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March 04, 1986|Bill Ritter

Slowly Upping the Ante

The process of settling the more than 300 lawsuits against Rogers & Wells filed by former investors in J. David & Co. was a roller-coaster series of negotiations, according to sources familiar with the deal.

The final $40-million settlement began with a $20-million offer from the law firm. The rejected proposal kept increasing, first to $35 million and, finally, to $40 million, sources said.

So Give It a Hug Back

Olympus Educational Software, the little-known publicly held software design firm that is marketing a Halley's comet program, doesn't embrace the typical Madison Avenue approach to advertising.

Its letterhead features a drawing of a bear-like creature with the slogan: "Our software is so friendly it hugs you."

Ups and Downs of Public Relations

There has been lots of newspaper space devoted recently to just how big San Diego's public relations firms have gotten in the last 10 years. Most of it has been chest-puffery. But on Monday, a New York firm published its list of the top 50 PR firms in the country for 1985.

Only one San Diego firm made it on the list--The Stoorza Co., with reported fees of $2.7 million, an increase of nearly 21% over its fees in 1984. Stoorza's 34 listed employees has already risen to 40, officials said Monday.

The list, compiled by J.R. O'Dwyer Co., is topped by Burson-Marsteller, with $104.7 million in annual fee revenue and nearly 1,800 employees.

Although 1985 was a good year for PR firms, the O'Dwyer report noted, in-house corporate PR types had a rough time of it as companies cut their staffs to "compete better with lean foreign companies." Additionally, the report said, staffs were cut to make corporations "less susceptible to takeovers."

Finally, and not surprisingly, O'Dwyer maintains that it's cheaper for corporations to buy PR on the outside. The reason: Large numbers of women have entered the PR field and make an average of $11,000 per year less than men.

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