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Internet Edition, December 9, 2009, Page 1


A coalition of agricultural groups in California has banded together to hire a PR firm boost the image of growers in the state and “reconnect consumers to the source of their food supply.”

The group, under the auspices of the California Agricultural Communications Coalition and led by the 80-year-old Western Growers Association, issued an open RFP on Dec. 2 for a firm to improve consumer perceptions of Golden State agriculture and foster greater collaboration in the industry.

A three-year contract worth $357,500 is planned from February 2010 through June 2010.

The group includes 90 organizations and the group said the RFP for PR represents the first formal communications effort across the sector.

To be considered, firms must have a history of working with diverse coalitions (preferably in California agriculture) and have expertise in consumer research, strategic planning, crisis management and both traditional and new media relations.

Pitches are due by Jan. 15 with questions due by Jan. 8. Check for the RFP.


The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is looking for a PR firm to handle its $11K a-month budget to promote its specialty within organized medicine.

The 2,800-member group is circulating an RFP to generate positive media coverage in “health and beauty venues.” The goal is to “brand facial plastic surgery” and the organization's tagline “trust your face to a facial plastic surgeon” in the minds of the public.

The Academy calls “specialization” one of the greatest enhancements in patient care during the last generation. Its members are equipped with a “more comprehensive training in facial surgery” (face, head and neck) than other doctors who deal with the whole body.

Women represent 84 percent of cosmetic surgery patients. More than half (52 percent) of customers are aged 35 to 60 years-old.

The AAFPRS wants a PR firm to develop story “hooks,” pitch ideas, promote meetings, arrange a media tour/day in New York City with at least eight interviews for the national beauty/health print and broadcast media.

Proposals are due Dec. 16. Face-to-face meetings are slated for New York in January. The campaign will begin by March 1.

Rita Chua Magness ([email protected]), marketing and publications director, is handling questions.


U.K.-based PR conglomerate Huntsworth said it will acquire public affairs firm Dutko Worldwide and its subsidiaries for $33.6M from its employees and Lake Capital Partners. The deal includes the assumption of $9.7M in Dutko's net debt and brings Lake Capital, a $1.3B Chicago-based equity firm, into the fold as a Huntsworth investor with a stake expected to grow to 9.4% by next year.

“We have been looking for some time for the right opportunity in Washington to extend our international public affairs network,” said Peter Chadlington, CEO of Huntsworth, which owns the PA firm Grayling in the U.S.

The D.C.-based Dutko operation, founded in 1981, has 10 offices in the U.S. and was dubbed the largest independent public policy management group by revenue in the country. Government affairs, strategic consulting, grassroots, polling and risk management are among its offerings.

Mark Irion, CEO, and his executive team will remain in place.

Huntsworth said the move marks a “significant contribution” to its developing PA operations that will grow to more than $50M in revenue worldwide on completion of the deal.

Dutko’s client roster includes blue chips like Booz Allen Hamilton, Citgo Petroleum and GlaxoSmithkline. Its healthcare experience was a particular attraction for Huntsworth amid the U.S. overhaul in that sector. It noted 96 percent of DW’s revenues are held on a retainer basis. Revenues for 2008 were $33.3M.

The $33.6M acquisition price consists of $22.2M in Huntsworth shares at completion of the deal, and another $11.4M in shares at the end of 2010. Earn-outs could stretch the deal to a maximum of $44.6M.


Veteran PR pro Andy Hopson has joined Noble, a full service ad agency with billings in the $130M range, as president of its Chicago office.

Most recently, Hopson was running Real Good Idea, a digital marketing communications shop. His resume includes head of Burson-Marsteller's New York office and Ruder Finn’s outpost in Chicago.

Hopson was COO of Publicis Dialog, which launched in the U.S. following Publicis Groupe's acquisition of EvansGroup, where Hopson was president.

He has counseled Bank of America, Nestle, Starbucks, Consumer Electronics Assn., AT&T, Centers for Disease Control and Southwest Airlines.


Internet Edition, December 9, 2009, Page 2


The People’s Republic of China has launched an image campaign to show how the “world’s factory” works hand-in-hand with production partners throughout the world. The effort is designed to raise the quality image of Chinese goods and cool protectionist fires.

The Chinese press hails the effort as a “PR breakthrough” and the country’s initial effort into the “branding” arena. China Daily calls the campaign part of the government’s “global charm offensive” to get more China-made products into the hands of consumers.

Omnicom’s DDB unit created the “Made in China. Made with the Rest of the World.” spots that recently popped up on CNN International, CNN Headline News and CNN U.S. The ads show a fashion shoot with the hook, “Made in China with French Designers,” and an image of an MP3 player with the tag, “Made in China with Software from Silicon Valley.” The campaign will run through the rest of the year.

A statement from China’s Ministry of Commerce says the campaign is to promote Chinese products in a “fair and objective way.” The effort is to show the willingness of Chinese manufacturers to strengthen “cooperation with other countries to provide quality goods for foreign customers.”

The Ministry is funding the effort with help from China Advertising Assn. of Commerce and local chambers of commerce representing the machinery, electrical products, textiles and industrial goods sectors.

DDB runs ads for McDonald’s, Volkswagen, Tropicana, Lipton and Philips in China.


Michel Schreiber, who was founding CEO of United eWay, is now senior VP-member relations & chief development officer at Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.

His task is to attract more companies to fund corporate disease fighting programs and to iron out partnership arrangements. Schreiber also will promote GBC as a "hub" for collaboration and collective action, according to the New York-based organization's release.

Schreiber served as CIO of United Way of America and president at Truist, a social enterprise forged by the merge of United eWay and Create Hope.

Earlier he worked at Deloitte in positions geared to development in Namibia and other African nations. He served in an operational post at the U.S. Embassy in Gambia.

Working with more than 200 companies, the GBC has offices in Johannesburg, Nairobi, Beijing and Moscow.


Wells Fargo has hired the Democratic firm Podesta Group for input on legislation regarding mortgage originations and servicing.

The Treasury Dept. on Nov. 30 warned banks that it will soon levy fines on mortgage lenders who don’t speed up efforts to lower payments to struggling homeowners. About 650,000 borrowers have completed trial runs in the Home Affordable Modification Program to cut foreclosure rates. Banks have been criticized for being too slow to convert those trials into permanent mortgage payment cuts.

The Treasury says starting this month it will issue report cards on how well banks make trial modifications permanent.

Wells Fargo ranks No. 3 with more than 93,000 trial modifications, according to Reuters. It trails Bank of America (137,000) and JPMorgan Chase (134K).

Wells Fargo’s Podesta team includes Izzy Klein (ex-communications director for Sen. Chuck Schumer and press secretary for Rep. Ed Markey), Nicole Young (former aide to Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm), Oscar Ramirez (ex-chief of staff for Labor Secretary Hilda Solis) and Lauren Maddox (senior communications advisor to then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich).


The Grocery Manufacturers Assn. has retained Glover Park Group to handle issues concerning biofuels.

The Washington-based group, which represents the $2.1T food/beverage and consumer packaged goods sector, stood as a staunch backer of the Affordable Food and Fuel for America Act introduced in July by Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Mary Bono Mack (R-CA).

That backing stemmed from the measure’s intention to shift subsidies from conventional biofuels to future generations of bio-energy products.

The GMA contends that an overzealous pursuit of a national biofuels strategy could result in higher food prices, a decrease in corn exports and environmental degradation.

Gregg Rothschild is handling GMA’s biofuels. He was a Sen. John Kerry’s legislative director and deputy chief of staff and chief counsel at the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The New York Times reported Nov. 27 that the recession has dealt a major blow to America’s ethanol plans. Congress had mandated that the nation’s gasoline refiners blend a rising volume of ethanol and other bios into gasoline to cut the reliance on foreign oil. The country now has a glut of ethanol.


Vladimir Jones, the former Praco PR and Advertising, has been tapped for a federally funded $5M PR campaign to help Colorado’s citizens use stimulus funds and programs to curb energy use and build a greener economy.

Gov. Bill Ritter revamped a 32-year-old state office under his purview to become the Governor’s Energy Office in 2007 with the goal of building a “new energy” economy in the Centennial State.

Tom Plant, director of the GEO, announced the major public service and outreach campaign on Nov. 30. The effort will span two years, starting in the spring of 2010, and is funded by the federal stimulus legislation through the Dept. of Energy.

Vladimir Jones, based in Colorado Springs, picked up the work after an RFP process.

Plant said the goal is to create a one-stop clearinghouse of information that will be achieved through an online, media and local grassroots push via VJ.

VJ’s contract could be extended for up to five years.


Internet Edition, December 9, 2009, Page 3


Comcast and General Electric officially sealed the deal to create a $37B joint venture that combines NBC Universal with Comcast's cable networks.

GE is contributing assets worth $30B including its TV network, cable stations (MSNBC, Bravo, CNBC), filmed entertainment and theme parks to the venture.

Comcast will contribute properties worth $7.25B including cable properties (Golf Channel, E! and Versus), ten regional sports channels and digital properties to the venture plus pay GE $6.5B in cash.

Comcast will own 51 percent of the revamped NBC Universal media giant. It will create Comcast Entertainment Group to house its NBCU stake. Comcast Cable will run the Philadelphia-based company's traditional cable operations.

Jeff Zucker, CEO of NBCU, will head the new operation. He will report to Steve Burke, Comcast's CEO.

Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, told investors the deal enables his company to “become a leader in the development and distribution of multi-platform ‘anytime, anywhere’ media that American consumers are demanding.”


“Technology makes it cheap and easy to distribute news for anyone with Internet access, but producing journalism is expensive,” said News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch during his testimony at the Federal Trade Commission on Dec. 1.

Quality content is not free, he said at the workshop called “From Town Crier to Bloggers: How will Journalism Survive the Internet Age.”

In the future, “good journalism will depend on the ability of a news organization to attract customers by providing news and information they are willing to pay for.”

Murdoch said the old business model based on surviving on advertising-only is dead. That was contingent on running “quasi-monopolies” such as classified ads that now go to sites such as Craigslist, and
Though online advertising is increasing, “that increase is only a fraction of what is being lost with print advertising.”

Murdoch believes people will pay for online news if the information is useful and has value. “Our customers are smart enough to know that you don't get something for nothing,” he said.

The News Corp. chief took issue with “some of our friends online” who “think they have a right to take our news content and use it for their own purposes without contributing a penny to its production.”

He took aim at those who re-run material under the name of “fair use.” The “wholesale misappropriation of our stories in not fair use,” said Murdoch. To be impolite, it’s theft.”

Murdoch told the FTC when news is misappropriated, “it destroys the economics of producing high quality content.”

He said “aggregators” need news organizations because minus their content flat-screen TVs, computers, cell phones, iPhones, and Blackberrys would be blank slates.

The current situation where “content creators bear the costs, while aggregators enjoy many of the benefits is untenable over the long run.”

News Corp is “going to ensure that it gets a fair but modest price for the value that it provides.”


The Washington Times is cutting about 40 percent of its 370-member staff and will distribute the paper free of charge to movers and shakers in the D.C. market.

Publisher Jonathan Slevin told staffers the paper will have an improved online presence, more focused print edition, exclusive news and commentaries.

The paper, however, must “reshape operations to keep pace with the dynamically changing economics of the news business.” The goal is to “achieve economies of scale.”

The WT will collaborate more closely with its sister Unification Church-owned property, United Press International, expand its three-hour radio program, “America's Morning News,” and beef up the site.


Randy Michaels, the radio executive who joined Tribune Co. with real estate mogul Sam Zell’s move to take the media company private, is now CEO. Zell remains chairman.

The 68-year-old Zell said Michaels has the “creativity, expertise and passion” to move the owner of the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and Los Angeles Times forward.

Michaels called Tribune Co. a company with “world-class brands in print, on air and online.” His job is to make sure the Tribune chalks up “cutting edge success on the bottom line.”


Richard Wolffe, who joined Public Strategies from Newsweek earlier this year, is leaving the firm to write a book about the current White House, his second tome on Obama.

Wolffe was Newsweek’s senior White House correspondent covering the two terms of President George W. Bush before leaving for PS in April. He wrote a book about the Obama campaign, “Renegade,” released in June by Random House’s Crown imprint.

A frequent TV commentator, he drew some fire and dropped off the cable news radar until recently after appearing on MSNBC while on the Public Strategies payroll.

PS, owned by WPP, is headed by former Bush communications director Dan Bartlett.

Wolffe was at the Financial Times before Newsweek.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, December 9, 2009, Page 4


AOL, which will officially spin-off from Time Warner this week, is paying PR chief Tricia Primrose a salary of $425K this year, according to its information statement related to the corporate split. That is up 10.4 percent from her earlier pact.

The 45-year-old executive VP-communications is entitled to a bonus up to 75 percent of her salary. That bonus is geared to achieving targets such as strengthening the PR team, communicating internally and externally AOL’s social media strategy and launching product initiatives to bolster revenues.

Primrose’s contract runs through Nov. 30, 2010. In addition to the incentive comp, Primrose participates in the "2009 cash retention program" that was established "due to the uncertainty of the company’s continued status as a subsidiary of TW."

That program, which went into effect in March for one-year, is to provide additional cash to key employees during a transition period. Primrose is eligible to receive a one-time payment of $190K providing she remains an employee and "maintains a satisfactory performance level during the bonus period."

Primrose joined AOL in 1999, but served as VP-corporate communications at TW from 2001 to 2005. Earlier, she was executive VP at Robinson Lerer & Montgomery.

AOL is lopping off 2,500 workers or one-third of its force. The voluntary buyout plan runs through Dec. 11. AOL merged with TW in 2000 in a $160B deal. The company’s annual revenues dropped from $8.6B in 2004 to $4.2B in 2008. Nine-month 2009 revenues are down 25 percent to $2.4B. Net is off 43 percent to $247M.


Thomson Reuters has nabbed former BusinessWeek editor-in-chief Stephen Adler for a new position overseeing editorial for its professional division.

Adler, who helmed BW for four years until its acquisition by Bloomberg last month, takes the role of senior VP and editorial director for the unit, which includes legal (Westlaw), tax and accounting (Checkpoint), and healthcare/science (Solucient, Medstat) businesses. He reports directly to division CEO Jim Smith and serves on Reuters News editor-in-chief David Schlesinger’s leadership team.

Adler, 54 and a Harvard Law School grad, is a 16-year veteran of the Wall Street Journal, where he was both legal and investigative editor, as well as deputy managing editor. He was previously editor of The American Lawyer magazine.

Bloomberg named Time vet Josh Tyrangiel editor of BW last month.

TR also said Dec. 1 that it completed its acquisition of Breakingviews, the financial commentary news service, now dubbed Reuters Breakingviews. The service is used by key papers like the New York Times, Le Monde and Daily Telegraph.

BW Adds Rose

Bloomberg's BusinessWeek, meanwhile, has tapped TV interviewer Charlie Rose as a weekly columnist.

The 67-year-old journalist, who continues as executive producer of the "Charlie Rose" TV program on PBS, will "showcase" insights from his talks with prominent people in business, politics and other areas for the weekly magazine.

The Bloomberg TV network re-broadcasts Rose's show.

“This relationship makes new possibilities for me in the global conversation,” Rose said in a statement. His first column is slated for the Dec. 21 edition.

Bloomberg closed its acquisition of BusinessWeek on Dec. 1. The addition of Rose follows the ending of CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo's weekly BW column, FaceTime.


In a case of interesting timing for Golf Digest and the White House, embattled pro Tiger Woods adorns the magazine’s January cover in a photo illustration featuring him with President Barack Obama.

GD Editor Bob Carney said the magazine has been getting letters regarding the photo mash-up and Woods’ crash in light of the media circus that followed the auto accident.

Attempting to volley some criticism, Carney said the issue went to press on Nov. 14 and stressed that it was not a Woods-Obama photo shoot but a photo illustration based on a shoot with body doubles.

Carney said letters to the magazine on the Woods incident have been “remarkably thoughtful, perceptive, often forgiving, and in some cases moving. And certainly some are, well, corrective.”

The magazine is printing letters on its blog.


Peter Liguori, president of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company, has moved to Discovery Communications as chief operating officer, a role encompassing marketing, DC’s studios, corporate communications/affairs, buiness affairs and other operations.

Liguori reports to CEO David Zaslav and takes over for Mark Hollinger, who was named president and CEO of Discovery Networks International.

He’ll also be the company’s lead rep in its joint ventures with Hasbro and the Oprah Winfrey Network. DC is based in Silver Spring, Md.

He took the Fox slot in 2005 after serving as president of News Corp. sister company FX Networks since 1998. Liguori was previously VP of consumer marketing at HBO and started out in the advertising sector.


Judy Nolte, editor-in-chief of Meredith Corp.’s American Baby magazine, is retiring, the company said.

Dana Points, editor-in-chief of Parents, is taking over Nolte’s editorial oversight.

Nolte was president of the American Society of Magazine Editors from 1986-88.

She was previously with Condé Nast Publications as associate merchandise editor of Bride’s magazine after a career as a high school English and speech teacher.

Internet Edition, December 9, 2009, Page 5


Food Fete, which produces invitation-only media events in the food and beverage sectors, has created a product sampling service based on research that more than 80 percent of journalists told the firm they would like to receive samples of products from trade shows they can’t attend.

The service, Food Fete Delivered, is a single shipment of five to 10 new products sent to 100 food editors and bloggers. Cost is $1,200 per product and the shipments are branded from Food Fete. Product info, photos and other materials are made available online.

The first shipment is slated for January with others timed to coincide with major industry events in 2010. Seasonal and thematic packages are also being planning.

Perishable or alcoholic products are not currently included. Chocolate is okay during cooler months.


Kearsarge Global Advisors, Washington, D.C., said it is launching a joint venture with London-based I.W. Osborne & Co. called Sphere Consulting, which will ultimately be the new name for KGA.

The firms, which have collaborated on various projects around the globe, said the venture aims to improve the way public affairs and government relations efforts are managed. It has two hub teams, based in D.C. and London, and says senior executives manage clients.

A promotional video for the venture knocks the conglomerate model of integrated communications, noting disparate units like PR and grassroots are rarely aware of the others’ work.

“We think that model is outdated so we built a new way,” a narrator says.

Jim Courtovich, managing partner at KGA, said in announcing the move that it broadens his firm’s scope of services, increases in-house talent and brings a new and better model.

BRIEFS: IPREX, the global network of independent firms, has elected Sao Paolo-based Item Comunicacao as a partner, its 67th. ...Fenton Communications was awarded a GSA schedule worth $550K for advertising and communications services, opening the door to work with the federal government. ...GlobalHealthPR, Washington, D.C., has released the second edition of the “Global Guide to Pharma Marketing Codes.” The 86-page updated version adds pharma marketing info for Mexico and Argentina. It covers basic pharma promotional regulations for marketing and PR, and provides an FAQ about what is and isn’t permitted in respect to media and third-party involvement. Rules for France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Span, the U.K. and U.S. were also updated. Cost: $199 or $149 (digital) via ...Paul Bell, CEO of Bell Pottinger Sans Frontieres, was named CEO of the Bell Pottinger Group, Chime Communications’ PR division. Bell takes over on Jan. 1. ...Burson-Marsteller has formed a partnership with D.C.-based political and public affairs shop Winning Strategies, which is led by Democratic advisor Robin Leeds.



Maloney & Fox has won a competitive review for Tupperware Brands’ PR account.

DeVries PR previously handled PR for several years for the iconic storage container brand.

M&F takes on AOR duties for the products and its Chain of Confidence campaign, including consumer and business media relations, events, creative campaigns and social media. The two-year-old CoC effort includes an online community for women to share experiences, and supports the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

M&F’s pitch team, backed by parent firm Waggener Edstrom, donned retro bathing caps in their meeting with Tupperware executives in Orlando. The agency said they wanted to show they were not afraid to “dive off the high board and take the plunge into the deep end.”

Elinor Steele, VP of global PR for Tupperware, said in a statement that Tupperware saw M&F’s “creative thinking” as a way to capture the attention of media, its sale force and the business community. “And we knew they’d make our business trips to New York a heckuva lot of fun,” she said.

New York Area

Affect Strategies, New York/Esprida Corp., remote management solutions to self-service and kiosk markets; INTTRA, e-commerce for ocean freight shipping industry, and A-List Education, test prep and educational services, for PR and social media engagement.

The Investor Relations Group, New York/Quepasa Corp., social media/network company, for IR and PR.


Duffy & Shanley, Providence, R.I./Staples, to manage its 2009 holiday season PR efforts, including traditional media relations, along with social media and digital efforts. The firm handled a smaller piece of Staples’ 2008 holiday push, but takes on the entire campaign this year.


Articulon, Raleigh, N.C./Holiday Express, public holiday event in Raleigh, for PR.


rbb PR, Miami/Zumba Fitness, fitness brand, as AOR for the international exercise company, including brand management counsel, national media relations support, and partnership and promo evaluation.


Pierpont Communications, Houston/Blockbuster Inc., for national corporate communications support. Michelle Metzger, VP, heads the account. Randy Hargrove, senior director of corporate comms. at the video rental giant, recently left after 10 years.


The Bohle Company, Los Angeles/Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers, for social media and traditional PR for its annual trade show in Las Vegas; and Westec2010, trade show in L.A. in March, for PR, advertising and SM.

j. simms agency, San Diego/RDP Motorsport; NOS Parts, and Best of Show Automotive, all auto sector companies, for PR.

Internet Edition, December 9, 2009, Page 6


Veteran southern California sales executive Tasha Huang has joined Business Wire as the company’s regional sales manager in Newport Beach, Calif.

Huang was a national account rep at EPS Corp. and has held similar posts at First American, Pullar Data Systems and Chevron.

At BW, she is responsible for sales and operations in the region and reports to Morrissey Perfetti, regional VP for Southern California.


D S Simon Productions, New York, worked with Macy’s to produce, shoot, and edit footage for two “behind the scenes” webisodes for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The webisodes were syndicated online as part of an Internet media tour and hit the front page of

The video PR company also produced B-Roll featuring the latest additions to the parade.


Image Monster, Wilmington, N.C., produced what it calls the largest boat wrap ever produced at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this month.

The technique applied a graphic design to large vinyl sheets which were wrapped around a 60-foot power boat at the Charleston, S.C., event.

Clay Gaillard, PR manager of Cummins MerCruiser Diesel, which makes the engines that are showcased on the model boat, called the stunt a “sensation.”

“The boat got tremendous exposure,” he said. “Everyone was talking about it.”

Image Monster’s Jed McDonough said it took three people three days to “wrap” the boat in the water-resistant graphics.


Christopher Ryan, managing director of Colorado-based Fusion Marketing Partners, has published “How to Create an Unstoppable Marketing and Sales Machine: An Introduction to Fusion Marketing,” a 318-page tome on tactics for getting media, marketing sales results.

Ryan said the book is targeted toward CEOs, marketing managers, PR practitioners, sales departments and business owners and shows how to create a strong connection between the marketing and sales departments and transforms the lead generation and sales process

The book is the fourth by the technology marketing veteran and is available in softcover and ebook via amazon or

BRIEFS: Vocus has added Soundcraft Studer (U.K.), a mixing console designer, as a client of its on-demand PR software. In addition to tracking and traditional PR , the company said it plans to use the Vocus software to monitor social media to get customer feedback. Vocus has also added viritual events company ON24 as a new customer. ...Washington Women in PR will hold its annual holiday party on Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Gordon Biersch, 900 F St., N.W. Free hors d’oeuvres, drinks.



Chad Latz, a top digital pro at Ketchum, has moved to Cohn & Wolfe as president of its global digital practice. Latz was a senior VP in a 10-year career at Ketchum Digital and its Stromberg Consulting unit handling programs for clients like FedEx, Kodak and PepsiCo. He founded the creative design and tech practice at Stromberg, which Ketchum acquired in 2001. He was previously studio director at Chavin Labert Advertising. At C&W, he’ll report to CEO Donna Imperato and lead the development of its digital and social media offerings. Imperato, in a statement, called digital and social media “the driving force in communications today.”

Joshua King, chief spokesman and VP at The Hartford Financial Services Group for the past six years, has moved to insurance broker Willis Group Holdings in a senior VP role overseeing group marketing and communications.King takes over the Willis Group slot vacated by Valerie DiMaria, who stepped down in September to direct client strategy at Peppercom. King headed external corporate and business unit comms. at The Hartford. He joined the company in 2003 from WPP’s Penn, Schoen & Berland, where he was a senior VP. He was previously director of production in the White House office of communications during the Clinton administration. At Willis Group, he takes the title senior VP, group marketing and communications, responsible for global external, internal and executive comms., as well as philanthropy, community relations and events. He reports directly to CEO and group chairman Joe Plumeri.

Elaine Chan, editor at the South China Morning Post, has shifted to FD for a senior VP role. She will spearhead FD’s crisis communications efforts and provide media relations service to clients in Hong Kong and the rest of China. Chan, a six-year veteran of the SCMP, covered the business beat. Earlier, she served as Shanghai bureau chief for Bloomberg. Chan's hire is part of FD's push to bolster its presence in China. In October, the firm established a public affairs practice in Beijing. It recruited MS&L Worldwide alum Jack Zhang to head up the practice. Before moving to PR, Zhang spent 10 years at China Central Television.


Gwin Johnston will retake the helm of JohnstonWells on Jan. 1 as president/CEO as daughter, GG Johnston, leaves the firm. The 66-year-old founder and chairman of the Denver-based firm had turned over the reins to GG, a 15-year veteran of the firm, in February. She is leaving to “venture into the world outside the family business,” according to a statement on JW's website. Johnston founded the firm 38 years ago.


Internet Edition, December 9, 2009, Page 7


Tiger Woods’ corporate sponsors Nike, Gillette and Gatorade, which supported the embattled golfer following his 2 a.m. car crash a day after Thanksgiving, now face pressure to cut ties following revelations about a several alleged extramarital, sexual affairs.

Accenture, AT&T and Tag Heuer are among other sponsors of the golf pro. Woods’ behavior will be front-and-center when it comes time to renew those deals. Sponsors accounted for an estimated $900M of Woods’ $1 billion earnings in pro golf.

Needs to Tell Own Story

New York counselor Mike Paul said that the big PR mistake of Woods was letting others tell the story rather than himself. Paul has been appearing on NBC-TV and cable TV channels advising Woods to face questioning in public and “tell the truth.”

The “truth” is very bad in this instance, said Paul, but it's still better for the person involved to be the one who tells it.

Numerous reports are now surfacing of Woods’ relationships with a number of women, Paul noted.

Woods released a lengthy statement on his website Dec. 2, apologizing to his fans, admitting to “transgressions” and saying he has “not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves.”

“Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions,” he wrote.

“I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect,” he continued. “I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.” is reporting that the Woods organization paid for a trip to Australia made in November by Rachel Uchitel. She has denied any romantic relationship with Woods.

In a statement Nov. 30, Nike said: “Tiger and his family have Nike’s full support. We respect Tiger’s request for privacy and our thoughts are with Tiger and his family at this time.”

Gatorade said: “We wish Tiger well as he recovers and look forward to seeing him back on the course soon. Our partnership with Tiger continues.”

Makovsky, Nicolazzo Reject 'Privacy' Argument

Ken Makovsky, chairman of Makovsky + Co., New York, said that any figure as public as Woods “does not really have a private life, unfortunately.” He feels Woods was wrong to reject questioning by police three times after making an appointment to speak with the police.

Avoidance of the press early on is not helping Woods' case, said Makovsky. Failure to put all the cards on the table immediately has only increased the public's skepticism, ceding control of the story, he said.

While he has now apologized for his transgressions, the apology is late in coming, thereby making the public even more curious, while compromising his relationship with corporate sponsors.

Richard E. Nicolazzo, managing partner, Nicolazzo & Associates, Boston, said: "It’s about time Eldrick has begun to take the ‘Tiger’ by the tail and deal with the reality of the situation.”

Nicollazzo said that while Woods' driving and legal issues may be behind him, he has a long road ahead to regain public trust, confidence and respect from the public. “Stay tuned because unfortunately there is more to come,” he said.


Marketing holding company Cossette, the Canada-based parent to PainePR and Brown & Brown PR, has accepted an increased takeover offer from Mill Road Capital worth about $135M potentially ending a takeover battle waged since July.

Mill Road, a Connecticut-based investment firm, raised its $7.87-per-share offer to $8.10 (from roughly $131.5M to $135M) and Cossette’s board approved the offer on Nov. 30 after the two parties reached a deal earlier this month.

The increase is a 150 percent premium on Cossette’s $3.25 share price on July 17, when another private equity firm, Cosmos Capital, initiated a $4.95-per-share (about $72M) takeover of the company. Cosmos, which raised its offer to match Mill Road's $7.87-a-share pitch earlier this month, is led by two former Cossette executives.

Cossette’s board rejected the Cosmos deal saying it undervalued the independent company and expressing reservations about the former executives’ plans to run the company. Cossette shares have risen since the battle began to now trade above $8.

The Mill Road deal carries a termination fee of $4.5M for Cossette. Cossette’s shareholders will consider the deal in a special meeting on Dec. 18.

Irvine, Calif.-based PainePR had revenue of $13.7M in 2008 with 80 staffers. Cossette acquired the firm in 2004.


Venable has a $240K one-year contract to promote Hong Kong as a China’s "pre-eminent international business city" and a strong supporter of free trade.

The firm is to ensure that any Congressional action on China trade relations in areas such as food safety, environmental protection, human/labor rights, cap & trade, intellectual property and anti-dumping will not negatively Hong Kong’s commercial relationship with the U.S.

Venable coordinates its activities with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Washington. Former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh (D-Ind.) leads the Hong Kong account with Raymond Shepherd, former chief counsel at the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council retains the right to revoke the contract if either Bayh or Shepherd withdraws from the account.

Bayh and Shepherd also may reach out to non-governmental organizations to make sure that "issues affecting the interests of Hong Kong are put in the proper perspective," according to the contract.


Internet Edition, December 9, 2009, Page 8




Although Tiger Woods is being tried in the Court of Public Opinion, he is mostly listening to the advice of those who practice in the Court of Law.

The PR advice, as usual, is to come clean quickly with all the facts no matter how bad they may be. The Court of Public Opinion renders swift justice and does not wait around for briefs to be filed.

In this case, the truth is so awful—multiple sexcapades over many years with many partners—that heavy penalties must be paid.

To make amends for all the hundreds of millions that he took under false pretenses, Tiger should return whatever is left to his sponsors or to charities.

He has not only cheated his wife and sponsors who paid him $900 million of the $1 billion he has taken in, but has compromised President Obama.

The January Golf Digest features Obama and Woods on the cover lining up a putt with the headline: “10 Tips Obama Can Take from Tiger.”

One of them is “The Danger of Looking Ridiculous.” Woods advises Obama to keep his golf-playing habits to himself just like Woods keeps so much of his own life private. Woods does not, for instance, appear on “Dancing with the Stars.”

“Tiger never does anything that would make himself look ridiculous,” goes the advice which turns out to be ridiculous itself in the light of what started to come out Nov. 27.

Even phonier than the article are the three full pages of pictures of Obama and Woods that are actually the heads of the two men pasted on others’ bodies. The pictures are as fake as can be but the only hint of that is the notation in small type that they are “photo illustrations.”

Tiger could have described his complete lack of discipline in sexual matters, admitted the many liaisons over the years, apologized for cheating his wife, fans and sponsors, and offered to donate what’s left of his sponsorship income to charities including one that helps those who have lost control of their sex drives. He should also submit to sexual behavior counseling.

None of the sponsors such as Nike and Gatorade would have let their names within ten miles of Tiger had there been any evidence of sexual misbehavior.

All the money in the world is not going to help Tiger now. We’re sure he would rather be a penniless bum than carry the burden of the public knowing he defrauded so many millions of people for so long.

Us Magazine, which has been on top of this story, now saying that nine alleged paramours of Tiger have come forward, is calling this “the biggest sports scandal of all time.”

Slate columnist Jack Shafer said Tiger’s puff merchants had raised him to the status of “divinity” and no one should feel guilty for finding the Tiger saga “irresistible.”

This story has “good legs” and will be fodder for many a late night talk show.

The legal approach that is being used by the Tiger team is having disastrous results.

Tiger owes the public and sponsors big time and he must pay up. “What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul” (Mark 8:36) is a Biblical saying that is apropos.

The Tiger incident shows the weakness of PR pros who advise Tiger. They have not been able to make their case for PR forcefully enough. This is true almost throughout the business and organizational world.

Lawyers are out-arguing PR pros. Even at the PR Society itself legal arguments are dominant.

Lawyers are trained to argue before a jury of twelve, or a single judge or a small panel of judges. They think in terms of plaintiffs and defendants, our side vs. their side. Critics or those seeking some kind of relief are seen as enemies out to destroy the client. They are seen as enemies who must be obliterated if possible. There is no limit to the nastiness of strategies or tricks.

Lawyers are used to having plenty of time to craft their arguments. Their stock in trade is to delay things as much as possible.

Legal cases are dragged on for years with the hope that participants will lose interest, forget things, or even die.

Clients are usually muzzled, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

The stock advice to clients of Bob Shapiro, who helped get O.J. Simpson off in his first trial, is: “They talk, I walk.”

Legal logic does not work with the public, i.e., the Tiger team saying that, under law, Tiger was not obliged to talk to local police or even allow them in his house.
PR’s promise was that it would listen to the other side, make compromises, be a peacemaker.

Reports are that wife Elin had damaged the house and Tiger’s lawyers did not want that to be seen. There is the unexplained $16,500 in damage done to a house near Turnberry last July where Woods was in a tournament.

The conspiracy of silence surrounding Woods that involved hundreds of people including many in his entourage, other golf pros and the media shows that large numbers of people can be kept silent if the penalty for talking is severe. This happened with Enron and its wayward CPA firm, Arthur Andersen. Many thousands in the CPA firm and Enron knew about accounting abuses but kept silent for years. When the truth came out, the 70,000-employee AA went poof.

The New York Post (Dec. 2) accused the National Enquirer of sitting on the Tiger story for two years in return for having him featured on the cover of sister publication Men’s Fitness magazine in August 2007.

The Post quoted former magazine editor Neal Boulton as saying that. It also quoted David Pecker of parent company American Media as saying such a claim was “absolutely not true.”

Americans got most of their news and the sharpest opinions on the Tiger incident from the websites of TMZ, National Enquirer, Us magazine, Slate, etc.

Bob Grupp, president and CEO of the Institute for PR, said claims by the Tiger team that he has certain rights of “privacy” in the matter of his SUV crash are not going to wash.

The Tiger brand is “too big” for such claims, he said. If you’re going to be that big, you must also be “transparent,” he added.

The advice of Grupp and many others is that Tiger had to put all or most of the facts on the table “quickly.”

--Jack O'Dwyer


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