Public Relations

Body Shop Picks Ruder Finn For PR

The Body Shop has picked Ruder Finn to promote the company's U.S. store expansion. RF will handle several events and local PR campaigns aimed at increasing awareness and attracting traffic to Body Shop's new locations. In contrast with the Body Shop's animal and environment friendly image, Ruder Finn owns the almost legendary E. Bruce Harrison Company. Harrison is ironically considered "the founder of green PR" because of his work for the pesticide industry in the 1960s when he helped lead the attack on author Rachel Carson and her environmental classic, Silent Spring. E.

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B-M Paid to Wave the Flag and Burn the Constitution

Gutting the First Amendment has become the "patriotic" last refuge for scoundrel PR firm Burson-Marsteller (B-M). Citizens Flag Alliance depicts themselves as a frustrated group of proud veterans saving our nation from flag burning by amending the constitution. However, the CFA website and media reports fail to identify perhaps their most important "member," the giant PR firm reaping big bucks managing the campaign. B-M's masterminds are no doubt the source of CFA talking points such as: "Putting a few disgusting means of expression out of bounds in no way threatens ...

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PR Firm's Paxil Campaign Draws Criticism

The Washingon Post reported NY-based PR firm Cohn & Wolfe's campaign for Glaxo SmithKline to promote its drug Paxil as a treatment for social anxiety disorder has raised concerns. The campaign calls into question whether pharmaceutical companies, traditionally in the business of finding new drugs for existing disorders, are increasingly in the business of seeking new disorders for existing drugs.

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Global Warming Sweepstakes--This Time It's Cool

In 1997, we noted that the anti-environmentalist Junk Science Home Page was sponsoring a Global Warming Sweepstakes as a way of opposing measures that combat global warming. Well, two can play at that game. Act for Change/Working Assets just announced its own sweepstakes, which supports measures to combat global warming.

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Weber Shandwick Worldwide Seeks Long-Term Ties With China

PR behemoth Weber Shandwick Worldwide hopes its successful pitch for China to host the 2008 Olympics will lead to a long and profitable relationship between the two. According to O'Dwyer's Daily, the WSW campaign is the Chinese government's first Western-style global PR effort.

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Minnesota Attorney General Investigates Allina Health System's PR Spending

Minnesota's largest health care system Allina Health System has been under the close scrutiny of the Minnesota attorney general. At issue is whether Allina improperly spent money on outside consultants and executive perks. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Allina spent over $300,000 this spring on "crisis management" consultants.

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Biotech: Big Money PR Meets Grassroots Credibility

Food First, also known as The Institute for Food and Development Policy, is fund-raising for $450,000 to undertake a three-year campaign "to rebut the questionable PR tactics used by the biotech industry to promote genetically engineered (GE) food. Specifically, we will counter the industry tactics of green washing — 'biotech is pro-environment,' poor washing — 'we need biotech to feed the hungry,' and hope dashing — 'there is no alternative.' " Ross S.

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Weber Shandwick Worldwide Again Number One

Weber Shandwick Worldwide has regained its status as the biggest PR firm following Interpublic's decision to fold BSMG Wordwide--a former True North unit--into WSW. The move creates a PR colossus with $535 million in combined fees, according to rankings compiled by the Council of PR Firms. WSW beat out Fleishman-Hillard, who reported $343 million in fees to the Council, for the number one spot.

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Timber Industry's SFI Certification "Greenwashing"

Pacific Lumber Co. announced it had been blessed by the American Forest & Paper Assn's "Sustainable Forestry Initiative" (SFI). Conservationists questioned Pacific Lumber's claims of sustainability, saying it reveals SFI to be little more than greenwashing. "To call Pacific Lumber's ongoing liquidation of ancient forests 'sustainable' exposes the self-serving nature of this program," commented Paul Mason of the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC). The Sustainable Forestry Initiative is the timber industry's program for certifying sustainably managed forests.

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Few Nice Words for Las Vegas Spin Doctors

To journalists in Las Vegas, the proliferation of public information officers (PIOs) within local government is a cancer on the body politic. The city of Las Vegas has the same number of PIOs as the press office of New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. As a result, says veteran Vegas TV reporter Hank Thornley, the days a reporter could easily directly inspect public documents or directly contact public officials are long gone. "You're referred to public relations," he says.

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