NEWS: Countrywide rebrands under Porter Novelli

Countrywide, the UK’s third biggest PR consultancy, is to change its name. The Omnicom-owned agency will adopt the name of its US sister firm to become Countrywide Porter Novelli from September.

Countrywide, the UK’s third biggest PR consultancy, is to change its

name. The Omnicom-owned agency will adopt the name of its US sister firm

to become Countrywide Porter Novelli from September.



Communications International - the umbrella brand for Omnicom’s

generalist PR interests - will become Porter Novelli International.



The new group - totalling 73 offices in 38 countries - will be run by an

international board jointly chaired by Countrywide chairman Peter Hehir

and Bob Druckenmiller of Porter Novelli.



It has a combined annual fee income of around dollars 140 million

(pounds 90 million)worldwide, over two-thirds of which is generated in

the US, UK and Germany.



The rebranding is chiefly designed to improve recognition of the group

as an international brand.



‘We recognised that reflecting the US name would be vital in attracting

business from the main exporter of PR, the US,’ said Hehir.



But Hehir stressed that the move was not a merger: ‘This is not a Porter

Novelli takeover,’ he said. ‘There is no precedent for this

[arrangement]. We are both coming from a position of strength.’ Hehir

said there was no intention to drop the Countrywide, although he did not

rule it out as a long term possibility.



‘It would be Countrywide’s sole decision to drop the name, and we

wouldn’t do it unless there was a sound commercial reason,’ he said.



Leader, p9



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