Chief Transparency Officer

Richard Edelman is the president and CEO of the world’s largest independent public relations firm with 1800 employees in 40 offices worldwide. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1972, has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. In other words, he’s a smart guy.
Given his native intelligence, he wants to “set expectations” for the myriad bloggers on his staff, including one of the the world’s foremost bloggers, Steve Rubel.
Coming off the Wal-Mart flog and the Microsoft Vista give-and-take, this is a smart move.

If our firm has made a mistake, I will blog about it, in the spirit of continuous improvement and commitment to excellence.

Unless “clients request that we stay clear.” Naturally, this is a brilliant out for Edelman, but it’s also a fact of life in client service. The agency can promote transparency all day and all night, but clients harbor their own beliefs on such matters, not to mention their own “trade secrets.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I will blog in any situation where our firm has made a mistake.
    I will also blog about work that is completed and the client allows us to discuss the work.
    I am not being clever here. Hold me to it

  2. “an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. In other words, he’s a smart guy.” That’s funny, every MBA I’ve ever met was a dipshit. And never forget… Our glorious Commander in Chief is an MBA!!!

  3. Actually, I’m more impressed by his prep school.