MS&L set to boost PR offering after Leo Group merger

Manning Selvage and Lee is to boost its international PR offering, following the merger of its holding company the MacManus Group with marketing services rival The Leo Group.

Manning Selvage and Lee is to boost its international PR offering,

following the merger of its holding company the MacManus Group with

marketing services rival The Leo Group.



Although no formal announcements have been made, the agencies are

expected to remain separate, much as the advertising agencies involved

in the deal, Leo Burnett and D’Arcy.



MS&L has global PR fees of pounds 40 million, while The Leo Group’s

global PR interests are estimated to total pounds 4 million. Some ties

already exist: MS&L’s South African affiliate of six years is Sonnenberg

Leo Burnett, owned by The Leo Group. The two agencies have worked

together on local clients such as South African Airways, satellite

telephony operator Inmarsat and Rolex.



According to Elliot, the main area for synergy between the agencies will

be in the Asia-Pacific region. In the past 18 months, MS&L has opened

offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo serving clients such as Philips Domestic

Appliances, Mars and Western Union.



Leo Burnett is a more firmly established player there, with offices in

Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Taiwan.



’It creates the opportunity to develop joint business and share clients

we have already,’ said MS&L executive vice-president Jackie Elliot.



Thus global clients may use the strongest agencies in each territory -

MS&L in the US and UK and The Leo Group in Asia-Pacific and Latin

America.



There are no significant client conflicts.



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