I am hereby correcting myself.
Reader the tree has found the following:
In Wolter and Kimber, The Who in Print, citation 109 (p. 14) says:
Altham, Keith. "Lily isn't pornographic, say Who." New Musical Express, May 20, 1967, 2. A short interview with Townshend and Moon. Townshend defends the lyrics of "Pictures of Lily" and describes the Who's brand of power pop music.
Then reader Bill offered his opinion, which I think is probably right:
the music industry coined the phrase "new wave" so as not to frighten Middle America with the scandalous label "punk."
Always anxious to sort such things out, I asked those who know about the origin of the term "New Wave" (which is probably what I was thinking of all along, and had merely repressed, because that term got co-opted by your Haircut 100s and your Flock of Seagullses).
Anyway, one Steven Simels claims to have originated the term in Stereo Review, possibly in a review of The Fabulous Poodles or The Sports or some never-quite-there band like that. He has promised to look for confirmation of that point, and we here at PowerPop anxiously await his findings. If anyone else has evidence for or against this point, please let us know!