Top PR agencies are setting their sights on Brazil as the next big investment opportunity as new figures reveal the country is leading the world in PR industry growth.
Brazil's PR industry grew at a faster rate than any other in 2010, registering a 23 per cent revenue increase on the previous year, according to the World Report from the International Communications Consultancy Organisation.
Last week Vero Communications, an international sport business consultancy based in London, became the latest firm to launch a comms venture in Brazil, hoping to capitalise on opportunities in the sports industry.
Vero has launched MLA True Communications in the Brazilian capital of Rio de Janeiro. It has been established to deliver sports marketing and comms expertise to organisations in the Brazilian marketplace.
Vero chairman Mike Lee said: 'Brazil's presence on the world stage is greater than ever and we are keen to be part of that ahead of the World Cup and Olympic Games.'
Chime Communications has also shown an interest in the country - last month the agency announced that it had acquired Brazilian sponsorship consultancy Golden Goal Sports Venues.
Lord Bell, chairman of Chime said: 'Brazil has huge potential at the moment business-wise. Whether it's the best place for PR companies to tap into, I don't know.
'Brazil is on the map now and it's going to be interesting to see what will develop.
Although, with that being said, I wouldn't advise any-one to rush out and buy a PR company.'
Edelman Europe vice-chairman Michael Burrell said Brazil was a top target for the firm and suggested that there were 'significant opportunities outside sport'.
'From an Edelman perspective, Brazil is absolutely a high priority for us. One of the areas we're looking at is public affairs,' he said.
The ICCO said the growth in Brazil's PR industry had been fuelled by demand for social media services, internal comms and crisis management programmes; and by continuing globalisation of the Brazilian economy.
The country is also forecast to post strong economic growth over the next four years - Brazil will host both the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016.
HOW I SEE IT
Lord Bell, Chairman, Chime Communications
The language barrier in Brazil is a huge challenge. We looked to buy to increase revenue - not to start PR strategies. The potential there is in finance, consumer and technology ventures - the country isn't crying out for PR companies.
Michael Burrell, Vice-chairman Europe, Edelman
Like other agencies, we've seen strong growth in Brazil and made an acquisition to strengthen our position. One of the areas we're looking at is public affairs. In broad terms, Brazil is a significant area for opportunity - because of the strength of the economy and the major sporting events.
Brazil in numbers
345 Agencies registered with Brazilian association of comms agencies
1,100 Estimated total number of PR agencies in Brazil
£617m Total revenues of local agencies in 2010
80% Percentage of PR business attributed to the private sector
Source: The Brazilian Association of Communications Agencies (ABRACOM)
ICCO World Report Data indicate growth in Brazil outstripped that in 24 other countries
The ICCO World Report 2011 includes data from national PR trade associations in 24 countries spanning Europe, North and South America, and Asia-Pacific. Data was collected during April and May 2011. The graph shows a selection of the results.
* Derived from 2010 versus 2008 total revenue estimates, showing +23% growth over two years.
** PRCA members averaged 13% growth; PRWeek’s Top 150 calculation puts average revenue growth at 10%+.