Posted by an Honored Guest
Sex and Schadenfreude
As you are aware, from time to time, we ask select PR notables to weigh in on news and trends. Here’s a BIG one: How ‘bout a former Marine and Vietnam vet who got f-ed over by his own government and sold down the river by his former agency?
My kinda guy. I am pleased to introduce Doug Dowie, former head of Fleishman Hillard’s LA office. Dowie was wrongly convicted last fall of masterminding an overbilling scheme bilking the city of Los Angeles to the tune of $500K. Fleishman-Hillard took a powder and skated away virtually scot-free. Weasels. How depressing.
Well apparently, the guy can take a shot. Eying a 42-month jail term in a federal prison camp, his voice is stronger than ever. He’s already completed two screenplays. "Anonymous Sources," a political thriller, was optioned by Oscar winning producer Jonathon Sanger, who made "Elephant Man," "Vanilla Sky" and "The Producers." The second, "Conflict of Interest," is loosely based on his case. Here, we’ve got an exclusive of his inside perspective of the latest scandal to rock LA.
Without further ado…
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Here’s a connected world: Doug’s co-defendant John Stodder wrote a similar story on the duplicity of LA Time's ethics (see http://tinyurl.com/35vs3u ).
He also asks a key question: why are the major PR trades ignoring the biggest PR story in the nation?
The ethical mistake was not made by Martinez it was made by Mayer and Mullens of 42West.
As I understand it these are the facts. Martinez wanted Spielberg to guest-edit. So he asked Mayer - whom Martinez knew because Mayer had visited the editorial board sometime in 2006 - to provide an intro. When Spielberg siad no, Mayer suggested Grazer. Martinez and Hiller loved the idea. And in January, Martinez, Newman and Goldberg asked Grazer to do it. He agreed. Grazer's firm then contracted Mayer to do PR to publicize Grazer's Currents guest editor gig. Mayer is the boss of Mullens who Martinez has taken out on the town a number of times (is she his girlfriend - who knows?).
Given that Mayer had set up the deal - irrespective of the relationship status of Martinez and Mullen - it was at this point that Mayer should have said no to Grazer's firm, but not only did he say yes, he asked Mullens to get involved in calling AP etc. to promote Grazer's involvement. And, it was at this point that Mullens should have said no, but instead she allowed her name to be put on the press release and she made the requested calls to news agencies. It was Mayer and Mullens who had the conflict of interest which they foisted on Martinez and in the process shafted Martinez big time and trashed his reputation.
The letter from Martinez to the Times today hints at how furious he must be at both of them. He writes: "I can assure readers that I had no knowledge that any friend of mine did publicity work for Hollywood producer Brian Grazer when he was asked to guest-edit Current, a decision taken by three editors in our department and approved by the publisher. And I never dreamed that any friend of mine or any firm employing a friend would be asked by Grazer to help publicize his involvement with Current. When that turned out to be the case, I flagged the apparent conflict to the publisher and our in-house publicist."
There is a curious quote from Mullens that keeps showing up: "I have never let my personal relationships interfere with my work ...". She sure doesn't - in fact she's willing to sacrifice the reputation of her alleged "boyfriend" to do whatever it takes to serve a new client.
Why is everyone so willing to crucify Martinez and let Mullens and Mayer off scott free?