Monday, August 27, 2007

Lawmaker Proposes To Strengthen Anti-Counterfeiting and Internet Piracy Efforts

(top-Left) Mike Robinson, MPAA --- LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (at podium)
With US Chamber President

"Supremes" Mary Wilson testifies on piracy.

Congressman Howard Berman moderates.

Chief Economist Jack Kyser,
V.P. LAEDC (left)

(L-R) Marcus Cohn, RIAA; Lew Kontnik, Dir. Brand Protection,
Business Continuity, Amgen; Phil Terzian, Sen. Dir. Gov. Affairs, Activision;
Crystal Zarpas, Mann & Zarpas, LLP; Mike Robinson, MPAA and Gavin Koon,
International Rep., International Alliance of Theatrical State Employees (IATSE)

Lawmaker Proposes
To Strengthen
Anti-Counterfeiting and
Internet Piracy Efforts

“Congress is making Internet service providers responsible for piracy on their networks, not just those who download or share the content,” said Congressman Howard Berman at Anti-Piracy Event in LA

SafeMedia has the Technology and solutions to support this legislation

Hollywood, CA – A California congressional delegation, Motion Picture Assn. of America (MPAA), Recording Industry Assn. of America (RIAA), law enforcement and music industry executives huddled in weeklong brainstorming meetings to solve the growing problem of counterfeiting and piracy threats to America’s economy. SafeMedia Corporation is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coalition against Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP) and an Internet Task Force Member and participated in the event.

“Counterfeiting and music piracy have been going on for years, escalating to a point where it has to stop, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us to do this,” Singer Mary Wilson, one of the three original legendary Motown Supremes singers testifying during Anti-Piracy Awareness Week in Hollywood (Thursday, August, 23, 2007). Mary Wilson, Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, known as the “Supremes,” were one of the most successful female singing groups in recording history.

“Counterfeiting and piracy are costing the U.S. economy about $250 billion annually, have led to the loss of more than 750,000 American jobs and needlessly expose consumers to dangerous and defective products,” said California 28th District Congressman Howard Berman, who moderated the Town Hall meeting, along with 33rd District Congresswoman Diane Watson and 27th District Congressman Brad Sherman.

“The Crime of counterfeiting and piracy is a dangerous threat to consumers and our economy,” said Berman, who also chaired a hearing last June in Washington to reduce digital copyright violations on campus. Berman promised to secure more funds and resources for the U.S. Dept. of Justice, INS, Homeland Security and other federal agencies to crack down on counterfeiting and piracy.

Representative Sherman also believes that Congress has to start enforcing intellectual and copyright laws at the borders with more investigators, prosecutors and federal trade agents. “Six to nine percent of the world trade has pirated goods from auto parts to Barbie Dolls. If the real Barbie Dolls have lead paint, just imagine what the counterfeit dolls have,” he said.

All panelists agreed that the industry and government need to take a proactive approach on the street and on the Internet. For the full story please visit or click here:

For more information about SafeMedia Corporation’s product line visit or
call 561-989-1934.]

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Questions Surround PRS Candidates

Aug. 24, 2007


Six candidates have been nominated for national PR Society board and officer posts – Mike Cherenson, chair-elect; Rosanna Fiske, treasurer; Mary Barber, secretary; Kathy Hubbell, N. Pacific director; Phil Tate, S.E. director, and Dave Imre, director-at-large.


They are merely nominated at this point and could be opposed by other members until Sept. 20.

The issues facing the candidates are of interest to all PR pros since the Society claims to represent the entire PR field and not just members.

Its "overall goal" is to be the "standard bearer for PR" and to position the Society "as the acknowledged brand of PR excellence."

Candidates thus far have only provided their biographies and general statements about PR. They have yet to answer questions about the issues of governance and disclosure that face the Society.


PRS policies appear to have alienated much of the corporate world since no corporate person is on the slate above. It is likely that only one corporate person will be on the 17-member 2008 board – Christopher Veronda of Eastman Kodak. The 11-member Society Ethics Board has no corporate representatives.

You can express your opinions on these issues by using the "Tell O'Dwyer's what you think" device at the end of this editorial or by voting yes or no on each question.

Questions for Nominees and all PR Pros:

1. National board and officer posts should be decoupled from accreditation and any APR requirements should be removed from the bylaws (including the nomcom).
( ) yes ( ) no

2. Again print the 1,000-page directory of members, PR services, bylaws, etc., or at least allow a discussion of this on the PRS website (which never took place).
( ) yes ( ) no

3. Bring back the previous Ethics Code (dropped without a vote of the membership) but put teeth in it such as requiring PR pros to reveal sources of communications.
( ) yes ( ) no

4. Put both the audit and IRS Form 990 on the PRS website in full text like many organizations do.
( ) yes ( ) no

5. Defer about six months of dues income to reflect its unearned nature (a practice of most organizations).
( ) yes ( ) no

6. Release the transcripts of the 2005-2006 Assemblies as was the previous policy.
( ) yes ( ) no

7. Release the names of the 19 Assembly delegates who voted for the 2006 Central Mich. governance proposal that would have given more power to the Assembly.
( ) yes ( ) no

8. Consider moving some h.q. operations out of New York in view of the $5.2M staff costs (46% of revenues).
( ) yes ( ) no

9. Use blast e-mail facility to sample member opinions on important issues.
( ) yes ( ) no

10. Release Assembly delegate list early in year with all delegates reachable by a single e-mail. Ask delegates to seek direction from members, not chapter leaders.
( ) yes ( ) no

Planning Committee Abolished

A brief history on these issues is that in 1998-99 a Strategic Planning Committee of two dozen leaders (only a couple allowed from the board) created the first five-year plan to end the practice of each new president setting his or her own agenda, discarding previous agendas.

The SPC urged that the APR rule be removed for board and Assembly posts since 80% of members were barred from running. But the 1999 board, headed by Sam Waltz, rejected the advice and voiced support for APR.

Thereafter, the SPC declined in importance and in 2005 it disappeared as a separate entity. The 2006 board, with Cheryl Procter-Rogers as president, said that henceforth the board itself would be the SPC. The concept of an SPC with representatives from throughout the Society and from various levels of PRS, was abandoned.

In other moves that consolidated power in the hands of a few, the 2004 board took on the role of also being the Foundation board and the 2005 board urged the Assembly to pass a bylaw that let the five-member executive committee of the board act in place of the full board (which was passed).

News item: Mary Barber, nominee for secretary of the PR Society, after seven years on her own, took a PR job at the Alaska Community Foundation, saying she wasn't looking for a change but the ACF was "the perfect combination of PR skills, giving back to the community, and providing my family some stability while my husband changes careers." Many other PRS leaders have recently made changes. Mike Cherenson, nominee for chair-elect, sold his father's PR firm in early 2006 to an ad agency; Rosanna Fiske, treasurer nominee, closed her firm to teach; Kathy Hubbell, N. Pacific nominee and owner of Adscripts, is moving from Montana to Oregon in search of a PR teaching job; Judith Phair, 2005 president, left her firm for the Graduate Mgmt. Admission Council; Cheryl Procter-Rogers, 2006 president, left HBO in mid-term for her own firm; the agency of 2004 president Del Galloway (Husk Jennings Galloway) was bought by On Ideas in 2005 and Galloway joined the Corp. for Public Broadcasting; Cathryn Harris, 2004 director who was dir. of comms., W. Va. American Water, went to her own firm after that job was eliminated; Steve Lubetkin, 2004 director, left Fleet Bank for his own firm after the bank merged; 2006 director Dave Rickey went from AmSouth Bank, now part of one of the ten largest bank holding companies after acquisition by Regions Financial, to Alfa Corp., Montgomery, Ala., insurance company; Art Stevens, 2003 secretary, went from CEO of Publicis Dialog New York to Stevens/Gould/Pincus, and Reed Byrum, 2003 president, went from Trilogy to his own firm. Only two of the past 12 presidents had significant jobs and stayed in them through and after the presidency–Mary Cusick (1998) of Bob Evans Farms and Kathy Lewton (2001) of Fleishman-Hillard and H&K. Others were in small firms, academia or nonprofit.

The rejection of Ray Crockett of Coca-Cola as S.E. director of PRS is symptomatic of PRS's alienation from corporate PR…PRS's bulging payroll of $5.28M (46.3% of revenues of $11.4M) contrasts with the payroll of the Council on Foundations ($6.6M or 36% of income of $18M). The ACF, which Mary Barber has joined, follows the guidelines for "transparency" of the Council. This includes putting the full audit and IRS Form 990 on the website. PRS does neither. Does ACF want its name associated with such practices? Still being withheld are the names of the 250 chapter Assembly delegates…Debbie Girard, now on PR for PRS under VP-PR Janet Troy, as a freelancer for PRS in 2004 authored "Tale of a Turnaround" for the magazine of ASAE/D.C. It said PRS was beset with "money woes, eroded credibility with members, low employee morale and a less-than-desirable working relationship with the board" but this was reversed by COO Catherine Bolton with the help of 2001 pres. Kathy Lewton and 2003 pres. Reed Byrum (2002 pres. Joann Killeen was not mentioned).

By Jack O'Dwyer

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Playing Favorites With Award-Winners

Martin Sorrell,

Welcome to a World of Rankings:
Ad Agencies, PR Firms
Ranked by Awards Won

by Jack O’Dwyer

The WPP Group, saying that number of awards won and profits are “strongly” related, cites numerous awards its units have won including 595 by Ogilvy advertising. This is a poor trade-off: number of awards won in place of revenue and employee counts for these units.


The annual report of the WPP Group (JWT, Ogilvy advertising, Hill & Knowlton, Burson-Marsteller, Cohn & Wolfe) provides no information on the revenues or staff counts of these units but instead makes dozens of references to industry awards they have won.

Ogilvy One ad unit, for instance, is said to have “won 595 local and international awards, topping 2005’s stellar total by 20.”

The JWT ad group won 35 “Lions” at the Cannes ad festival, “up from 17 in 2005.”

“This performance helped JWT rocket up the Gunn Report in 2006, from ninth place to fourth place,” says the WPP report (Gunn combines the winners of 53 local and international contests).

Awards from The Holmes Report, online PR newsletter, are cited by H&K, Ogilvy PR and Cohn & Wolfe. Holmes is referred to as “prestigious” and “the industry’s leading publication.”

Awards given by PR Week/U.S., owned by Haymarket, the U.K.’s largest private publisher, are also cited as are awards from the Wall Street Journal, AdWeek, Business Week and Advertising Age plus numerous private award contests including the Effies, Clios, Caples, One Show, Won Report (U.K. firm that tracks awards for direct marketing and digital ads) , Cyberwon Report and the Forrester Wave (compares vendor offerings).

Awards a Poor Substitute for Numbers

WPP and the four other holding companies (Omnicom, Interpublic, Publicis, Havas) engineered a massive withdrawal of information when they stopped reporting billings and staff counts of their hundreds of ad and PR units. Possible run-ins with Sarbanes-Oxley were cited.

But Tim Dyson, CEO of publicly-held NextFifteen, owner of Text 100 ($53M in fees), said he examined sections 302, 404 and 409 of SOX and could find “no good reason” why the revenues of individual units [of the ad conglomerates] could not be reported.” He said the Big Five were using SOX as a “fig leaf” to hide the true figures.

Publicly-held Cossette Communications of Toronto, which owns PainePR, Irvine, Calif., reports Paine’s revenues ($11.4M) and staff count. Canada has its own “SOX.”

WPP Pushes Awards

Says the WPP report: “If you drew a graph plotting creative awards as a proxy for creativity against [profit] margins for any group of agencies, there would be a very strong correlation. The more awards, the stronger the margins.” In other words, WPP is saying awards = profits.
But awards contests are judged by people who may have all sorts of financial, political, advertising and industry pressures on them.

Awards are a poor substitute for billings figures attested to by CPAs; W-3s showing payroll costs; lists of accounts revealing wins and losses; staff counts attested to by CPAs and other financial measurements. There’s an old saying—“Never bet on anything with less than four legs.”
We take all these awards programs with a grain of salt and especially compilations of thousands of awards. The Gunn Report was started eight years ago by Donald Gunn, a former creative director at Leo Burnett. The Report is based in the

OMC Cites Gunn Statistics

The OMC annual report, a mere 75 pages vs. the 188-page WPP report, says that “In the 2006 Gunn Report, BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide and TBWA Worldwide placed first, second and third respectively, as the most-awarded agency networks in the world.”
OMC says this is the third straight year its units have taken the top three spots and that Gunn noted that “in the eight years it has been compiling the results of global creative awards, only one network not part of OMC placed first in the network rankings.” No further details of awards won are provided by OMC.

Creativity magazine also gave the OMC networks the top three spots in its annual rankings of most-awarded agency networks, OMC notes.
The Interpublic annual report, combined with its 10-K report to the SEC, does not mention the topic of awards.

Ogilvy, H&K, C&W but not B-M Cite Awards

Ogilvy PR said it was “deeply gratified” by the results of the 2006 “Agency Excellence Survey” by PRWeek that placed it first in five categories, as rated by 600 clients. This included “Who Would You Likely Hire in a Crisis” and “Who would You Hired as Your Next Agency.”

Ogilvy PR was named “Agency of the Year in
Eastern Europe" in the European Consultancy Report Card 2006 of The Holmes Report.
C&W CEO Donna Imperato calls Holmes “the industry’s leading publication” in noting that the Report said “C&W specializes uniquely among the larger agencies in big brand building ideas and is increasingly capable of delivering the kind of creative concepts that can be leveraged across the entire marketing mix.”
Holmes ranked C&W as one of the top five in its “Best Agency to Work For” survey and the PRWeek “Excellence Survey” ranked C&W in the top five.

The Burson-Marsteller report made no mention of awards contests.
All WPP units reported excellent years and many new initiatives and the holding company reported that 2006, its 21st year, was “our best yet, with key measures exceeding any previous year.” Revenues rose 10% to 5.9 billion pounds and profits before taxes 15% to 682 million pounds (the pound is current worth $1.98). Profits after taxes were 482.6M pounds.

Advertising Age columnist Al Ries has noted that awards are so effective in pitches that the big ad agencies have given up running corporate ads in the ad media (PR media have such ads).
The ad industry, says Ries, “is the only industry that apparently doesn’t believe in advertising…what it believes in is PR.” Most agencies “spend a lot of money promoting their awards to potential clients,” he says.
One problem with ad industry awards, he adds, is that creatives are judges and the awards “are almost never based on results.” Entry forms ignore this aspect.
“Nor are there any consumers on the judging panels—that’s the real tragedy about the awards,” he adds.

How Credible are Awards?

Our question is how credible are these awards if some agencies deluge the contests with entries, paying considerable fees; if they buy full-page ads in some of the publications, and/or spend tens of thousands on award banquet tables and travel to such banquets? Subjective judgments determine winners rather than verifiable dollar and employment figures. Contests are subject to political and financial pressures especially with contestants like WPP putting so much emphasis on winning awards.

While WPP and the other conglomerates have turned their backs on objective measurements, others have not. The 140 independent firms in the O’Dwyer rankings have supplied top pages of income tax returns, W-3s, lists of staffers and other proofs and are reaping as much visibility and more credibility at a fraction of the cost of those proliferating awards programs. We don’t think clients are being fooled by the “awards game.” Ad Age this year named Omnicom’s John Wren as “Agency Executive of the year,” noting OMC had reached $100 (although OMC was $107 in 1999). The New York Times has yet to explore OMC’s beleaguered stock. OMC is now trading around $50 after a two-for-one split.

MAYO Communications manages the West Coast Bureau of O'Dwyer PR Daily, the only daily
publication not afraid to publish the truth about our industry, and sometimes the truth hurts.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tom Mattia, of Coke PR
reaches out to PRS

Aug. 13, 2007

By Jack O'Dwyer


Coca-Cola, $25 billion blue chip, has warmed up to the PR Society by boosting PRS memberships from four to 18 since 2005; by having PR head Tom Mattia speak to its Georgia chapter Aug. 8, and by offering PR exec Ray Crockett as candidate for its hard-to-fill S.E. district director’s post (the last two directors quit mid-term and no candidates at all showed up by the initial deadline of June 11 this year.

But the nomcom, showing its bias against major corporate PR executives and its bias in favor of agency people, picked Philip Tate as the official nominee.

He is VP/account services of Luquire George Andrews, Charlotte “marketing/ad/PR” firm which lists 11 employees on its website.

The site shows Judi Wax as senior VP-PR and David Coburn as VP-PR.

The nomcom, headed by 2005 president Judith Phair, rejected, for the first time in history, a solo candidate from a district—Marlene Neill, an employee of the City of Waco, Texas and an M.A. candidate at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, who sought to be S.E. director.

As it currently stands, the 2008 board would have only one corporate person, Christopher Veronda, manager of communications initiatives, Eastman Kodak, which appears to be an internal PR job. He has not returned phone calls or e-mails.

Corporate PR pros leaving the PRS board this year are Tony D’Angelo of UTC/Carrier, who lost the chair-elect race to Mike Cherenson, head of the PR unit of an ad agency; Dave Rickey of Alfa Corp., who filled the unexpired term of the resigned Gary McCormick; Gerard Corbett of Hitachi, and Margaret Hennen of Fairview Health Services. Ron Owens of Kaiser Permanente quit last year shortly after joining the board.

Mattia Apologizes for Coke Absence

Mattia, formerly in top PR posts at EDS, Ford Motor, Hill & Knowlton and IBM, spoke to 160 Georgia chapter members, apologizing for a 12-year absence by Coke at such meetings. He said he would appear every year if asked back. Georgia is the second biggest chapter with more than 900 members.

Coke is one of the leaders in the U.S. of the corporate social responsibility movement, described by the Aug. 8 Christian Science Monitor as an “historic change” at the major companies that “defies classic principles taught at virtually every business school.”

Companies are finding that backing CSR and “sustainability” (don’t leave a mess) are good business, wrote author Bruce Piasecki in the Monitor.

Mattia described Coke’s socially responsible behavior in the marketplace, workplace, community and environment.

Coke Published Environmental Report

The company just published its 2007 Environmental Report, detailing “water stewardship,” “sustainable packaging,” and “energy and climate protection” in 200+ countries. It has 55,000 employees.

Mattia said Coke is going high visibility and that was why he was speaking to the chapter.

The PR Society nominating committee completely missed the point of Coke trying to be involved in the professional PR community.

Either that or it was afraid that a Coke executive could not accept some of the strict anti-communications policies of the board that impact both its press and member relations.

One reason for the rejection of Neill may be her enrollment in one of the most prestigious J-schools in the national—Missouri. No student there could countenance PRS’s tight control of information and press avoidance.

Meanwhile, the nomcom, whose members include 2006 president Cheryl Procter-Rogers, Ethics Board vice chair Bob Frause and 1995 president John Beardsley, chose as nominee from the N. Pacific district Kathryn Hubbell of AdScripts, Missoula, Mont. It sounds like her principal business is ad copy writing. (See response from Hubbell below)

Choosing Hubbell while rejecting Neill appears to have no basis in logic.

Also on the nomcom are Sue Bohle of the 2006 board and Cathryn Harris of the 2005 board. The board is not supposed to pick its own successors and board members do not serve on the nomcom except the immediate past-president in an ex-officio (supposedly quiet) role. Having such recent board members on the nomcom appears to be a violation of the spirit of the no-board member rule.

GE, Toyota, Wal-Mart Cited as CSR Examples

As an example of good CSR, Piasecki notes that General Electric is touting its “green” activities and that “friendly” CEO Jeff Immelt has replaced “hard-edged” Jack Welch (once known as “Neutron Jack” because of his staff-cutting habits).

Other examples are Toyota’s hybrid engines that reduce pollution (helping to propel Toyota past General Motors) and Wal-Mart’s company-wide “Sustainability 360” program unveiled by CEO Lee Scott in February.

S.W. candidates now need 25 signatures of 2007 Assembly delegates by Sept. 20 but there is as yet no 2007 delegate list. Otherwise, the board can appoint a director who reflects its views.

Fierce personal politics and jealousies have again marred the nomcom process and harmed not only PRS itself, but the PR industry. D’Angelo was a dead duck as chair-elect from Day One. Cherenson would never have tried to skip from secretary to chair-elect without assurances it was in the bag. He made room for Rosanna Fiske to come back on the board as treasurer in violation of the spirit of PRS bylaws. D’Angelo made enemies when he headed the investigation of the 2004 nomcom that jumped Cheryl Procter-Rogers from director to president-elect over treasurer Maria Russell without traditional service as either secretary or treasurer. Procter-Rogers as well as her “best friend” Debra Miller are both on the 2007 nomcom. There were charges that the 2004 nomcom, headed by Joann Killeen with assistance from Reed Byrum, 2003 president, counted the ballots in secret and destroyed them. Killeen has said there was no doubt about the nomcom’s wishes and no one objected when the results were announced. Tempers ran high at a 2004 board meeting in New York and there were reports D’Angelo was physically threatened by another director. Killeen had her attorney send board members a letter demanding that negative discussions about her role in the nomcom be halted. Del Galloway, 2004 president, created a “Blue Ribbon” task force to study not only alleged nomcom abuses in 2003 and 2004 but all governance of PRS. A study was started but shelved. The topic of governance was dropped by succeeding boards.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Community mourns loss of TV Giant Hal Fishman

LA Press Club
Mourns the Loss
of Hal Fishman
KTLA-TV Anchorman

KTLA-TV Anchorman
Hal Fishman
holds his last
Golden Mike Trophy this
year for "Best One Hour Newscast"
at the RTNA Awards in Universal City, CA.
(Photo by George McQuade)

Los Angeles, CA. Journalism lost one of its broadcasting titans this week with the death of the award-winning KTLA-TV Channel 5 news anchor, Hal Fishman. He was 75 years old. A part of our collective news consciousness for over four decades, he will be missed by both peers who knew him and viewers that saw his work. Below is a statement by the Los Angeles Press Club:

“The Board of the Los Angeles Press Club, like so many others, is deeply saddened by the death of KTLA anchorman, Hal Fishman. Hal told the city’s story as it reinvented itself time and again. His knowledge and audience rapport were nearly unprecedented and he will be sorely missed by all. We will dedicate our 50th Southern California Journalism Awards show to Hal Fishman—set to take place in June of next year. Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends, colleagues and the rest of Los Angeles, which has lost perhaps its best interpreter.”

The Los Angeles Press Club stands as an organization devoted to improving the spirit of journalism and journalists, raising the industry’s standards, strengthening its integrity and improving its reputation all for the benefit of the community at large. For more information, go to and/or and/or

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