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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Dec. 10, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 49 (download PDF version)

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MEDIA NEWS continued _____________

film was shot, although audience members were not named. The report also quoted reviews posted on Twitter.

The Times report has been widely picked up by global media. In some cases, outlets are quoting other outlets quoting the Times report. USA Today on Dec. 4 referred to the Daily Mail reporting on the Sunday Times in its own article headlined “New ‘Hobbit’ film makes some moviegoers sick.”

Some critics have questioned the look of film shot using the new technology, which shoots at 48 frames per second.

Warner Bros. said it will stick with the new 3D technology, calling it a “ground breaking advancement in the moviegoing experience.”

Los Angeles-based RealD licenses the technology used in the film. 42West supports its PR.

Following a Nov. 28 opening in New Zealand, a second opening is set for Dec. 12 in London.


Matthew Freud, husband of Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elizabeth, is said to run “what may be the most powerful PR firm in Great Britain” in a nine-page article in the Dec. 10 New Yorker by Ken Auletta.

The article is mostly about Elizabeth Murdoch, who is touted as the possible successor to Rupert as head of the News Corp. empire.

She is a major business figure herself, having founded the TV production company Shine and having sold the 800-employee firm to News Corp. for $670 million in 2011. News Corp. shareholders claimed “rampant nepotism” and filed suit charging that News Corp. overpaid.

Freud, enraged at such press criticisms, threw a Martini in the face of London Evening Standard editor Geordie Greig who said as much, according to Auletta’s article.

As another example of Freud’s “volatile temper,” Auletta says Freud smeared a piece of chocolate cake on actor Hugh Grant’s shirt at a nightclub and Grant responded by punching Freud in the eye.

Freud Communications is described as having nearly 300 employees by Auletta, but PR Week/U.K. reports it had 188 staffers and 23.8 million U.K. pounds in fee income in 2010.

Freud opened offices in New York and Los Angeles but closed them by 2009. His Murdoch connections did not work as well in the U.S., said Auletta sources.

Great Grandson of Sigmund Freud

He is the great grandson of Sigmund Freud and is doubly related to PR figure Edward Bernays. Bernays’

father was Sigmund Freud’s brother-in-law and his mother was Sigmund Freud’s sister.

Freud is said to have sold his firm to “an advertising agency” in 1994 for $19 million but then bought it back in 2001. In 2005 he sold more than 50% to Publicis but bought it back again in 2011.

Olivier Fleurot, CEO of the MSL Group at Publicis, is quoted as saying “What makes him successful in London are his amazing connections in business and politics, being a Murdoch son-in-law, being close to Murdoch’s newspapers, and being Sigmund Freud’s grandson … it didn’t work in New York.”

Parties Are Over

Auletta says Freud threw many lavish parties to which major business and political figures were invited but such parties are a thing of the past now because of the hacking scandal that hangs over News Corp.

Eighty-seven people, including many News Corp. employees, have been arrested and former executive Rebekah Brooks is to go on trial on hacking charges next September.

Personal telephone calls intercepted included those of 13-year-old Milly Dowler, a kidnap victim who was murdered in 2002.

A 121-page report by a Parliamentary committee said Rupert Murdoch is “not a fit person” to head an international company.

Auletta’s article notes that Elizabeth Murdoch only speaks to the press “on rare occasions” and that the arrangements are often made by Freud.

When Jane Martinson of the Guardian asked questions that displeased Freud, he yelled at her and “implied that it was the last interview he would set up for her,” writes Aulettta.


The Canadian Broadcasting Corp., which is reeling from budget cuts, has floated an RFP summary for a PR firm to “produce events and outreach that break through the cluttered media environment to message and positon” its content and brands.

That content includes news, unscripted/scripted programming, CBC Music, documentaries and sports, says the document released Dec. 4.

Veritas Communications has the CBC contract, which is up for renewal.

The CBC has sliced its payroll in response to a $115M cut in funding from the federal govenmment in Ottawa. The prolonged National Hockey League strike has hurt the network, which is showing re-runs of the traditionally must-see TV event “Hockey Night in Canada” each Saturday during the season.

A successful PR firm must have $5M in annual billings, experience in working with a “major media content company,” and an office in the greater Toronto area.

The contract is for two years, with an option for a third. Interested firms are required to request a copy of the full RFP by Dec. 11. Jan. 16 is the deadline to submit a proposal.

Janice Prymak is the contact at janice [dot] prymak [at] cbc [dot] ca.

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