a professional staff member on the House Subcommittee for Space and Aeronautics.

Internet Edition, July 16, 2008, Page 3


Marcus Brauchli, who was pushed out of the Wall Street Journal editor post by Rupert Murdoch, will become executive editor of the Washington Post on Sept. 8. He succeeds Leonard Downie, who announced his retirement on June 23.

Phil Bennett, managing editor of the printed Post, and Jim Brady, executive editor of the website, will report to Brauchli.

Post publisher Katharine Weymouth, 42, praised Brauchli’s “tremendous wealth of experience, both as a journalist and editor.” His job is to help the Post “navigate the new world of media.”

Weymouth, who took the publisher post five months ago, is front-runner to succeed her uncle, Don Graham, as CEO of the Washington Post Co.

Brauchli, 47, resigned from the WSJ four months after News Corp. completed the acquisition of Dow Jones & Co. He was replaced by Robert Thomson, former editor of News Corp’s Times of London.

Brauchli joined Dow Jones in ’84. He served in Hong Kong, covering China, Taiwan and the Philippines before moving to Stockholm as Scandinavia correspondent. He returned to Hong Kong in `92 and moved to Shanghai as China bureau chief in `95.

The Post’s daily circulation is in the 675K range, down from 800K in `00. Its website attracts nine million visitors each month, the No. 3 ranked newspaper site.


General Electric’s NBC Universal has inked a $3.5B deal to acquire the Weather Channel and its website from Landmark Communications. It partnered with Bain Capital and Blackstone Group to cement the deal.

The WC is received in almost 100M U.S. households. NBCU will incorporate WC’s offerings in MSNBC and NBC programming. The WC will remain an Atlanta-headquartered operation.


Conde Nast is closing Golf for Women because it does not support the goals of the magazine unit of privately held Advance Publications, according to CN CEO Charles Townsend.

The bimonthly was purchased from Meredith Corp. in ’01. GW published for a decade and was a companion to CN’s Golf Digest and GolfWorld.

Susan Reed, editor of GW has moved to the editor-in-chief spot at O, The Oprah Magazine, which is published by CN rival, Hearst Corp.

PEOPLE ____________________________

Jamila Hunter has assumed the newly created post of senior VP-programming and development, alternative & digital at NBC Entertainment. She joins from 20th Century Fox TV, where Hunter was VP-comedy development.

Earlier, Hunter worked at Bravo, launching programs like “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” “Project Runway” and “Celebrity Poker Showdown.”

Michele Vance, VP of marketing for RentWay and former PR and communications advisor for Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership, has been named editor for RTO Magazine, a bi-monthly trade pub for the rent-to-own industry. Vance, who is based in Kansas City, has contributed to the magazine and its website for several years.


Fox News’ “PR machine goes feral if it doesn’t get what it wants,” wrote David Carr in the July 7 New York Times.

Under CEO Roger Ailes, FN and its “PR apparatus have waged a permanent campaign on behalf of the channel that borrows its methodology from his days as senior political advisor” to Presidents Nixon, Reagan and Bush,” wrote Carr.

Media relations is a kind of “rolling opposition research operation intended to keep reporters in line by feeding and sometimes maiming the opposition. Shooting the occasional messenger is baked right into the process.”

Carr contends that through “blacklisting reporters it does not like and planting stories with friendlies at every turn,” FN is able to live a life beyond consequences for years.

Reporters told Carr about getting e-mails from FN’s PR staff that contained doctored photos, anonymous quotes and nasty items about competitors.

A source complained to Carr about getting “smeared on the blogs” by Fox after he wrote a tough story about the News Corp. unit.

Carr writes of NYT TV reporter Jacques Steinberg, who penned a story about CNN catching up to Fox in the ratings.

“Fox and Friends” blistered Steinberg as a “trained attack dog” and showed a doctored photo of him that was similar to vintage German propaganda.

Brian Lewis, who heads PR at FN, denies his staff participates in dark ops. No blacklist exists, added Lewis, who said his department is aggressive in a passive industry.

He made it clear that FN’s PR staff is not in the business of altering photos and rejected Carr’s suggestion that the doctoring of Steinberg’s headshot could be construed as anti-Semitic. Lewis called the anti-Semitic charge “vile and untrue.”

Carr, who has a soon-to-be-published memoir out that deals with his days as a junkie and drunk, expects to be hammered by FN.

Bill O’Reilly has already called Carr a “crack addict,” which the Times columnist says at least has the “virtue of being true, if a little vintage.”

WSJ’s Mossberg Adds Fox Duties

Walt Mossberg, the influential Wall Street Journal personal technology columnist, is now a regular contributor to Fox Business News. He appears Thursday morning.

Mossberg is the first Journal staffer to have a regular perch on its sister cable TV operation.

The WSJ inked an agreement with CNBC, barring many of its staffers from appearing on Fox. That deal was signed prior to the paper’s takeover by News Corp., Fox’s parent. Mossberg was a contributor to CNBC.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, July 16, 2008, Page 4


The Los Angeles Times has announced plans to slice 250 people from the payroll including 150 in its newsroom. The news staff cuts are divided between the LAT’s 876 print and online journalists.

The paper had 1,200 journalists on its payroll at its peak in 2001. The company will employ about 3,000 people after the cutbacks. The LAT will reduce the number of pages that it publishes each week by 15 percent as part of the overhaul.

Editor Russ Stanton announced the job cuts via an internal memo. Though the `Net has greatly expanded readership of the LAT, Stanton noted that it offers advertisers more choices and that results in less ad dollars for the paper.

The LAT has been hit by the collapse of the California housing market and the poor national economy that triggered a “wave of cutbacks” through newsrooms from New York to Santa Ana, according to Stanton, who will have details about the retrenchment program by Labor Day.


News Corp. has decided to keep its collection of Ottaway newspapers that it acquired with the acquisition of Dow Jones & Co.

The media combine has said prior to closing the DJ&C deal that it planned to study the sale of the eight daily and 15 weeklies. The Ottaway group includes Cape Cod Times, Standard-Times (New Bedford, Mass.) and the Inquirer and Mirror (Nantucket).


Don Wycliff, who left the news business in `06, for a PR slot on Notre Dame’s information staff has resigned from the South Bend-based school.

The former public editor of the Chicago Tribune and editorial page editor for a combined 15 years says he isn’t cut out for PR.

Wycliff did enjoy teaching a journalism course, but that was only a small part of his overall ND duties.

The 61-year-old newsman also served as a member of the New York Times editorial board and was an editor at the “Week in Review” section.

He reported and edited at the Chicago Sun-Times, Houston Post and Dallas Times Herald.


Suffolk Life, which once boasted of being the biggest weekly paper east of the Mississippi, has folded due to falling profits and the declining health of publisher Dave Wilmott.

The crusading weekly was mailed free to residents of Long Island’s Suffolk County and had a peak circulation of 545K.

Davy Levy, executive of Suffolk County, told Newsday that SL will be remembered for its “in-depth news coverage” and Wilmott’s “no-holds-barred editorials.”

Wilmott was a fierce opponent of the Shoreham nuclear plant, the $6B fully licensed facility that was shut down before generating a single kilowatt of electricity. He told O’Dwyer’s PR Services Report (February, 1990) that Shoreham, which was built on the shore of Long Island Sound, was a “time bomb” and there was no way to evacuate Long Island in the event of a disaster.

Shoreham accounted for about 10 percent of SL’s news hole, and scores of editorials that Wilmott called “strong and controversial,” but politically balanced.

The plant was fully decommissioned on Oct. 12, 1994, which ended a 25-year fight over nuclear power on Long Island, and besmirched the reputation of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo.

Shoreham’s “$6 billion price tag -- about 85 times higher than the original estimate -- had nearly wrecked the regional economy by saddling Long Island with some of the highest electric rates in the nation,” according to Newsday.

Wilmott has been ill with asthma and heart trouble, according to his son, Michael, who called SL’s shutdown a “personal decision.”

Wilmott chalked up many critics over his long career. A political blog ripped Wilmott for using SL as a “bully-pulpit for right wing law enforcement Republican enthusiasts.”

The blogger credited SL’s success with a Supreme Court ruling that allowed newspaper publishers to mail papers to people, even if they didn’t want to receive them.


Scott Eason, the main booker on “The Big Idea With Donny Deutsch,” is exploring other opportunities after almost four years of working with the adman and CNBC.

Pitches and show inquiries now go to [email protected].


Google has completed a four-year ascent to have the best reputation in U.S. business, according to Harris Interactive’s annual “Reputation Quotient” survey and ranking.

Google didn’t even register among the top 60 “most visible” companies compiled by Harris in 2004.

Overall, seventy percent of Americans told Harris that corporate America’s reputation is “not good” or “terrible,” according to the survey, which is based on more than 20K interviews and gauges perception of companies between 2006-07.

In general terms, technology companies are seen to have the best reputations while the tobacco and oil industries are viewed among the worst. The airline industry saw the largest decline in reputation last year.

Showing the biggest gains over the last two years among Harris’ ratings were Hewlett-Packard, which rose from #38 in 2006 to #17 last year; Berkshire Hathaway, up to #6 from 21 in 2006; Intel, which rose to #3 from 16, and McDonald’s, up to #38 from 47.

Taking the hardest hits were Bank of America, which slipped from #43 to 49, Halliburton (which remained at the bottom of the ranking at #60 and saw its rating fall), Wal-Mart (from #40 to 44), Sears (from #41 to 46) and Nike (from #25 to 35).

Internet Edition, July 16, 2008, Page 5


Qorvis Communications has launched Clarus Research Group, a polling and PA research firm, in conjunction with noted political consultant Ron Faucheux.

CRC is the result of the merger of Qorvis’ in-house capability with Faucheux Strategies.

Faucheux has worked in nearly 120 political races and ballot initiatives. He is former editor and publisher of Campaigns & Elections magazine, chief of staff to Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La), government affairs chief at American Institute of Architects, Louisiana Secretary of Commerce and member of the Pelican State’s House of Representatives. He moved from New Orleans to Washington 15 years ago.

Faucheux’s experience provides Clarus “instant credibility to build a solid corporate, advocacy and non-profit client base,” according to Qorvis managing partner Michael Petruzzello.


San Francisco-based Bite Communications has opened a Toronto office to tap growing consumer, enterprise and clean tech markets in Canada.

VP Will Willis heads up the outpost with a small team. He is a former senior PR manager at Bite client Advanced Micro Devices.

David Hargreaves, GM of North America for Bite, called Toronto a “strategic hub” for many of the firm’s tech clients. “It is very important to us that we meet their needs by opening this office,” he said, noting AMD and Sybase are two key clients to be served from Toronto.

BRIEFS: Gwendolyn Knapp, former PR director for PriceWeber, has set up her own Louisville, Ky.-based firm, Top Shelf Communications & PR. A key first assignment is providing strategic comms. services to DHL Express USA’s U.S. headquarters. ...A new network of PR firms has formed focused on the travel, transportation, luxury and lifestyle sectors. Hawkins International PR, New York, is the U.S. representative for the group, called The Marketing Orchestra - Global Communication Network, which includes FD (London); Martinengo - Global Marketing Communication (Milan); Wilde & Partner (Munich), and Sergat Espana (Barcelona), among others. Twenty countries are represented, the group said. Info: ...Travers Collins & Company, Buffalo, N.Y., chalked up 15 of the 26 Excalibur Awards given by PR Society’s Buffalo/Niagara (N.Y.) chapter in June. The firm took home gold awards for its work with the Univ. of Buffalo (community relations and external video), Catholic Charities (public service), Unshackle Upstate (public affairs and creative tactics). ...Litzky PR, which began in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, is marking its 20th year with a move across the Hudson River to Hoboken, N.J. Michele Litzky’s firm has 14 staffers and focuses on toys, entertainment, tech and publishing. Hasbro has been a client for 14 years. Litzky has revamped the firm’s corporate identity and website to mark the anniversary. Info:


New York Area

DKC, New York/BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis, pre-U.S. Open charity event, for PR for the fifth consecutive year.

Gibbs & Soell, New York/Seward & Kissel, financial district law firm, as AOR for PR.

MMG Mardiks, New York/ShermansTravelMedia, publisher, for media outreach and brand positioning.

Rubenstein PR, New York/The Laundry, East Hampton eatery, for PR.

all-outMedia, Williamstown, N.J./Post University, for re-brand of the school and to promote its main campus in Waterbury, Conn.


KG Partners, Portland, Me./Maine Center for Creativity, for PR for its Art All Around international competition.

DPR Group, Cary, N.C./Amana Tool, saw blades and boring bits maker, for strategic consulting and media relations in North America and regions of South America.

Brandon Advertising and PR, Myrtle Beach, S.C./
Burroughs & Chapin Co., for marketing and PR for its $250M Broadway at the Beach entertainment complex.

Ypartnership, Orlando, Fla./Grupo HIMA-San Pablo, Puerto Rico healthcare provider, a national PR push for its capabilities and facilities to the medical insurance industry.

Mountain West

Pure Brand Communications, Denver/Stetson, for integrated marketing, including events, in-store marketing, PR and online comms., following a review.


CameronWeeks Public Relations, Austin, Tex./Trans Pecos/El Paso Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization, as AOR for PR to launch the organization which fosters entrepreneurial relationships across the U.S.-Mexico border and focused on the El Paso area.


Lane PR, Portland, Ore./American Lung Assn. of Oregon, for pro bono PR.

Vantage Communications, San Francisco/Serious Materials, “green” building products, as AOR for PR.

Idea Hall, Cosa Mesa, Calif./Orange County Teacher’s Federal Credit Union; Springboard, financial literacy resources for consumers; Mi Pueblo Foods, No. Calif. grocery; Marcus & Millichap, brokerage firm; City of Victorville, and EnviroFinance Group, brownfield lending specialist, for marketing comms.

Loughlin/Michaels Group, Campbell, Calif./frevvo, web development software; Filtrbox, web-based media monitoring service, for PR.

Formula PR, San Diego/Tecate Light, beverage brand, for PR with an advertising push by MediaVest New York targeting Mexican and Mexican-American adults in the U.S.

JHG Townsend, San Diego/Tessera Technologies, packaging and consumer imaging solutions, as AOR for PR in the U.S., including product launches, trade show support and media/analyst rels.

Internet Edition, July 16, 2008, Page 6


New York Women in Communications has elected its slate of officers for the 2008-09 year with Weber Shandwick SVP Nancy Rabstejnek Nichols serving as president.

Nichols takes the reins from Kristine Welker, VP of sales and marketing for Hearst Digital Media, who continues on the board as immediate past president.

NYWICI counts nearly 1,500 members in media, marketing, publishing, PR and entertainment. Its annual Matrix Awards are a premier event in New York.

Rounding out the new board are: president-elect Denise Warren, senior VP, chief advertising officer, New York Times; secretary Nancy Megan, owner, Promotion Management; VP/finance, Jennifer Brisman, president, Events New York; VP/integrated marketing & comms. - branding, Dorothy Crenshaw, president, Stanton Crenshaw Communications; VP/integrated marketing & comms. - PR, Linda Levi, senior comms. officer, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital; VP/integrated marketing & comms. - editorial/content, Gail Griffin, general manager, Barron’s Online; VPs/membership, Marcia Cole, deputy managing editor,, founder,, and Renee Nino de Rivera, Nino de Rivera Communications, Inc.; VPs/programming: Leslie Hunt, associate director, outreach, EMBA Career Management, Columbia Univ., and Timi Lewis, director of corporate affairs & strategic planning, NYC TV; VP/sponsorship, Sue Katzen, assoc. publisher, Cosmopolitan; VP/strategic planning, Karen Karpowich, consultant; VPs/student affairs, Joan Cear, managing director, G.S. Schwartz & Co., and Linda Krebs, senior A/E, G.S. Schwartz & Co.


The Associated Press said the 2008 edition of its go-to Stylebook is one of the largest updates ever with more than 200 new entries from iPhone to WMD.

With the additions also come subtractions. Words that have been tossed from the new edition include blue blood, malarkey, milquetoast and Photostat. Entering the stylebook are high-definition, podcast and Wikipedia.

9/11 is now an acceptable alternative for the AP-preferred Sept. 11 in describing the terror attacks of 2001, and the “African-American” entry has been updated to indicate that term and “black” are not necessarily interchangeable, although the latter is acceptable for an American black person of African descent.

A new feature for the 2008 edition is a food and recipe style guide.

Cost is $18.95 via An online subscription version is $25/year.

BRIEFS: Reardon Smith Whittaker, a Cincinnati-based lead generation firm in the marketing sector, has been tapped by Velocity Studio, an Ontario-based marketing communications firm and RSW’s second Canadian client. ...eNR Services, Norwalk, Conn., said it has reached 500 users for its MediaQ monitoring application launched in mid-January. The tool tracks print, online, blogs and real-time broadcast news, according to the company. Info:



Len Dieterle, a Horn Group veteran, to Racepoint Group, Waltham, Mass., as executive VP. Marijean Lauzier, CEO of Racepoint, cited Dieterle’s expertise with Fortune 1000 companies in the B2B and enterprise software space in announcing the hire. Dieterle is a 20-year veteran who spent nine years at Porter Novelli.

John McGonegal, former SVP of equities at the American Stock Exchange, to The Investor Relations Group, New York, as an executive VP. He joins TIRG from Morningstar, where he was VP of business development and analyst research.

Victoria Breglio, director at Mullen, to 360 PR, Boston, as an A/D. She previously held posts at Fitzgerald Comms. and Regan Comms. Brittany Welch joins as an A/E from Shift Communications, and Stephanie Shih and John LeRoy join as A/Cs.

Katrina Limbaugh, senior A/E, The Treister Murry Agency, to Zig, part of MDC Partners, Chicago, as director of comms. Earlier, she was an A/E at 160over90 in Philadelphia.

Jacqueline Clark, client services director for law firm Polsinelli Shalton Flanigan Suelthaus, to Ash Grove Cement Company, Overland Park, Kan., as director of comms. and public affairs. She was formerly manager of public affairs at Hallmark Cards.

Fred Sainz, director of comms. and press secretary to Mayor Jerry Sanders of San Diego, to The Gill Foundation, Denver, as director of comms. and marketing, starting Aug. 18. The Foundation, started by tech entrepreneur Tim Gill, focuses on gay rights. Sainz was VP of public affairs for the San Diego Convention Center Corp. and worked at the Waitt Family Foundation, 1996 Republican National Convention.

Wendy St. Clair Pearson, who headed marketing, branding and comms. at Breakthrough Management Group, to Verio, Centennial, Colo., as senior director of marketing and comms. Earlier, she was director of marketing and comms. at ViaWest.

Douglas Maher, a former reporter and agency pro with stints at Grace Advertising, Medium 21 and The Blackstone Agency, to Media Mayhem Corp., Los Angeles, as a PR specialist.

Ariel Herr, VP in the consumer group at Michael A. Burns & Associates, to Forte PR, Dallas, as VP of client services. She was at Cummings McGlone & Assocs. when it merged with MAB in 2001. Also, Jade Falldine, a six-year veteran of Greystone Communications, joins Forte as senior VP of operations, and Madeline Clark, a sales assistant at Freeman, joins as a senior A/E.


Meredith Hall Vaughan to president, Vladimir Jones, Denver. The eight-year veteran of the firm founded its account planning unit and served as executive VP.


Stacey Krizan, CEO of The Wow Factory, to director of comms. for the board of directors of Meeting Professionals International’s Georgia Chapter.

Internet Edition, July 16, 2008, Page 7

SORRELL TELLS OF WOES (Cont'd from page 1)

The Times said WPP is under increasing pressure from giants like Google and Microsoft that can “dictate the future of advertising” by dealing directly with clients and bypassing companies like WPP.

It was against this backdrop that Sorrell said that WPP, which grew mostly by acquisitions, is threatened with becoming “over-bureaucratized.”

“The model we, Omnicom, Publicis and Interpublic have is the most difficult to manage, because you have different tribes [and] warring factions that work in isolation,” he said. He referred to McKinsey and Goldman Sachs as companies that are “strong” because they have “grown organically.”

At WPP, he said, “internal communications and internal politics are the bane of our lives.”

WPP’s first big acquisition was the hostile takeover of J. Walter Thompson in 1987 for $566M followed by the takeover of Ogilvy in 1989 for $864M, Young & Rubicam in 2000 and Grey in 2005.

Stocks Erode

Stocks of the five conglomerates, including Havas, are at their all-time or at least 52-week lows.

WPP is at the mid-$40’s, below where it was in 1990. It was slightly above $50 then, rose to about $100 in 2000, and has been in the $50-$75 range since then except for the past few weeks. Its shares are down 38% from the 52-week high.

Its debt is about $4 billion according to Generally Accepted Accounting Practices.

However, WPP reports its debt as “average net debt,” subtracting cash on hand from debt. This is not allowed under GAAP. Average net debt for Q1 of 2008 was reported as 1.66 billion pounds or about $3.3B vs. 1.08 billion pounds or about $2 billion in the same 2007 quarter.

OMC Debt is $3.08 Billion

Omnicom, whose stock is around $43, off 20% from its 52-week high of $55.45, was $53.50 on Dec. 17, 1999. It is comprised of more than 1,500 companies.

It reports debt both according to GAAP and by “net debt” although it notes the latter figure is not accepted under GAAP. Actual debt, according to Finance/Yahoo, is $3.08B.

Interpublic, with debt of just over $2B, is below $9, off 38% from its 52-week high.

Publicis, with about $2.8B in debt, is just below $20, off from its 2001 high of about $42.

Havas, at about $2, is at its all time low. It was as high as about $18 in 2001.

Total debt of the conglomerates is about $12B.

Omnicom several years ago was able to sell “CoCo” bonds (contingent convertibles) which carried no interest. The bonds, also known as “zero” bonds, were convertible to stock which supposedly would increase in value. OMC is paying “sweeteners” (interest) on such bonds.

It announced June 18 that the 2033 and 2038 series of zero bonds were all renewed with no redemptions. The interest rate paid was not provided.


Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., which describes itself as Wall Street’s “premiere sell-side research firm,” on July 8 downgraded Omnicom from “outperform” to “market perform.”

Five of the last six changes in advice on OMC from Wall Street Houses have been downgrades.

The stock has been in the low $40’s after achieving a new high of $55 earlier this year.

“Consumer spending slide killing Madison Ave.,” headlined the New York Post last week.

It feels adland is “growing increasingly pessimistic about its prospects this year, citing forecasts by industry analysts.

Robert Coen of Magna, media research arm of Interpublic, lowered his estimate of the ad spending gain in 2008 from 3.7% to 2%.

The Post quotes Coen as saying, “The advertising industry is presently in a severe slump.”

Banc of America Securities on Nov. 7, 2007 downgraded OMC from “buy” to “sell.”

Deutsche Securities on June 25, 2007, upgraded OMC from “hold” to “buy.”
UBS and BMO Capital Markets initiated coverage of OMC earlier this year.

Oppenheimer analysts met June 24 with OMC CFO Randall Weisenburger (although the report misspelled his name as “Heisenberg”) and kept its rating at “outperform.”

The report, by Jason Helfstein and Jennifer Dance, said OMC executives are seeing a “modestly weaker organic growth vs. 1Q but are not seeing a dramatic change in client spending.”

OMC “understands that conditions could weaken further” and is focused on maintaining earnings-per-share growth of 13-15% through expense control and share buybacks.


The PR Society candidate drought in the Tri-State district (New York, New Jersey and Conn.) is continuing, with the nominating committee forced to push back the deadline for candidates a second time to Friday, July 18.

Initial deadline was June 9. This was extended to June 30. Cheryl Procter-Rogers, 2006 chair, took over as chair of the nomcom on Jan. 1 this year.

Veteran Tri-State members say the failure of any of the hundreds of APR members to show up for the open board seat for the district is becoming an embarrassment to national leaders.

Current occupant of the district seat is Francis Onofrio, a counselor based in Bethany, Conn. He did not appear before the New York chapter during his term nor issue any public reports about PRS to members. There is no public record of his appearing before any of the other chapters including Westchester/Fairfield, Southern Conn. and Conn. Valley.

Calls and e-mails to Onofrio by this website were unanswered.

Some Tri-State members who are APR and could run for the board say they would not subject themselves to the strict silence imposed by leadership on directors.

New directors are “required” to sign an oath at the first meeting forbidding them from making any comments to the press about the Society or PR. They promise to keep all Society matters confidential.

PRS policy is that the elected CEO is the only person who can speak in behalf of the Society or about PR subjects in general. Directors mostly remain silent even after they leave the board.

Internet Edition, July 16, 2008, Page 8




The shaky stock market is proving especially hurtful to the ad conglomerate stocks and calls into question the viability of the conglomerate model.

Martin Sorrell’s remarks to the Financial Times about “warring factions” at WPP and internal politics “being the bane of our existence” are not helping the situation.

He also cast a jealous eye at companies like McKinsey and Goldman Sachs which he said have “grown organically.”

Sorrell mentioned the other conglomerates by name—Omnicom, Publicis and Interpublic (leaving out the much smaller Havas).

“The model” that such companies have is “the most difficult to manage because you have different tribes [and] warring factions that work in isolation,” he said.

Comments on the story were quick to come on “Sorrell is being very honest about major issues we have known for many years,” said “former PR exec with two WPP PR units,” adding: “The conglomerate model is not only broken, it has been a mess since its origin.”

PR firms in conglomerates not only compete with each other but within themselves… “teamwork is very rare between divisions and among executives of units in PR firms,” said the contributor.

Promised “synergies” often don’t work out, said another contributor and a third one wondered how long banks are going to float the conglomerates in view of the tighter credit. Combined debt of WPP, OMC, IPG and Publicis is about $12B and has been at that level for years.

Stock of WPP at $44 is back where it was in 1990 while OMC at $40 is where it was in 1998. Sanford Bernstein on July 8 downgraded OMC from “out perform” to “market perform” and Deutsche Bank on July 1downgraded IPG from “buy” to “hold.” Five of the six last changes in advice on OMC from Wall Street houses have been downgrades. “The ad industry is presently in a severe slump,” said researcher Robert Coen of the Magna research arm of IPG.

Also being battered and which has a big debt ($1.05B vs. revenues of $3.16B) is the New York Times. Its stock has sunk to $14 or where it was in 1986. It reached a high of $55 in 2002. CEO Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger has defied NYT tradition by running both the business and editorial sides. His hand is obvious in certain editorial policies. One subject off-limits is OMC while it’s practically open-season at the NYT on IPG.

WPP’s PR and PA businesses had a “stellar year” in 2007, said the 2007 WPP annual report. Revenues grew 8.2% not counting mergers, and 12.6% on a “constant currency” basis. Profit margin was 16.5%, up 1.5%. PR/PA makes up 10.5% of WPP’s revenues but 11.7% of profits.

A rosy picture is painted for Hill & Knowlton, Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy PR, Cohn & Wolfe, and GCI (C&W and GCI were merged earlier this month).

No dollar or employment figures are given.

Howard Paster, XVP of WPP PR/PA, said in 2003 that lawyers warned CFOs of the dangers of signing off on numbers because accounting principles differ from country to country. The conglomerates operate in numerous countries. WPP lawyers and executives of its PR firms had discussed the matter long and “vigorously” before making the decision to withhold numbers, Paster said in 2003. Sarbanes-Oxley provides jail terms and fines for misleading financial data.

The last figures given by the hundreds of conglomerate ad agencies and PR firms were for 2001, making 2007 the sixth straight year without such data. A total of 190 independent PR firms provided verified figures for the 2007 O’Dwyer rankings, topped by Edelman’s $395M in fees.

B-M, H&K and Ogilvy “made excellent progress” in 2007 as B-M “continued operating from strength in the U.S. while rebounding in Europe,” says the WPP report. “B-M benefited from good years at its BKSH, Direct Impact, and Penn, Schoen & Berland subsidiaries. H&K maintained its broad leadership in Europe and showed special growth in Canada, the Middle East and Asia. Ogilvy did well in all regions while sustaining its leadership in China.”C&W and GCI turned in “impressive results,” with C&W again delivering “the highest margin among the WPP PR networks.”

H&K CEO Paul Taaffe said H&K celebrated its 80th birthday by reaching “record levels.” Every region and practice expanded, he said, with 20%+ growth in the Gulf, Australia, China, Canada, Denmark, Hungary, Sweden, Puerto Rico, Spain and New York. H&K has 72 offices in 41 countries. Largest clients, served in many countries, include Amgen, Deloitte, HP, Merck and P&G. Major new clients include HSBC, Qatar Financial Centre Authority, Alstom, Castrol, Nord Stream and the OPEC Conference.

On the subject of international accounting rules, the Bush Administration is proposing a shift to international rules for financial reporting (NYT 7/5). Such rules are “weaker” than U.S. rules and would put U.S. investors “at the mercy of overseas regulators,” said the NYT. It feels a “last-ditch effort” is being made to dilute rules passed after the Enron and other scandals … IRS Form 990, which would show the salary of PR Society COO Bill Murray, was not filed by the first deadline, May 15. A PRS staffer said the filing may be made either by the next deadline of Aug. 15 or by Nov. 15, the final deadline (which would be after the PRS Assembly Oct. 25) ... we don’t know how the nine educators who are seeking national office at PRS can associate their institutions of learning with the formal press boycott that has been passed by the PRS board. We doubt their school officials would allow this. The link to the PRS e-mail disclosing the boycott against this NL is as follows (click here). Charges are made against us but no specifics are provided (because the charges would dissolve at the merest light shed on them). The candidates are Rosanna Fiske, Fla. Int’l Univ.; Vince Hazleton, Radford; Jeff Douglas, Va./Md. Veterinary College; Deborah Silverman, Buffalo State; Amy Barnes, Univ. of Ark.; Susan Walton, Brigham Young; Steve Grant, Nat’l Educ. Assn., Carolyn Bobo, Texas Christian, and Ann Knabe, Univ of Wisc.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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