In a joint announcement, Omnicom-owned agencies Ketchum and
Fleishman-Hillard UK have revealed two senior appointments.
Paul Blackburn, currently managing director of Ketchum’s UK healthcare
practice has been appointed as managing director of F-H UK.
He will be replaced by David Gallagher, who heads Ketchum’s healthcare
practice in Washington DC.
Fleishman-Hillard has been without a UK MD for five months, since the
departure of Deborah Saw to Burson-Marsteller as director of marketing
European president and chief operating officer Jack Modzelewski has
assumed the role of UK MD in the interim. Blackburn’s appointment will
allow Modzelewski to continue with his mission of growing the F-H
business in Europe, organically and by acquisition.
Blackburn will take responsibility for F-H’s London office, and report
to Modzelewski. The office has just over 30 staff, and estimated fees of
over pounds 5.5 million last year. There are plans to increase staff to
nearly 40 by the end of the year, and to strengthen the second tier of
Gallagher’s role will have new responsibilities, as he becomes the first
head of Ketchum’s European healthcare practice. Ketchum has offices in
Milan, Paris, Madrid and Munich, as well as London. Fees for the
European practice are estimated at over pounds 5 million, and clients
include AstraZeneca and Ciba Vision.
The appointments are the result of co-operation between Ketchum and F-H.
Blackburn headed Ketchum healthcare in London for five years, during
which time he built fee income from pounds 200,000 a year to nearly
pounds 2 million.
However, when he was looking to make his next move, and expressed an
interest in running a general agency, Ketchum chief executive James
Maxwell expressed a hope that he could be ’kept in the family’.
Omnicom’s Diversified Agency Services division, which includes agencies
such as Gavin Anderson, Brodeur Worldwide and Porter Novelli, has a
policy of keeping talented staff within the group.
There is a move towards developing an Omnicom employment strategy, which
could include a graduate training programme. It already offers senior
staff at agencies the opportunity to undertake a ’mini-MBA’, to help
develop general business knowledge.