How has the Web made your job more difficult?

It’s made our work more complicated. If there is a downside to the Internet, it’s the “lawlessness” of this new frontier. Anyone can post anything. There are no rules. I spend far too much time responding to responsible reporters who call and say, “There’s something on the Web about XYZ. Is it true?” If the answer is yes, our only difficulty may be adjusting a client’s plans to an accelerated timetable. If the Internet has incorrect information however, it’s virtually impossible to remove the errors from cyberspace.

One of my clients discovered that his age was incorrect on a highly credible music site. He was a full 10 years younger than stated in his Web bio. We were after the youth market and this incorrect birth date adversely affected our campaign. I called and requested a correction.

I was told that the site would not be “accessed” by their programmer for four weeks (an eternity in Internet time), so the incorrect information sat there and was disseminated internationally. And not only was the incorrect information on the site, but it turned out that it was also part of a promotional CD-ROM that was never updated. It’s been more than two years and we still see the incorrect date being repeated in a variety of outlets.

There are many fan-maintained Eric Clapton Web pages on the Net. What was your reaction when you first learned that fans were publishing information about your artist?

Lots of people have published information about Eric and our other clients for a long time. I deal with facts and with careers. In all honesty, I stopped reacting years ago. The fact that this stuff is now on the Internet is really nothing new.

Are you involved with the Eric Clapton Web site maintained by Reprise Records at

Jimmy Dickson [VP, new media/chief tech. officer, Reprise-Warner Bros.] and I are in touch, of course. We do coordinate, particularly when Eric has new CDs in the works or when Eric is on tour.

Do you ever work with webmasters who publish unofficial pages about your artists?

In a word, never. If you’re wondering why, it’s because there are enough credible and responsible outlets for us to work with. We can get our message where we want it to be without working with “unofficial” sites.

How can a publicists use the Web to their advantage?

The Internet is a wonderful way to disseminate information. The immediate turn around makes it possible to get information around the world in seconds.

We also take advantage of online chats, links with commercial sites, live webcasts, streaming, and all the other wonderful new possibilities that technology offers. We have JPEG files of photos available and can provide excellent quality artwork instantaneously anywhere in the world.

It’s also fun. I enjoy the speed and impact immensely. There’s no waiting; it’s on the Web and it’s now.