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NEW YORK-Paul Werth Associates, Columbus, Ohio, beat out some of the biggest names in the public relations business to land the highest honors at the annual Silver Anvil awards handed out by the Public Relations Society of America.

But the award was in many ways overshadowed by the controversy that swirled around one of the runner-ups, The Citadel. The Charleston, S.C., military academy was honored for a "campaign to advance single-gender education" by Regan & Keenan Public Relations Counselors, Charleston. Boos greeted the announcement about the award going to a school that had been a target of feminists and civil rights advocates for trying to bar women from the campus.

The Grand Anvil to Paul Werth Associates was for a campaign known as "Project L.O.V.E." which involved an infant immunization program run for the Franklin County Hospital Council. Since the start of the campaign in April '93, the infant immunization rate in the area has risen 117%.

A total of 21 public relations firms were honored with Silver Anvils, with Fleishman-Hillard, St. Louis, garnering five, the most of any agency.

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