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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Oct. 29, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 43 (download PDF version)

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MEDIA NEWS ____________________


Publicis organic growth slipped in the third quarter to2% as budget cuts triggered by sluggish economies inEurope stalled strong summer revenues.

North America, Publicis’ largest market, ticked up3.2% over Q3 2011 to 805M euro ($1B), below expectations, while overall the Paris—based advertising, PR and marketing conglomerate saw revenue of 1.6B ($2.1B) euro.

Organic growth of 2% was below earlier expectations.

Chairman and CEO Maurice Levy called it a “summer of contrasts” where July and August trended upward until a sudden downturn in September – “as sharp as it was unexpected” – centered on Europe.

“September bore the full brunt of budget cuts triggered by the marked downturn in economies: instead of the 6.6% growth forecast for September, the month ended with negative growth of -1.6%, mainly as a result of Europe.

Levy said North America remains “resilient” and believes the factors that hurt revenue in Q3 – loss of GM’s media and search account, as well as cuts to healthcare and retail budgets – are “more non-recurrent than structural.”

The first slide of Levy’s investor presentation for theQ3 results included a collage of headlines about economic troubles in Europe, the U.S. and China.

Big wins for MSLGroup included Wal-Mart (HongKong) and Taitra (Taiwan).


“We have binders and binders and binders,” jokedPeter Land, senior VP-corporate communications at PepsiCo, in his best imitation of Mitt Romney during theCouncil of PR Firms’ Critical Issues Forum.

Land’s shot at levity came during his response to a question about diversity at the Purchase, N.Y.-based beverage-based food conglomerate. He said Pepsi was among the first companies to field a black sales force.

...Kelly Vanasse, VP-communications at Procter & Gamble’s global business units, looks for “scrappiness” in communicators, adding that “some PR people are scrappier than others.”

She talked of the consumer products powerhouse’s sponsorship of the London Olympics (32 brands plus P&Gcorporate), which she said resulted in an 89 percent rise inP&G’s brand favorability numbers and incremental sales of $500M.

In her former post as beauty products/ gooming PRchief, Vanasse was obsessed with “getting guys to shave more,” preferably with a razor from P&G’s Gillette unit. Adab or two of Old Spice would have made Vanasse even happier.

...Bridget Coffing, senior VP-corporate relations atMcDonald’s, said management doesn’t view the Chicago suburb Oak Brook as headquarters of the fast feeder. That honor goes to the 34,500 restaurants.

A consumer enters the McDonald’s brand when he walks into a local McDonald’s, according to Coffing. The27-year Big Mac veteran stressed the importance of communicators to keep calendars of upcoming events in this


24/7 world where “it’s always the middle of the day somewhere.” Land added that learning something about your company/client via a “Google news alert” is the biggest nightmare for everybody in the room.

...GregMartin, executive director, communications strategy and news operations at General Motors, covered the No. 1 automaker’s effort to re-invent itself after the government bailout left it with the stigma of “Government Motors.” He also reminisced about the death of the GM’s once high-flying and innovative Saturn brand.

To Martin, the beginning of the end was when Saturn starting producing cars designed by Opel at its Spring Hill (Tennessee) facility.

...SpudNews: Coffing said McDonald’s worked with the Russian government for 10 years to get the country’s soil right so farmer grow potatoes good enough for the chain’s French fries.

Land said PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay operation ran a similar operation with the Government of the People’s Republic of China to help farmers get better yields on their potato crops.

...The event was held at the glorious 583 Park Avenue event space, which is home to Third Church of Christ, Scientist.

...Congratulations to Fleishman-Hillard CEO Dave Senay, who was elected 2013 chairman of the Council effective Dec. 1.


By Gayle Goodman, GGPR & Social

A fast-talking group of entertainment journalists from digital, TV and print outlets told PR pros in New York Oct. 23 that they’re looking for pitches for a variety of celebrity-oriented stories, and some of them even yearn to hear from PR people.

Peter Himler, president of Flatiron Communications and president of the Publicity Club of New York, which hosted the luncheon event, kicked off the proceedings in front of a bubbling crowd at the Three West Club while moderator Lisa Kovitz, executive VP for Edelman, kept the panel on message.

Post-lunch, there was lots of action on Twitter at #PCNY. Start following the panelists because if you’re Tweeting about your product or clients, they admit to scanning Twitter, as well as Facebook, for story ideas. And if you happen to see Leonardo DiCaprio … well read on:

Rob Shuter
Contact info: Naughtynicerob[at]aol [dot] com @NaughtyNiceRob

As former executive editor for OK! Magazine, Shuter is known for breaking new stories on major celebs. However, in his juicy career, Shuter worked on “our side” first!

Shuter started in public relations at BNC (Bragman Nyman Cafarelli, now PMK-BNC) as a receptionist, and worked his way up to “head the entertainment group” at DKC before starting his own PR agency, The Shuter Group. In these positions, he worked with celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and other majors. Shuter knows a good pitch when he sees one, and wants “original, interesting

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