INTERNATIONAL: Paris opening signals Firefly Europe growth

PARIS: Firefly, the top five UK hi-tech PR agency, is expanding into Europe with the opening of an office in France.

PARIS: Firefly, the top five UK hi-tech PR agency, is expanding

into Europe with the opening of an office in France.



The Paris office opens next week under the leadership of Laurent

Durgeat, who joined Firefly London from French agency Hardcom last

year.



Durgeat will report to Firefly director David Hargreaves and oversee a

staff of four. Three clients have already been lined up: IT firm Cincom,

on fees of over pounds 100,000; global telecoms company KSCL, and Red

Hat, the distributor of computer operating system Linux.



Firefly is currently recruiting a senior PR professional to head a

German office, which it plans to open later in 2000. This will bring the

number of wholly-owned offices to four after Firefly opened a Scottish

office in Glasgow last year.



The 11-year-old company reported fees of more than pounds 4 million in

1998 and, with new branches opening, is likely to rise from its 23rd

position in last year’s PR Week Top 150.



Until the forthcoming rollout of European branches, Firefly used a

network of affiliated independent agencies across Europe. Relationships

with these agencies will be maintained, in case client conflicts arise

as the business grows.



The work of the French office will mirror the four business units used

in Firefly’s London headquarters, working for established hi-tech firms;

IT start-ups, telecom companies which provide the technology for the

digital economy, and established brands which utilise the communications

potential of the internet.



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