Paul Holmes 11 Oct 2010 // 8:23AM GMT
■ Liberal bloggers like the idea of providing taxpayers with an “itemized receipt” because they believe it would make taxes less painful because people would see that most tax revenue is being spent on popular programs. Conservatives like it, because they believe some of those popular programs would become less popular if people knew how expensive they were. I like it not because I believe it would lead to a particular outcome, but because transparency is an important principle for both companies and governments to embrace. ■ Porter Novelli’s health policy guru Peter Pitts is a reliable advocate of free market healthcare, and so it is no surprise to see him mounting a robust defense of the pharmaceutical industry’s role in continuing medical education. It would have been nice, however—particularly in an article about the importance of transparency—if The Burrill Report had mentioned his day job at a firm that counts pharma companies among its biggest clients in addition to the fact that he is former FDA commissioner. ■ Goldman Sachs is launching a corporate advertising designed “highlighting the bank’s role in helping a green energy company build wind turbines” as part of a campaign designed to convince the American public that the bank is not quite as evil as its reputation would suggest. The FT sounds skeptical. ■ Now it’s The New York Times’ turn to recognize that the public relations industry is in the ascendancy, with Stuart Elliott using MDC’s acquisition of stake in Kwittken & Company to note “the growing recognition along Madison Avenue of how much more interested marketers are becoming in using public relations to reach consumers.” ■ If you think your company has a Google problem, spare a thought for would-be Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. “This is an unusual problem. It's devastating. This is one of the more creative and salient Google issues I've ever seen," says Michael Fertik, CEO of ReputationDefender. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, says I. ■ The American public is not ready for eco-friendly packaging that makes too much noise.