NEW YORK: The media battle in this summer's proxy fight between Sam
Wyly's Ranger Governance and Computer Associates (CA) was fought by two
major IR firms: Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, and Citigate Sard
A project assignment for both firms, each used an account team of
between six and seven people, including agency leaders Paul Verbinnen on
the CA side, and Joele Frank on the Wyly side.
The New York Post estimated that CA and Wyly each spent $15
million in the fight for control of the CA board, with most of the funds
sunk into full-page advertising in The Wall Street Journal, The New York
Times, and other leading newspapers. Much of the ad copy was written by
the IR firms.
Owen Blicksilver, principal at Citigate Sard, said the proxy fight was
won through advertising, written communications with shareholders and
employees, and one-on-one meetings between management and the media. He
added that intense communications from usually media-shy CA may lead to
a new era at the e-business software company.
"There are a lot of reporters who know more about CA than they ever did
before, and that can be a PR advantage," he explained.
At Joele Frank, work began just after July 4, when Wyly parted ways with
Robinson Lerer & Montgomery. The agency is owned by Young & Rubicam,
which had an advertising deal with CA.