"After the bubble burst, the [New York Stock Exchange] regulators decided that it was not nice for an analyst to tout a stock without mentioning that he owned the stock or that his employer was the company's investment banker. So they ruled that such conflicts had to be disclosed. Fair enough. But to whom? Many investors learn analysts' opinions not from reading brokerage reports but from news media reports. So the Big Board said that the firms had to make sure that broadcasters who quoted the analysts had to pass on the disclosure.
By stating time and again that terrorism insurance is a jobs bill, the White House "delivered a big plum to the insurance industry," writes Steven Rosenfeld. Now taxpayers are obligated to cover the industry's back by paying up to $300 billion if another terrorism attack occurs -- even though there's no evidence that the legislation will protect a single worker's job. "It has nothing to do with reality," the former top federal insurance regulator said earlier this fall, when discussing his studies examining the issue. "It was hype back then and it's still hype."
The Center for Science in the Public Interest has joined a number of other health and science leaders in questioning the integrity of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology (RTP), a "seemingly independent scientific journal" that hides "its authors' and editors' extensive financial ties to tobacco, chemical, pharmaceutical, and other industries. ... [M]any RTP papers are written by scientists from industry labs or by industry-paid lawyers and lobbyists.
Alessandra Stanley writes in today's New York Times: "The revelation that Roger Ailes, the chairman of Fox News, the self-proclaimed fair and balanced news channel, secretly gave advice to the White House after the Sept. 11 attacks was less shocking than it was liberating -- a little like the moment in 1985 when an ailing Rock Hudson finally explained that he had AIDS. Ever since Mr. Ailes changed jobs from Republican strategist to news executive, he has demanded to be treated as an unbiased journalist, not a conservative spokesman.
"Embarrassing public disclosures about Citigroup threaten to complicate final negotiations aimed at cleaning up tainted Wall Street research and stock-offering practices," reports Thor Valdmanis.
The Homeland Defense Bill currently working its way through Congress adds a new exemption to the Freedom of Information Act, protecting the secrecy of information that companies submit voluntarily to the government. Supporters say the exemption makes it easier for companies to share information with the government to assist the "war on terrorism." Critics, like Rep.
"The Forest Products Industry National Labor Management Committee, a group that says it wants to 'balance economic and environmental concerns' when it comes to managing America's timber, paid Ogilvy PR Worldwide $100,000 during the first-half of this year to make its case in Washington, D.C.," O'Dwyer's PR Daily writes. The group lobbied against EPA regulations on new industrial emissions. "The Committee members include the American Forest & Paper Assn., and forest industry groups in California, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Louisiana and the Rockies. It also counts the International Assn.
"The US Army is considering a proposal to privatize more than 200,000 jobs, a move that could displace thousands of public affairs officers worldwide - and yield a wealth of opportunity for private firms," PR Week's Douglas Quenqua writes.
Computer experts say Microsoft's "Palladium" software project, which builds on technology being developed by the "Trusted Computing Platform Alliance" (TCPA), could be misused
PR Tactics, a publication of the Public Relations Society of America, reports corporate budgets for public relations average $2.7 million in 2002, an increase from $2.25 in 2001. The Thomas L. Harris/Impulse Research Client Survey found that telecommunications firms outspend other sectors, averaging $8.04 million for PR budgets. Chemicals and plastics average $5.55 million; retailing, $3.96 million; energy, $3.68 million; and sports and entertainment, $3.52 million. Some of the PR spending goes to promoting new products. PR Tactics reports "a recent survey of 600 U.S.