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Internet Edition, May 12, 2010, Page 1


Maine’s Dept. of Tourism is reviewing its mid-six-figure public and media relations account with an open RFP through May 27.

Budget is $650K, including all fees and expenses. Firms can be located anywhere in North America but must have an office, staff or strategic partner within a two-hour drive of Augusta.

The RFP issued April 30 calls for development and implementation of a comprehensive PR program to attract visitors and raise the state's profile with the "traveling public." That includes consumer PR, travel trade media relations, social media, internal comms. support and special projects.

A year-long contract starting in July is planned with two option years.
The selected PR firm will be expected to work with the state's ad, interactive and research agencies.

Proposals are due May 27. RFP:


APCO Worldwide has a $3M one-year agreement with Rosatom, Russia's state-owned nuclear holding company, to create and promote a positive image in the U.S.

Rosatom sees major opportunity in the U.S. commercial sector as President Obama supports a re-start of America's nuclear power sector as a move to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

APCO is to position Rosatom as a “leading provider of nuclear technologies and reliable supplier for the U.S. energy market,” according to its contract.

The message is targeted at “law-making authorities, business and financial circles, public and academic community and mass media.”

Rosatom wants APCO to help overcome existing and political trade barriers to set the stage for a joint venture with U.S. power companies for a plant based on Russian nuclear know-how.

The U.S. and Russia entered an agreement in '93 in which low grade uranium from dismantled Russian nukes was shipped here for processing.

Rosatom has an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency to create a uranium fuel bank to bolster demand for nuclear power.

Paula Davis, VP of corporate communications for The Pepsi Bottling Group, has moved on to lead the Alcoa Foundation, the charitable arm of the New York-based aluminum giant. She’ll report to newly installed VP of corporate affairs Nick Ashooh at Alcoa and serve as president of the foundation.


inVentiv Health, the healthcare marketing conglomerate that includes Chandler Chicco Cos. and Chamberlain Healthcare PR, has been acquired by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners for $1.1B.

inVentiv’s board agreed on the deal that will give shareholders a 52% premium over the March 25 closing price of $17.15. A handful of PE firms submitted bids for the company.

“We feel fortunate to have found an investment partner that understands the complexities of the healthcare industry and that is committed to working with inVentiv to help us achieve our long-term vision for growth,” said inVentiv CEO Blane Walter.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter and was announced on the same day inVentiv reported first quarter revenue rose five percent over 2009 to $269.4M. Profit ticked up to $19.3M for Q1, up from $7.9M for the first quarter of '09. Its communications division which includes PR saw revenue rise 24% to $88.1M.


Brunswick Group is working with oil giant BP as the company navigates global attention stemming from the Gulf oil spill.

Brunswick has worked with the company in the past and wields a PR presence in New York, Washington, D.C., and London, where BP is based.

BP is the No. 3 oil company in the world and is banking on a complicated engineering maneuver to stem the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon rig, which the company leased and sunk after a large fire late last month.

BP CEO Tony Hayward has met with Obama Administration officials and has made the media rounds accepting responsibility for the disaster.


A book called The Tylenol Mafia, written by a former eight-year employee of Johnson & Johnson, is scheduled for release this summer.

It is subtitled, "A true story of marketing, murder and Johnson & Johnson."

Scott Bartz, who worked as a J&J sales representative and at J&J facilities from 1999-2007, said he is seeking a publisher for his book of approximately 320 pages but will publish it himself if necessary.

His view is that Tylenol capsules were contaminated in 1982 and 1986 at J&J facilities and not at the retail level as claimed by J&J and others.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, May 12, 2010, Page 2


A top New York money fund is urging investors to vote against the re-election of Omnicom CEO John Wren to its board of directors because he is a “prime beneficiary” of controversial option grants made to top executives of the ad/PR conglom.

Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb, which owns a one percent stake in OMC, is upset over the March 31, 2009 decision of the board to grant options to buy 22.6M shares of stock-an amount representing more than seven percent of outstanding shares-at the weighted exercise price of $23.73.

In its “Dear Client” letter, RC&G calls the “size and timing of this grant objectionable.” The board “made the grant very close to the bottom of the stock market trough and just three months after making another grant of 3.5M options at the exercise price of $25.48.”

Prior to the two grants, OMC had not issued options since 2003. It resumed grants to retain top execs during the Great Recession and compensate them for bonus cuts. RC&G acidly notes: “Shareholders received no such emolument.”

The double option grant, according to RC&G’s letter, “issued amid the tumult of a severe bear market in stocks do not represent appropriate treatment of shareholders.” With OMC’s stock closing at $43 on May 3, the options are “‘in the money’ by approximately $500M, yet the stock price was simply approaching its pre-crisis level of August 2008.”

The fund urges shareholders to vote “no” on the election of compensation committee members Gary Roubos (ex-Dover Corp. chairman), Linda Johnson Rice (CEO of Johnson Publishing Co.), Michael Henning (ex-deputy chairman of Ernst & Young), Alan Batkin (vice chairman of Eton Park Capital Management), Susan Denison (partner at Cook Associates) and Leonard Coleman (former advisor to Major League Baseball).

RC&B gives a thumbs down to Wren because “we do not believe Mr. Wren’s behavior in this matter qualifies him to represent the interests of shareholders as a member of the board.”


Dallas Lawrence, global social & digital practice chair at Levick Strategic Communications, has moved to Burson-Marsteller's Proof Integrated Communications.

Prior to Levick, Lawrence was VP-communications & new media for the National Assn. of Manufacturers.

Lawrence is a five-year veteran of the Bush Administration's Defense Dept. He served as director of the office of communications relations and public liaison.

That service, under Secretaries Don Rumsfeld and Robert Gates, included a stint as spokesperson and regional media outreach director for the Coalition Provision Authority in Baghdad.

PIC, a digital shop, is headed by Jay Leveton, who hails Lawrence as a pro skilled in integrating social media, issue advocacy and crisis management. It is the result of the merger of Burson-Marsteller's Marsteller ad unit with Penn Schoen Berland’s PSBcreative arm.


MDC Partners CEO Miles Nadal has acquired a majority stake in Allison & Partners, the No. 9 listed independent firm on O’Dwyer’s rankings.

Nidal told O’Dwyer’s last month that he was eying firms in the rankings.

A&P CEO Scott Allison reported a 12.1 percent jump in 2009 fees to $14.7M for 2009. He told this NL that the firm’s positioning as an entrepreneurial shop that “provides clients with a constant influx of fresh ideas that uncover new business opportunities” proved to be a blessing in the lean 2009 economy.

Clients were looking for “less bureaucracy and a focus on quantifiable results.” Allison reported growth across its consumer, technology and healthcare sectors.

The firm picked up business from L’Oreal USA, Johnny Rocket's and the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego and more work from long-term clients including Best Western (NASCAR and Jonas Brothers promotion), Progressive Insurance and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas.

San Francisco-based Allison has offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Phoenix, Atlanta and Washington. MDC acquired a majority stake in New York financial comms. firm Sloane & Co. last month.


A committee including Richard Edelman of Edelman, Art Stevens of StevensGouldPincus, and Dave Rickey, bylaws revision chair of PRSA, is collecting signatures on a petition to remove APR as a condition for being a national director or officer.

Members who support the move may do so by e-mailing Sandra Fathi of Affect Strategies, New York, a member of the committee, or by signing an online petition set up for the effort.

The goal is to obtain at least 1,000 signatures and present them to the Assembly Oct. 15 in Washington, D.C.

Some senior members believe that non-members and ex-members should also sign the petition since the Society’s position is that it not only represents members but all PR people worldwide and sets ethical standards for PR people worldwide.

A press release was sent to PR websites and publications, the 110 chapter presidents and the 16 section chairs.

Rap Governance by 'Small Minority'

Called “The Committee for a Democratic PRSA,” the group says it “does not believe that democracy is being served as long as a small minority of its members can hold elective office. We believe that many worthy members who meet national leadership criteria in many other ways are being deprived of the opportunity to serve the organization.”

APR members have made up less than 20% of the membership for many years. About 120 new Society APRs are created each year.

There has been a steep decline in annual new APR members since a multiple choice test was installed as of July 1, 2003.


Internet Edition, May 12, 2010, Page 3


The Washington Post Co. has put Newsweek on the auction block, retaining media savvy investment firm Allen & Co. to supervise the sale of the money-losing magazine.

Chairman Donald Graham said that despite the “heroic efforts on the part of Newsweek’s management and staff, we expect it to still lose money 2010. We are exploring all options to fix that problem.”

He told Newsweek’s New York staffers that he sees “no path to continuing profitability under our management,” and takes the blame for “not seeing early enough and reacting in the right way to the changes that have come to our industry.”

WPC’s magazine group lost $29.3M in 2009 and $16.1M in ’08.

Graham called Newsweek a “lively, important magazine and website” that might be a better fit elsewhere.

Newsweek launched in 1933 and the Post Co. purchased it in 1961.

Editor Jon Meacham undertook an overhaul of Newsweek last year. He is replacing Bill Moyers on PBS.

Newsweek slashed its circulation rate base guarantee from 2.6M to 1.5M in January.


Jim Kirk, who was in charge of Bloomberg News’ Washington bureau, is the new managing editor of the Chicago News Cooperative.

The non-profit CNC provides local news for the New York Times and WTTW-TV, a public TV station. It launched last fall.

Kirk is a former columnist and associate managing editor of the Chicago Tribune. He also had a column at the Chicago Sun-Times and served as midwest managing editor for Adweek.

Mark Silva, a Tribune D.C. staffer, is joining Bloomberg to replace Kirk.


News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch plans to unveil details about plans to erect paywalls for his publications within a month.

Murdoch told investors on May 4 that News Corp is in “final discussions with a number of publishers, device makers and technology company and soon we’ll deliver an innovative subscription model that will deliver content to consumers whenever, wherever they want it.”

Murdoch envisions an online “windfall.”

He noted that the WSJ charges $4 a week for the Wall Street Journal on Apple’s iPad. He imagines the price will creep up over the years without costing a penny in incremental expense.

Ad Revenue Rises

News Corp. said last week that fiscal third quarter revenue was up 19% over ’09 to $8.8B with strong results from its film, cable, newspapers and information services units.

Satellite TV was among its units that posted losses for the period.

Net income for the quarter was $839M, down from $2.7B in ’09, a period that included a gain of $2.4B from the sale of its NDS Group stake and a tax benefit.
Murdoch beamed that the quarterly results show that “no content company is stronger than News Corporation.”

Its newspapers/information division posted Q1 revenue of $131M, up from $29M last year.

A 25% increase in ad sales at the Wall Street Journal and an ad upturn in the U.K. fueled the division, which also benefited from cost containment efforts, the company said.


Gannett has sold the Honolulu Advertiser to Honolulu Star-Bulletin owner David Black, ending a 39-year run in Hawaii.

Both papers are to merge to make Honolulu the latest one paper city. The combination is expected to cost 300 jobs.

The new entity, called the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, will have a circulation in the 140K range. Dennis Francis, S-B’s publisher, admits to “angst in the community” about the loss of a paper, but noted that readers and advertisers “decided long ago that the community could not support two papers,” according to a report in the Advertiser.

Gannett says the Advertiser lost money in recent years, but is now profitable. The S-B lost a combined $100M since Black took it over in ’01.


Time Warner posted a five percent jump in first quarter revenue to $6.3 billion compared with 2009 on the strength of its networks like HBO and Turner Broadcasting and filmed entertainment units.

Net income rose to $725M for the quarter, compared with $660M for Q1 of ’09.

Revenue at its publishing division fell to $799M for Q1 from $806M for the same period of '09, a one percent decline.

Advertising revenue, however, rose five percent boosted by U.S. print magazine and online properties, and subscriptions were up two percent mostly on favorable exchange rates as U.S. subs actually declined.

A long-term deal with CBS and Turner for the NCAA basketball tournament rights and the high-profile signing of Conan O’Brien to host a late-night show on TBS were among its quarterly highlights, said CEO Jeff Bewkes.


Ed Diller, a Wall Street Journal sales exec in San Francisco, has been named publisher of SmartMoney, the personal finance magazine of the WSJ.

He is to foster tighter marketing integration between the publications.

Diller joined Dow Jones in ’03, and worked at CBS MarketWatch before it was acquired by DJ. Previously, he was at Lycos and AOL.

Diller takes the New York post on July 1.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, May 12, 2010, Page 4


Sarah Feinberg, a West Wing advisor to the president and senior staffer to chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, is leaving the White House for a director role in D.C. with Bloomberg L.P. overseeing all D.C.-based communications for the company.

Bloomberg said she will assume a senior leadership position in its new BGov division that will “offer a comprehensive information service about the business implications of government action and public policy to be made available broadly starting early next year.”

She’ll work under former aide to Mayor Mike Bloomberg Kevin Sheekey, who heads government relations and public affairs and chairs the new division.

Feinberg, who is married to W.H. communications director David Plouffe, has been a special assistant to the president and senior advisor to Emanuel handling economic issues, press and communications.

She is a former communications director of the House Democratic Caucus working with Emanuel since 2005 and was a press secretary for former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has created a new public diplomacy post to make the country’s case to Arabic media and, in turn, the Arab world.

Netanyahu’s office said last week that the PM tapped Ofir Gendelman, a former Arabic spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, to fill the new post.

“This is an important and unique position that has been filled on instruction from [Netanyahu] in order to deal with recent media developments in the Arab world and especially in light of global developments regarding Arabic-language television stations,” National Information Directorate head, Nir Hefetz, said in a statement.

Israel wants its positions represented directly in the Arab press and hopes the new post can increase Arab exposure to Israeli content and initiatives on security, economic, social and cultural issues, Netanyahu’s office said in a press release announcing the post.

Gendelman has worked in the Foreign Ministry since 1998 and was recently the first director-general of the Israel-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


Julie Bosman, a political reporter at the New York Times, is taking over the book publishing beat at the paper

Motoko Rich, who handled that coverage, is moving to economic coverage in the Times business section.

Bosman is a former staff assistant to columnist Maureen Dowd in the Times' D.C. bureau.


Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) has introduced the Public Online Information Act to require all government-held information that is public to be posted online in an effort to end the nightmare of tracking down federal information. The bill gives government agencies three-years to develop capabilities to put all new information online.

An advisory board composed on members of the executive, legislative and judicial branches will create guidelines for info sharing. POIA contains “commonsense exceptions” for disclosure, such as national security concerns.

Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) has a companion bill in the House.

The Federal procurement sector and others opposed to the measure say the bills are too vague and implementation could be expensive.


Matthew Frankel, senior VP for corporate communications at AOL, is moving to Current Media in a new position that carries that same title at the content company started by Al Gore.

Current, known for its web-based user-generated content and now beamed into 70M households under cable TV deals, said Frankel is to serve as its chief spokesperson and communications strategist at it moves to “aggressively expand its global brand.”

Based in New York, he reports directly to CEO Mark Rosenthal, who, in a statement, called Frankel a “brand builder, recognized industry leader and strategist” with experience in cable, digital media, entertainment and public affairs.

Frankel started out in Democratic politics before moving into corporate PR.

He was previously VP of corporate comms. for seven years at Cablevision Systems programming subsidiary Rainbow Media, and was chief communications officer and senior VP of corporate affairs at The Weinstein Company.

He was communications director for centrist Democratic Leadership Council and worked press positions for Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.).


Twitter unveiled a new feature last week that allows tweets to be embedded in posts on the web, instead of forcing bloggers and content producers to take screen shots and post them as images.

Before unveiling the new service on May 4, Twitter pointed to an article on ReadWriteWeb that used tweets as quotes, which, Twitter says, “helps ‘chunk’ the piece both visually and logically; we think it makes it easier to read.”

The move could make it more visually appealing (and easier) for journalists and bloggers to cite tweets in online pieces gauging public opinion or to get a quick reaction to an event.

With high-profile Twitter accounts now verified by the company, quoting prominent sources like entertainers or athletes could also be easier and conceivably eliminate so-called “middle men” like PR reps or agents and lawyers.

Writers and journalists could simply insert the code generated through the Twitter widget where a quote appears in a story.

Internet Edition, May 12, 2010, Page 5


Michael Perini, a 36-year Air Force veteran who directed public affairs for NORAD’s popular annual Santa tracking program, has set up a Woodland Park, Colo., PR firm.

A retired colonel, Perini served in both military and civilian posts in the Air Force, including senior PA posts at NORAD, U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Space Command, among others. That included leading the largest military PA operation in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Perini said his firm, Perini & Associates, has associates in Orlando, St. Louis and Seattle.

Perini, who’s active in PRSA and IABC, had recently been executive director of the National Institute of Science, Space, and Security Centers at the Univ. of Colorado, Colorado Springs.


Bernie DiMeo, who shuttered Chicago firm DiMeo & Co., has opened a new shop with former staffers which he says will blend traditional PR with new media.

"I may be an old dog but I have learned some new tricks," DiMeo said, invoking the new agency's tagline.

Robin Boesen (VP), Keith Romero (VP) and Nick Ulivieri (A/E) are among staff for the new shop, known as Bernie DiMeo Communications.

Clients include the Lake County Fielders baseball team slated for a June debut, Gold Coast Tickets, and ad agency ESW Partners.



Middleberg Communications has aligned with the boutique firm of former New York Yankees PR hand Marty Appel as Don Middleberg builds a sports PR division of his New York firm.

Appel, who’ll serve in an of-counsel role to MC, headed PR for the Yankees for several years before moving into a PR and executive producer role with the Turner Broadcasting station that carried Yankees games – WPIX in New York.

Middleberg has been expanding his firm beyond its technology base over the past year, most recently adding consumer and entertainment capabilities with the November '09 acquisition of The Dowd Agency.

Middleberg said Appel has been in sports PR longer than anyone he knows. “I can think of no one better than him to offer us strategic counsel as we form our sports business group,” he said.

Appel’s clients include sports franchises like the New York Rangers and Giants, as well as The Topps Co., Major League Baseball Players Association and Steiner Sports Marketing.

BRIEFS: The 2012 Ryder Cup, the biennial golf event that pits the U.S. against Europe, has tapped Edelman after a competitive review to handle the event slated for Medinah Country Club outside of Chicago. ...The Smoky Mountain Convention & Visitors Bureau has awarded marketing and PR pacts to Tennessee firms Akins Crisp Public Strategies and Tombras Group following an RFP process.


New York Area

Ruder Finn, New York/Tropicana Las Vegas, as AOR for the hotel and casino as it rebrands following a $165M renovation. The annual retainer is in the mid-six figures, RF said. Gail Moaney, executive VP and director of RF’s travel and economic development practice, said the property, once known as the “Tiffany of the Strip,” will have a “South Beach” feel and offer amenities the firm believes will entice consumer, travel, gaming, lifestyle, entertainment and business media.

Nancy J. Friedman PR, New York/Sheraton Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, for brand PR, and Visit St. Pete Clearwater, as AOR for PR.

Beckerman, Hackensack, N.J./CoStar Group; Fletcher Thompson; Frontier Beverage Co.; Monarch at Ridge Hill; Intellect Neurosciences; Keystone Property Group; Pro-Tech Energy Solutions; Raw Foods International; The Residences at Palmer Square, and Simeone & O'Sullivan LLP (law firm).


Crossroads PR, Raleigh, N.C./Ajinomoto AminoScience, amino acids for biotech and pharma companies, for PR.

Calysto Communications, Atlanta/Widevine, digital entertainment services, for PR.

Depth PR, Atlanta/Comergence Compliance Monitoring, third-party originator monitoring and due diligence, for PR.


The Quell Group, Troy, Mich./Automotive Industry Action Group, for branding and strategic comms.


E.B. Lane, Phoenix/Arizona Lottery, as AOR for marketing comms. The firm, which handled the work from 1995-05, beat three finalists for the account, which is worth $80M over five years and starts July 1. It is subcontracting with Lopez Negrete Communications for multicultural work as that firm opens a Phoenix office.


Cohn & Wolfe, San Francisco/Grid Net, smart grid and smart home software for utilities and other customers; Neato Robotics, venture-funded start-up focused on robots performing household chores, and Wellcore, wireless products for everyday life.

Formula, Los Angeles/Sani Sport, sports equipment sanitation machines to reduce spread of infectious diseases among athletes, as AOR for strategic PR centered on media relations. Formula's sports and entertainment unit handles the work.

Morgan Marketing & PR, Irvine, Calif./Stephen Frank Garden & Home and Stephen Frank Table & Pantry, La Guna beach boutiques, for PR including media and community relations, and social media.

VASQ PR, Austin, Tex./Carino’s Italian and Rudy's “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q, restaurant chains, for social media and marketing PR.


Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Singapore/Eu Yan Sang Int’l, healthcare, as AOR for local and regional PR following a four-agency pitch.

Internet Edition, May 12, 2010, Page 6


Help A Reporter Out, the online service journalists use to get sources for stories, has removed its “anonymous query” feature which allowed reporters to mask their publication and identity when asking for input.

Peter Shankman, founder of the service, said some people have been “abusing” the feature and as more than half checked the “anonymous” box in submitting a query, responses fell by more than 50% as sources were hesitant to share knowledge without knowing who they were dealing with.

HARO nixed the anonymous option on May 10.

Shankman noted that the service masks email addresses and will still allow journalists to be unanimous, but their queries will be subject to approval before running.

“In the end, we think less anonymous queries are actually better for everyone - both sources, who know who they're pitching, as well as journalists, who will get double, triple, or even quadruple the query responses if a source knows who they're pitching,” Shankman wrote on his blog.


Darlene Webb, has been named country manager for Business Wire in Canada, based in Toronto.

She heads sales, editorial and media relations activities for the company north of the border.

Greg Castano, president of BW, said the company has “ambitious plans” to grow its market share in Canada and sees Webb playing a key role in that effort.

Webb was previously director of PR and communications at Vineland Research and Innovation Center and manager of corporate comms. at Royal Bank of Canada.

She was previously an A/E for CNW Group, the Canadian news release dissemination company.


Broadcast and digital PR company West Glen Communications, New York, will mark its 40th anniversary on May 15.

The company started out in 1970 distributing sponsored 16mm films to schools and other outlets, along with public service announcements and the VNR precursor known as newsfilms.

WG president Stan Zeitlin cited the company's ability to embrace change as key to its long run. He thanked clients for the loyalty and friends that helped the company mark its fourth decade.


Strauss Radio Strategies, the Washington, D.C., radio PR company, has added three executives to its ranks.

Laura Lucia and Ebony Wilder have signed on as assistant A/Es handling radio outreach, writing and editing. Wilder has experience from WBOC-TV (Md.) and Washington Post Interactive while Lucia interned at Clear Channel Communications.

Caroline Rana, a former Strauss intern, is the company's new office manager and executive assistant to founder and president Richard Strauss.



Maria Andriano, senior VP at Redpoint Marketing PR, to Susan Magrino Agency, New York, as VP, travel and lifestyle. She handles clients like One&Only Resorts, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Fontainebleau Miami Beach and La Palina Cigars. She was previously VP at KWE Associates and VP at Rubenstein Assocs.

Scott Elliott, director of PR and public affairs, Pennsylvania Builders Association, to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Harrisburg, as manager of communications.

Heather Wingate, Citigroup’s head of federal government affairs, has left after seven years to lead a D.C. presence for Nomura Holding America, New York, as managing director of public affairs. Bloomberg reported last week that Nomura, which bought Lehman Bros.’ Asia and Europe units, has been working to shed its image as a Tokyo-centric brokerage.

Jen Jenkins, former intern at Bailey Gardiner, San Diego, joins as an AC. The firm has promoted Kevinie Woo to A/E to lead the San Diego Museum account and support Electra Bicycle Co. and Se San Diego Hotel.

Teresa O’Brien, A/C, One Tribe Creative, to JohnstonWells, Denver, as an associate.


Larry Moscow, Lee Carter and Keith Yazmir to partners, Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research, New York, part of Omnicom. The firm is taking a new name - maslansky, luntz + partners - as it provides a wider range of consulting services. Moscow, a former PBS and MSNBC producer, is manager of the firm's D.C. office, while Carter and Yazmir are based in New York.

Patrick Courtney to senior VP of PR for Major League Baseball, New York, upon the retirement of Richard Levin at the end of the year. Commissioner Bud Selig made the announcement. Courtney, who joined MLB in1992 as a PR assistant, will serve as principal spokesperson for Selig and oversee the day-to-day operations of the MLB PR dept.

Victoria Steiner to director, media strategy and client services, Harden Communications Partners, Oakland, Calif. Also, John Lopez, who worked for Sen. Barbara Boxer and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, joins as an A/E.


Patricia Pérez, principal, VPE PR, Los Angeles, to the Public Relations Global Network, as president. Pérez will lead the network of 40 independent firms, taking over for José Luiz Schiavoni of São Paulo, Brazil-based S2 Comunicação Integrada. PRGN has also named Francine Robbens, partner and consultant at Brussels-based PRP/PR Partners, as president-elect.


Internet Edition, May 12, 2010, Page 7

BOOK BLASTS TYLENOL (cont’d from page 1)

Bartz cites statements by FBI personnel, medical doctors and police officials that the cyanide used in the Chicago area and Yonkers, N.Y., murders could be invisible in the capsules for an indefinite period and was not necessarily placed in Tylenols at the retail level.

J&J contended that the cyanide would cause the capsules to visibly deteriorate in less than a month.

J&J’s removal of Tylenol capsules from the market in 1982 has been cited numerous times in recent weeks as admirable corporate behavior.

Tylenols have been in the news since more than 60 million bottles of Tylenols and other J&J products have been recalled because of alleged irregularities.

The Food & Drug Administration in late April charged lack of quality control in the production of J&J children’s drugs and said punitive actions could include criminal penalties. The FDA said it took the supposedly speedy J&J 20 months to answer certain complaints.

Media writing about the latest recalls expressed surprise at such failings in a company whose handling of the murders in 1982 was said to have set the “gold standard” for crisis management.

Wrote New York Times reporter Natasha Singer May 3: “J&J is considered a model for the consumer products industry for its fast and adept handling of a Tylenol scare in 1982 in which seven people in Chicago died after taking capsules that had been laced with cyanide.”

Advertising Age columnist Al Ries wrote May 3 that the Tylenol brand was so strong that even seven murders could not inflict much damage on it. He did not mention the murder of 23-year-old Diane Elsroth of Peekskill, N.Y., in 1986 via poisoned Tylenols.

The Motley Fool, covering the current recalls, said May 6 that “Since its Tylenol recall in the 1980s—which wasn’t its fault—J&J has always been the poster child for how to correctly handle a crisis. Now we’re going to get a chance to see how it handles things when the problem apparently is its fault.”

The Christian Science Monitor on Jan. 15 said, “In a moment of startling corporate clarity, J&J recalled all its Tylenol from U.S. store shelves in 1982 after its tampered capsules were linked to seven fatalities…three decades later, the move is still regarded as a shining example of corporate social responsibility.”

Fault Was not Adjudicated

Whether J&J was at fault in selling Tylenols in vulnerable capsules, as charged by the families in 1982, was never settled in a court of law.

The families said J&J should have known and warned consumers via messages on packaging that the capsules were susceptible to tampering. J&J fought them for eight years, only settling out of court on May 13, 1991 in Cook County Circuit Court just as jury selection was to begin. Bruce Pfaff, lawyer for the families, said J&J did not make its first offer until a week before the trial was to begin.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Pfaff said both sides asked Judge Warren Wolfson to keep secret the amounts of any payments to the families. Wolfson agreed, saying that settlement terms could have “an adverse impact on public health and well-being.” Also kept secret were certain documents and pretrial testimony. J&J had obtained a court order allowing it to keep such materials secret unless the case went to trial. The settlements included funding college educations for eight children of the victims.

J&J’s Robert Kniffin said: “Though there is no way we could have anticipated a criminal tampering with our product or prevented it, we wanted to do something for the families and finally get this tragic event behind us.”

Asked why it took eight years to settle, Kniffin said: “We reached settlement as soon as we could.”

Kniffin Admission Is Key, Say Critics

J&J may have asserted ignorance about possible tampering in 1982, critics now say, but such an excuse didn’t work in 1986 when Elsroth was murdered by Tylenols.

That case was declared “still open” in February 2009 by the Yonkers police. The FBI had re-opened the case in Chicago.

The Elsroth family sued J&J but lost on Nov. 16, 1988. Federal Judge Gerhard Goettel said J&J could not be held liable for “a wrong that they did not truly commit.”

Bartz, who operates the website, contends that the Tylenols were poisoned at some point in the manufacturing process. He notes that the capsules that poisoned Elsroth came from the same Jewel Food facility that handled the poisoned Tylenols in 1982.

Testimony: Seals Not Broken

Michael Notamicola, in whose house Elsroth was staying, testified that the flaps to the Tylenol box were glued shut, the shrink seal on the bottle did not appear to be disturbed, and the foil seal further securing the capsules had not been broken.

J&J spokespeople claimed cyanide had to be introduced at the store level because the poison would cause the capsules to deteriorate “in less than a month.” But quoted FDA Commissioner Dr. Frank Young as saying the cyanide in the capsules that killed Elsroth could have been put there months previously and that there were “no time restrictions” on the capsules showing deterioration.

Westchester District Attorney Carl Vergari on Feb. 18, 1986 said Federal investigators found no evidence that the triple seals on the bottles had been broken after they left the factory.

Notamicola had purchased a bottle of Tylenols from an A&P in Bronxville and another poisoned bottle was found in a nearby Woolworth store several days after Elsroth died. The FBI at first said no tampering occurred but later reversed its position after making tests it would not describe.

A paper on the Tylenol murders by John J. Pauly, now provost of Marquette University and previously nine years with the communications dept. of St. Louis University, said the fact that J&J only offered $100,000 for information on the killer was a move by the company to “distance itself from the idea that the tampering occurred internally.”

Articles by J&J VP-PR Lawrence Foster and Prof. Carole Gorney of Lehigh University in the Fall 2002 Strategist of PRSA do not mention the reward.


Internet Edition, May 12, 2010, Page 8




The Committee for a Democratic PRSA (page two) is trying to overturn an historic inequity at the Society--the rule by a small minority of less than 20% of the members since the mid-1970s.

The people in charge, the APRs, won't let the reform group publicize this to the max with the 21,000 members.

This is the very issue at stake--governance by the few. The few won't allow reformers access to the full membership.

Leaders and h.q. are saying thus far that this is just another bylaw change that must go through normal procedures.

Rather, this is a huge news story that deserves the widest possible dissemination on Society media. It's news when the head of the world's largest PR firm (Richard Edelman), the winner of the 2008 Patrick Jackson Award (Art Stevens), and the head of the Society bylaws task force (Dave Rickey) get together to change a policy that dates back to the mid-1970s.

The obstinacy of Society leaders and the staff flies in the face of the Code of Ethics that says "We respect all opinions and support the right of free expression."

Another core principle is "protecting and advancing the free flow of accurate and truthful information."

The 2006 bylaw change sought by Central Michigan to give the Assembly power over the board (as it is for medical, legal and accounting professions) never got anywhere.

Central Michigan Was Blocked

That is because not a word of it appeared in any Society publication or on its website even though the proposed change was sent to the national board in April of 2006. The board and staff were doing what they do best-suppress information.

The 2006 Assembly defeated Central Michigan's reasonable quest by a 261 to 19 vote. Not one chapter publicly supported it. The chapter was never able to publicize its aims to the membership because h.q. controls the Society press and uses it to its own advantage rather than for the advantage of all members.

Headquarters' control of the chapters was demonstrated in 2006. The chapter presidents-elect are treated to a weekend in New York each June and we believe they are thoroughly politicized there.

Loyalty to national is put forth as the supreme value rather than loyalty to members. The chapter members get $500 in cash to help defray expenses.
The "Leadership Rally" this June 4-5 can easily be converted to an Assembly if the board desires this, which it should.

The weekend costs $100,000 or more at a time when the Society cannot afford to waste money. PRS is the only national professional group whose assembly meets once a year. All the others meet twice a year. The Assembly has virtually no experience in being an Assembly.

Abuses Spur Reform Group

At the root of the Committee's initiative is revulsion over such practices as withholding the transcripts of the last five Assemblies; moving h.q. downtown for 13 years with no input from the general membership; killing the printed directory of members with no input from the members; refusal now to PDF a copy to members or digitize it and refusal even to discuss these two alternatives; the waste of an entire year last year on the failed attempt by the board to remove from the Assembly the power to elect board and officers, add 30 or so national committee heads to the Assembly, and remove district representation from the board; use of 56 proxy votes in the 2009 Assembly when all parliamentary rules forbid proxy voting including Robert's.

Another abuse was refusal to report all the tabulated votes during the Assembly which is required by Robert's Rules because the votes were actions and the "minutes" of a meeting must report any actions.

This is only the start of a list of various governance and communications abuses at the Society. That is the reason for trying to wrest control from the APRs.

Tylenol Tragedy Unraveled

The numerous myths surrounding the PR of the Tylenol murders in 1982 and 1986 are starting to unravel with the help of PR professors who are taking a second look at this most quoted of all PR "success" stories (page one).

Johnson & Johnson has nothing to be proud about in the way it reacted to the murders in 1982 because it re-introduced a product that was fatally flawed.

It should never have marketed easily spiked capsules in the first place.

The main reason for using capsules rather than pills was that the ingredients in a Tylenol are expensive to convert to tablet form.

The ingredients in aspirin lend themselves to tableting but the acetaminophen in Tylenols is made up of crystals that are hard and brittle and fracture easily.

Materials must be added to overcome this problem.

J&J CEO James Burke led the decision in 1973 to market Tylenols in capsules via the newly created McNeil Consumer Products Co. Previously, Tylenol was only available at medical facilities.

Ads, B-M Propelled Tylenol Capsules

A massive ad campaign with PR supplied by Burson-Marsteller helped to establish Tylenols as the No. 1 analgesic.

Burke, whose career skyrocketed at J&J based partly on the success of Tylenols in capsules, was loathe to give them up even after seven people were murdered via poisoned capsules in 1986.

Former employee Scott Bartz will publish a book this summer that will provide a 180-degree different view from the way the Tylenol story is usually told.

Reports on his website cast doubt on whether the Tylenols were poisoned after being delivered to store shelves, which is the way the story invariably is told.

An explanation is needed as to why the FBI at first said there was no evidence of tampering of two poisoned bottles sold in the Yonkers area in 1986 (leading to the death of 23-year-old Diane Elsroth) but later reversed this opinion. When giving the second opinion, the FBI refused to discuss what new means were used for the basis of such an opinion.

In any case, we hope the media will stop referring to J&J's actions before and after the Tylenol murders as anything but deplorable.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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