NEW YORK: In protest of "the unfair way the Council of Public Relations Firms is handling this year's agency rankings," Ruder Finn CEO Peter Finn has decided to withdraw his firm's membership from the industry association.
This year, the majority of holding companies with PR agencies chose not to provide 2002 revenue information, citing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. However, the Council still planned on including those firms in an alphabetical listing on its website at the time PRWeek went to press. Agencies that reported figures this year will be listed with 2001 and 2002 revenue data. Firms that did not submit numbers this year will show 2001 revenues, while 2002 data will be listed as "not available."
Council president Kathy Cripps called Ruder Finn's withdrawal "disappointing," and said she hopes the agency eventually decides to rejoin the association.
Finn said the Council's decision to list all agencies hurts the chances of publicly owned firms reporting revenue figures in the future. He explained, "If agencies that chose not to report were not included, it would encourage them to petition their parent companies for the right to do so next year. The Council is letting them get away with having their cake and eating it too."
Cripps said the issue would be revisited at a Council board meeting this week.
Finn also noted that the agency's current complaint "does not mean we will never
be a member of the association in the future."