In your April 2 Newsmaker on my former Sitrick & Co. colleague Mark Saylor, you made a confusing and potentially misleading reference to a "potential scandal" at the LA Times "involving Hollywood producer Brian Grazer, a dangerous romance, a killed editorial section, and Saylor's former Sitrick colleagues [now with 42West] Allan Mayer and Kelly Mullens."
It's important to note the following regarding the Times' decision to cancel an edition of its now defunct Current section that Grazer had guest-edited.
While the Times felt it was necessary to kill the section because of a perceived conflict of interest involving a personal relationship between an editor and an executive at my firm, Times publisher David Hiller noted publicly that "this relationship did not influence the selection of Brian."
Moreover, he emphasized that the Times was reacting to a potential "appearance of conflict," as opposed to a real conflict. In other words, neither Grazer nor anyone at 42West did anything wrong or even questionable.
PR Play rating clueless
I felt compelled to write to you about your rating of the "crime scene" photo shoot on America's Next Top Model in the April 2 PR Play of the Week.
Your opinion that feminists are acting hypocritically by protesting the images of the "murder of models" only proves the images are truly dehumanizing to women. Would you have rated this "on the right track" if the women were unattractive?
Or would you see what they're protesting: the glorification of violence against women?
To approve of these photos of women, "lying dead, dripping blood" because it symbolizes the death of "the model" is myopic. To assume viewers will understand the symbolic death of "modeling" and be able to distinguish it from the murders of young, pretty women they see on the news is perhaps naive.
I don't agree that Tyra Banks took "the high road by declining to address the hysterical outcry," either. It's called ignorance, and I would rate that clueless.
Keep APR in perspective
While Marisa Vallbona, APR, makes some good points about accreditation (Op-Ed, PRWeek, April 9), to suggest that the APR is equal to an MD or CPA designation is off the mark. In the unlicensed world of PR, there are several accreditation programs, from IABC and PRSA to smaller, specialized communication practice areas. Members may choose to seek accreditation, but aren't mandated to by any governing body.
I'm not advocating licensing of the profession; we just need to keep our volunteer accreditation programs in perspective.
Arizona State University