PR merger to lift Shandwick tally

Top-three marketing services group Interpublic has partially merged two of its UK public relations networks in a move which increases Shandwick's staff numbers by 25.

Top-three marketing services group Interpublic has partially merged two of its UK public relations networks in a move which increases Shandwick's staff numbers by 25.

The company is merging the Manchester and Bristol offices of McCann-Weber PR into Shandwick's UK operations and rebranding the remaining two as McCann-Erickson.

The offices in Birmingham and Edinburgh will revert to using the name of their linked advertising agency. The name McCann-Weber, first used in 1998 to reflect the acquisition by parent company IPR of the Weber Group, is to be dropped.

In Manchester, Shandwick and McCann will merge to create a business with 22 staff and annual fee income of just over pounds 1 million.

The office will be headed by joint MDs Rob Salmon, formerly sole MD of Shandwick Manchester, and Jo Leah, previously MD of the city's McCann outfit.

The Bristol base of McCann-Weber will now be a Shandwick office, though the structure will not change, and it will still be headed by managing director Jo Greaves.

Salmon, Leah and Greaves all report to John Gerrie, CEO of Shandwick's regional network, and will work closely with Philip Dewhurst, the London-based CEO of Shandwick's entire UK operations. The heads of the Birmingham and Edinburgh offices will continue to report to the local CEO of the advertising agency.

Plans laid two years ago to fully merge the Shandwick and McCann-Weber PR brands have been shelved.

The Birmingham and Edinburgh PR arms of McCann-Erickson are said by Dewhurst to be too embedded in the advertising agency.





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