In the News — July 2013

Advertising Merger Spurs Concern

By Elizabeth Kim, July 30, 2013

Greenwich Time gives a local take on the major news that advertising industry giants Publicis and Omnicom announced plans to merge. Both agencies have satellite offices in Fairfield County, Conn., and Omnicom has one of its headquarters in Greenwich. In addition, the area has traditionally been home to many marketing executives who commute to New York City. Havas PR CEO Marian Salzman is one of them. “As a homeowner in Fairfield County, any time jobs in the tri-state area are at risk, I start checking my Zillow,” she says in the article. “Even if this is not a place of employment, all the people who fit into the big network of jobs become vulnerable any time there is any kind of job shrinkage.”

What Every PR Pro Can Learn from Johnny Carson

From RepMan, July 11, 2013

This post on the personal blog of comedian and PR man Steve Cody applauds Turner Classic Movies for showcasing 25 of Johnny Carson’s most memorable interviews with stars like Bette Davis and Elizabeth Taylor. Cody writes that they serve as a reminder about what made the late Carson so inimitable. One of the finest things about him? His authenticity. This trait, Cody points out, is shared by @havaspr CEO Marian Salzman, who this summer proclaimed that the PR industry has become too feminized and mired in political correctness. Says Cody, “Although we’d like to believe otherwise, most PR executives are afraid to posit their views on the leading issues of the day, as well as the very real ones challenging our industry’s future.”

Playtex Jazzes Up Bra Styles, Colors for Millennials

By Bruce Horovitz, July 1, 2013

Millennials are bustier than their mothers and grandmothers. Sales of bra-band sizes 44 to 50 swelled by 17 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to this article, while D-cup and DD sales grew 2 percent. But just because the younger generation needs more support doesn’t mean it wants the dowdy lingerie that has traditionally accompanied it; that’s the crux of this USA Today piece, which surveys the ongoing makeover of the 80-year-old Playtex brand. Trendspotter Marian Salzman is quoted here, saying, “In lingerie you need allure. How [is Playtex] going to put sexy into utility? They are competing in a category where everyone else is selling desire. What Playtex is selling still feels functional—kind of like going from selling soup to beef stew.”

I Dig Marian Salzman

From RepMan, July 1, 2013

Endearing @havaspr CEO Marian Salzman to this blogger was her public critique of American public relations, which she said recently has become “so feminized and so politically correct that I worry about where the edge has gone.” Steve Cody, co-founder of the Peppercomm PR agency and author of this post, points to a statistic that 78 percent of PR practitioners are women, and predominantly Caucasian; this, he says, hasn’t boded well for addressing the interests and concerns of a diverse nation and has left public relations sanitized and homogenized, celebrating the “bland and banal.” PR is best when edgy and irreverent, writes Cody, who quotes Salzman lamenting that American PR has “institutionalized all the hot shops, softened their edges and finishing-schooled the brashness right out of them.”


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