Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Burson Marsteller's Hat Trick
PR Watch, a respected industry watchdog org., takes on Burson Marsteller this week with a report on Mark Penn, the worldwide CEO of BM, my former employer, and points out that he wears "many hats", maybe too many hats. Penn is also chief stategist to the Hillary Clinton campaign and head of a polling firm working for the Senator. BM's head Howard Paster brushes off this huge conflict of interest by stating that WPP, owner of BM, has many units that work "independently". I knew Penn back in the Eighties when I was a political pollster working with Dick Morris, and think he's a smart guy, but doubt he can handle the scrutiny of the mainstream press when this issue becomes a problem for BM. My bet is that he picks Clinton over BM.