TV Drug Pushers Include Media and Advertising Lobbyists

"Madison Avenue, facing growing legislative threats to one of the advertising industry's most lucrative categories, is stepping up the fight to protect its freedom to pitch prescription drugs directly to consumers. Drug companies, agencies and their media allies who have benefited handsomely from the flood of ads beat back one recent measure in the House of Representatives. ... The category of direct-to-consumer ads did not even exist until five years ago. Before 1997, broad curbs prevented pharmaceutical makers from mounting any significant


Media Back to "Shallowness, Celebrities and Pandering"

In the immediate aftermath of September 11, coverage of hard news skyrocketed and ratings went off the charts. Since then, however, "the networks are slipping back into their bad, old habits," which authors Leonard Downie and Robert Kaiser describe as "the shallowness, the obsessive attention to celebrities, and the pandering to advertisers that has crept in to news gathering during the last decade."


The Art of the Deal has posted a couple of clever spoofs regarding the current wave of corporate fraud scandals. One story reports, "the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that corporate earnings statements should be protected as works of art, as they 'create something from nothing.'" Another states, "Band of Roving Chief Executives Spotted Miles from Mexican Border ...


Martha Stewart, Reform Mascot

Martha Stewart's involvement in insider trading allegations may finally ring in corporate reforms, according to Kevin McCauley at O'Dwyer's PR Daily. "The names of Dennis Kozlowski (Tyco), Bernie Ebbers (WorldCom), John Rigas (Adelphia Communications), Dave Komansky (Merrill Lynch) and Gary Winnick (Global Crossing) don't ring a bell to those who skip the financial pages when reading their morning papers," McCauley writes. "Martha Stewart. Ding dong. That's a bell-ringer. ...


WorldCom's Accounting Errors Too Big For PR

"We've believed from the start that the perception of these negative items has been overstated," PR Week reports WorldCom CEO John Sidgmore telling shareholders at the company's June 14 annual meeting. "We must convince customers, employees, and investors of that fact." Sidgmore, who took the CEO job in April, was referring to WorldCom's growing debts, stock price plunge, and recent layoffs.


System Failure: Ethical Meltdown Burns Wall Street

"Phony earnings, inflated revenues, conflicted Wall Street analysts, directors asleep at the switch--this isn't just a few bad apples we're talking about here," writes Fortune magazine. "This, my friends, is a systemic breakdown. Nearly every known check on corporate behavior--moral, regulatory, you name it--fell by the wayside, replaced by the stupendous greed that marked the end of the bubble. And that has created a crisis of investor confidence the likes of which hasn't been seen since--well, since the Great Depression." And the crisis hasn't even peaked yet.


Greed On the Rise, And So Is Ethical Puffery

"Greed and corruption have always lingered at the edges of Corporate America, from Civil War profiteers to inside-trading scandals of the '80s," observes Gary Strauss in USA Today. "Yet the new millennium has ushered in a wave of fraud, corporate malfeasance, investment scams, ethical lapses and conflicts of interest unprecedented in scope." Not coincidentally, more and more corporations are issuing feel-good reports about their achievements in the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR). According to the KPMG accounting firm, the number of U.S.


A Swedish Scientist on the Tobacco Payroll

Ragnar Rylander, a respected Swedish scientist, has been doing research on the connections between environmental tobacco smoke and lung disease, research that has been secretly funded by the tobacco company Philip Morris. Rylander has been accused of manipulating his studies to suit tobacco interests, and of thus partaking in a "scientific fraud without precedent."



Subscribe to Ethics