PRWEEK LISTS 2002: A year to remember

PRWeek charts some of the industry's highs and lows over the past 12 months

Analysts of the PR industry have left everyone in no doubt that this has been an annus horribilis for the sector because of dire economic conditions. But in common with almost every year, 2002 has had its ups and downs for the PR industry. In that spirit PRWeek has put together a list of the peaks and troughs, where the PR industry has shared a mix of triumphs and failures.

The lists, compiled by PRWeek with assistance from Echo Research aren't intended to provide a comprehensive year review, but entertaining snapshots of some of the more colourful moments.

It is both ironic and instructive that in a year when corporate reputation and CSR have become buzzwords, and the UK government has launched CSR initiatives, leading global brands are still capable of putting their foot in it in quite a spectacular way. Our list of PR gaffes include community relations issues for Umbro, Cadbury's and McDonald's.

Meanwhile, PR has been firmly in the media spotlight again in 2002. Earlier in the year, PRWeek's PR and the Media conference highlighted how important certain individuals' profiles in the media had become in affecting how the public perceives PR people.

Max Clifford - the man currently embroiled in the Cherie Blair, Carole Caplin and Peter Foster property scandal - was highlighted as one of the biggest influences on the public image of PR. Clifford comes out as number one in our list of Top Self-Promoters in PR, with 120 quotes this year (see p13). The only PR person with more quotes was Tony Blair's spokesman Alastair Campbell, who had 220. As the Prime Minister's spokesman he would be expected to top the list so for that very reason he is not included.

It was a year of mixed fortunes for the consultancy sector. While a raft of new agencies launched, the larger agencies have had problems.

WPP, IPG and Chime each faced problems with a declining market. But Chime chief Lord Bell, who comes second place in our list of self-promotors, faced many questions about the state of his agency as rumours of takeovers circulated in the City. Chime's share price saw 75 per cent of its value wiped off in one day this year.

Sir Martin Sorrell is our seventh-placed Most-Quoted High-Profile UK Boss (see p13), and it was his prognosis for this year, using various versions of a 'bathtub' image to describe the gradual recovery pattern of the marketing industry, which helped pit him as one of the most important commentators on the sector. The industry is still hoping to climb out the other side of the bathtub.

With healthcare remaining one of the stronger sectors, it is probably no coincidence that the most awarded campaign of the year was on lung disease for the British Thoracic Society by Munro & Forster.


The Burden of Lung Disease by Munro & Forster

Healthcare specialist Munro & Forster's work for the British Thoracic Society on Lung Disease scooped an IPR win, a PRCA commendation and was listed among the finalists in the Research category of the PRWeek Awards. Only a finalist mention puts this campaign in the lead ahead of MINI and Friendsreunited. The campaign aimed to raise awareness of respiratory disease and its burden on the health of the UK and to gain MP and opinion-former interest in the issue.

The report encouraged Secretary of State for Health Alan Milburn to meet with the British Thoracic Society with a positive outcome on policy expected.

Launch of the new MINI, by BMW

A very close second, the market launch of the MINI in July 2001 won a special IPR award for Outstanding Achievement by an in-house PR team in the commercial sector and won PRWeek's Promotional Activity award.

On the launch weekend 50,000 people visited MINI dealerships.

Friendsreunited by Beatwax Commss

Sharing second place with MINI, the Friendsreunited campaign won Campaign of the Year Award 2002 at the PRWeek Awards, and scooped a win in the Technology category for promoting its well-known website that started in a bedroom.

Banking on Public Relations Cahoot by Manning Selvage & Lee This campaign for bank Cahoot shares fourth place with Bell Pottinger, having received one win from the IPR and a PRCA commendation. Much of its strength was drawn from planning, research, and evaluation - the category in which it scored a win.

Railtrack Shareholders' Action Group by Bell Pottinger Financial Bell Pottinger's public affairs work for the Railtrack Shareholders' Action Group was recognised twice by PRWeek, with a win and a commendation at the awards. This makes the campaign an equal to Cahoot in fourth place.

The Microflat and Microlife by Sam Price PR and Smoothe Taking place in a Selfridges shop window, the microflat idea received all of its recognition from PRWeek. The judges gave a commendation in the Marketing Communications: Consumer category. It was also a finalist in Promotional Activity.

Rebranding of the Police Service of Northern Ireland by Weber Shandwick A sensitive campaign - PR for the rebranding of the Royal Ulster Constabulary to the Police Service of Northern Ireland was commended and made a finalist by PRWeek in two categories including Public Sector and Corp Comms.

Source: PRWeek Awards, the IPR Excellence Awards and the PRCA FrontLine Awards. Only seven campaigns are listed as all other campaigns drew level on number of awards achieved

Most Quotable Quotes in PRWeek

Piers Morgan, editor, the Daily Mirror. In an interview for View From the Top (1 November) Morgan was asked if he would ever consider working in PR. The red top maestro, known for his disdain of celebrity PROs, did not mince his words when he rather candidly said to our reporter: 'I would rather staple my eyelids to my rear'.

Ken Livingstone, London mayor

'If I produce a bucket of pigeon shit and pour it over your head then spend several thousand pounds on PR to explain that it is wonderful, I'm not going to persuade you', (15 November). Ken's interesting analogy on the effect congestion charging might have on Londoners.

Ketchum, official statement

When its public affairs arm effectively lost all its staff: 'We are pursuing a more flexible approach to resourcing in this economic climate', (27 September).

Martin Minns, World Press and Media Services

The former Tory talking about his time at the Referendum Party (21 June) said: 'No party has ever partied like the Referendum Party'.

Max Clifford, founder, Max Clifford Associates

'Knowing I managed to get that word "sleaze" firmly attached to that word "Tory" and that that totally destroyed the Conservative government... That gave me immense satisfaction', (29 November).

A public affairs adviser Asked if Jo Moore could ever work in lobbying again after that infamous email, the source said: 'Well she's cynical, manipulative and widely disliked for well-founded reasons, so she belongs at... (fill in name of your least favourite PA shop)', (22 Feb).

Ed Vaizey, director, Consolidated Communications

After having written off his beloved Mercedes, the heartbroken Vaizey said: 'What am I going to do for action now? It was the best chick puller I ever had', (11 January).

Jonathan Rush, managing director, Positive Profile

In a leaked email to friends: 'After last year's rip-roaring success, I am celebrating my 50th birthday again,' (10 May).

Dawn James, Weber Shandwick In a letter to PRWeek, advising incoming Archbishop of Canterbury: 'Apart from root-and-branch structural changes such as disestablishment or major re-organisation, he has the same three tools at his disposal as any CEO in effecting real culture change: leadership, reward/recognition and, of course, communication,' quoted again in Private Eye, Pseuds Corporate (23 August).

Charlie Whelan in his weekly column

'Many people think that if some foreigners are trying to poison us, then bombing a few Iraqis seems fair enough', (22 November).


Diageo staged a mega pitch for its consumer PR across the bulk of its portfolio with fees 'that could surpass £4m' across 'two or three' agencies (25 October). Retained agencies Countrywide Porter Novelli and Lexis PR were reported to be 'not under threat' by the pitch. Brands in the Diageo stable include Guinness, Archers, Smirnoff, Pimms, Baileys, Bell's, Gordon's Gin and a range of fine whiskies. Among the brands up for grabs were Jose Cuervo, J&B and Captain Morgan.

Mars subsidiary Masterfoods (20 September) consolidated its PR roster to just three firms which shared a more than £3m bounty between them.

The Ministry of Defence began a hunt for agency support (29 November) to help it create a single corporate brand identity with an estimated budget of £3m.

The Royal Mail Group halved its PR spend to £2.5m while simultaneously doubling its number of PR agencies on its roster (22 November).

The Legacy Promotion campaign representing around 80 charities, launched a £2m PR push to encourage people to put charitable donations in their wills (17 May).

O2 completed its £1m review (13 September) with two new agencies: Jackie Cooper PR and Midnight Communications.

Red Door Communications scooped Roche Diagnostics' blood coagulation monitoring system, CoaguChek S (23 August), reported to be worth around £1m.

Edelman scooped mobile phone firm Orange's B2B and consumer PR, worth up to £1m(19 July).

Jackie Cooper PR was hired by The Number, the directory enquiries service that will operate the 118118 number (8 November), for almost £1m, although this was to be shared with an existing agency.

Financial Dynamics won UK fund manager New Star Asset Management on fees between £600,000 and £1m (1 November).


Lexis PR

Lexis, founded by consultant chairman

Bill Jones (pictured), scooped the number one slot with one win at the PRWeek Awards and an astounding five wins at the PRCA FrontLine Awards. The agency's accolades covered diverse categories, including e-PR, best practice,and two in research. It was the agency's research for the Value of Time campaign for Barclaycard that scooped a PRWeek Award.

Cohn & Wolfe

Two wins and four commendations. The same overall score as Lexis, but not as many wins.

Lansons Communications

Lansons grabs third place with five awards. The trophy cabinet consists of two wins and three commendations.

Countrywide Porter Novelli

Countrywide Porter Novelli is ahead of Communique with two wins and two commendations.


Nudging fourth place with four awards is Communique. The agency won four commendations.

Munro & Forster

Healthcare specialist Munro & Forster was awarded two wins and a commendation.

Weber Shandwick

The UK's biggest agency managed two wins and a commendation. Three awards in total, but its two wins put it ahead of Hill &Knowlton and Manning Selvage & Lee.

Hill & Knowlton

A single win from the IPR and two PRWeek commendations. This means it essentially shares the eighth-place slot with MS&L.

Manning Selvage & Lee

MS&L appears in ninth place with a single win and two commendations.


Comm s Text 100 Group's tech and consumer brand August. One took one win and a commendation. The agency completes our list in tenth place.


Sports retailer Umbro faced protests by Jewish groups over its new Zyklon trainer. The name has terrible associations with the Holocaust as Zyklon B was the gas used by the Nazis to exterminate Jewish prisoners during WWII. The shoe has been renamed.

Cadbury's Temptations chocolate used the slogan 'Too good to share' in an Indian ad showing Kashmir, over which India and Pakistan are in dispute.

Camelot CEO Dianne Thompson said in May that National Lottery players 'have realised that though it could be you, it probably won't be', after a £72m facelift for the game.

McDonald's released a new sandwich in Norway in August called the 'McAfrika'. Protesters called the choice of name 'insensitive' since 12 million southern Africans are currently facing starvation.

The Canadian Prime Minister's head of comms Francoise Ducros quit after it emerged she had been overheard calling President George W Bush 'a moron'.

DTLR's premature announcement of the 'resignation' of former comms director for Stephen Byers, Martin Sixsmith, which in addition to compromising the impartiality of the civil service paved the way for Byers' resignation.

The Russian space agency called off sending 'N Sync singer Lance Bass into space in September as the third space tourist when his sponsor did not pay for the trip. The space agency sent spare parts in his place.

Downing Street was forced to back down in June in its row with the press over Prime Minister Tony Blair's role in the Queen Mother's lying in state, after Blair lodged a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission over newspaper allegations that he sought a larger role at the funeral.

Marks & Spencer paid David Beckham a reported £3m to endorse and promote its DB07 clothes range, but he did not wear the DB07 label at the September launch. Beckham turned up wearing his own jeans and an M&S jacket. M&S press office said: 'In an ideal world he could have done something more exciting,' but that he was a great icon.

Top Self Promoters in PR

Max Clifford, founder, Max Clifford Associates. The man the media regards as 'Mr PR' was quoted 120 times this year so far, putting him at the top of the chart. Despite claiming he never requests interviews, he hardly seems to turn them down either. And why not? It certainly helps to promote the Max brand. He was even the subject of a Louis Theroux documentary in the summer.

Lord Tim Bell, chairman, Chime Communications

Lord Bell's 40 quotes were often related to City talk of takeovers during the year, but in second place, Mrs Thatcher's favourite marketing man was quoted on a range of topics that helped keep him in the news.

Matthew Freud, founder, Freud Communications

Freud remains one of the hottest celebrity promoters, but his personal life has also come under media scrutiny after marrying the daughter of Rupert Murdoch. His 30 quotes are therefore no surprise.

Amanda Platell, PRWeek columnist

The former director of communications at Conservative Central Office has become a prominent media contact on a range of issues.

Thirty Platell quotes have appeared.

Ed Vaizey, director, Consolidated Communications

The media-friendly public affairs man has an occasional column in The Guardian, which accounts for more than a few of his 16 appearances. But the former Tory adviser is also quoted for his political nous. Vaizey looks set to assume a new role if his ambition is realised to become Tory MP for the constituency of Wantage in Oxfordshire.

Mark Borkowski, founder, Borkowski PR

Eleven mentions for Borkowski - no stranger to promotion and publicity that he can turn to his own advantage, the man uses his formidable consumer know-how to ensure his profile remains pretty high. The regular online Media Guardian columnist comes in at sixth place in our chart.

Julia Hobsbawm, founder and chief executive, HMC

The former head of Labour's fundraising arm and chief executive of Hobsbawm Media + Marketing Communications had seven quotes. Currently in the running to be the London College of Printing's first PR Professor, Hobsbawm's number of media appearances will probably go up next year if she clinches the post.

Jon Aarons, partner, Financial Dynamics

As president of the Institute of Public Relations, Aarons has been keen to promote the PR cause this year after scandals damaged the industry's image in 2001. Working as a partner at one of the City's leading financial PR firms and a source for many financial journalists, his four mentions put him in eighth place.

Source: Echo Research, national daily newspapers January - November 2002. Does not include quotes from PRWeek

Most Quoted High-Profile UK Bosses

Sir Richard Branson, founder, Virgin. With 255 quotes in the national press this year so far, Branson remains as high-profile as ever. An admired entrepreneur and media-savvy boss, Branson is still one of the media's favourite sources and remains eminently quotable - not just on the subject of his vast business empire, but on his personal life too.

Philip Green, chief executive, Arcadia Group

Some way behind Branson, with 159 quotes, is the boss of the UK's second largest fashion retail group. Billionaire Green's activities gained much attention during his successful bid for Arcadia.

Rod Eddington, chief executive, British Airways

Eddington was quoted 113 times in the national press. BA's fortunes have been followed in the wake of terrorist attacks in the US.

Ben Verwaayen, chief executive, BT

Dutch-born Verwaayen joined as chief executive from Lucent Technologies in January. The new chief executive had 90 quotes in the press, securing his place in the top five.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou, chairman, easyjet-Go

The man known by his first name and who actively, he admits, tries to personalise every business he runs, is due to step down as chairman next year, but remains high-profile with 89 quotes.

Vanni Treves, chairman, Equitable Life

The troubled life assurers have attracted much negative media attention this year as the near-bankrupt society faced a policy holder revolt.

Equitable's chairman was quoted 87 times.

Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive, WPP

Sorrell has been in the media spotlight this year providing comment on the marketing recession, as WPP is seen as a barometer. He was quoted 86 times.

Niall Fitzgerald, chairman, Unilever

The chairman of marketing giant Unilever was quoted 53 times in the press this year so far.

Roger Holmes, chief executive, Marks & Spencer

Following a Board restructure at Marks & Spencer in July, Holmes was named as the new chief executive. Holmes was quoted on 45 occasions.

Clara Furse, chief executive, London Stock Exchange

Canadian-born Furse is the first female chief executive of the London Stock Exchange and has been widely acclaimed for pushing through reforms since she started in 2001. As the head of LSE she was quoted 36 times. Source: Echo Research, national daily newspapers January - November 2002.

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