INTERNATIONAL: Publicis boosts crisis work with Winner buy

PARIS: Publicis, the French advertising and communications group, is stepping up its crisis management activities.

PARIS: Publicis, the French advertising and communications group,

is stepping up its crisis management activities.



The company, famous for advertising and latterly for PR, has acquired US

crisis communications agency Winner and Associates.



Under the deal announced late last month Winner, founded by president

and chief executive Chuck Winner, will continue to trade as Winner and

Associates despite the sale. The agency’s 43 staff, spread between Los

Angeles and the head office in Washington, DC and overseen by executive

vice-president Les Francis, are thought to be unaffected by the

deal.



Jean-Yves Naouri, president of Publicis Consultants, said that Winner

contacted the French agency three years ago for assistance with a client

in need of European support.



The arrangement was a success, and Publicis made a bid for Winner which

was accepted and which finally went through last month. Winner is

understood to have received offers from other global communications

groups, but decided on the basis of the earlier collaboration to join

forces with Publicis.



Naouri would not reveal the price his company had paid for Winner and

Associates.



Winner - whose agency took in fees of almost pounds 5 million in 1999 -

counts handling the fallout from the Three Mile Island nuclear incident

in the early-1970s and the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle at

Cape Canaveral in 1986 among his work.



According to Naouri, Publicis is planning to expand its PR offering into

the key New York market, as well as to Montreal, Toronto and Latin

America.



Naouri claims to be preparing for further launches in Asia.



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