SYDNEY: Ogilvy PR Worldwide is making an audacious assault on the
Australian PR market, taking a stake in five local agencies, and
claiming a combined fee income of pounds 6.6m.
The agency claims the move will leapfrog it instantly into the
market-leading position, ahead of Turnbull Porter Novelli, Professional
Public Relations, plus Hill & Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller's
It completes the agency's Asia-Pacific geographic coverage, and will
fall under the remit of Matthew Anderson, Hong Kong-based Ogilvy
Ogilvy's Australian operation will comprise five specialist agencies:
government affairs shop Parker & Partners; Savage & Horrigan, a recently
formed corporate and financial specialist; hi-tech firm Howorth
Communications; Ethnic Communications, an ad and PR agency that
specialises in targeting non-English speaking communities, and Impact
Employee Communications, an internal communications firm.
Ogilvy takes an equity stake in all agencies. No details were revealed,
but rumours suggested the stake was, in some cases, as low as 20 per
All the agencies will keep their individual names, offices and distinct
identities, but will refer to themselves as part of Ogilvy PR, and the
head of each agency will sit on a management board.
Chris Savage, Savage & Horrigan principal, has been appointed as
managing partner of the group.
The deal has raised some concerns. Savage, formerly B-M vice-chairman
Asia Pacific, admitted the deal was not the easiest way of doing things:
'But we saw an opportunity to become the most specialised agency, and
this was the best route to allow us to offer what the market is asking
Anderson acknowledged that it was a bold move, but said: 'We've chosen
our partners extremely carefully, done tons of due diligence and the
management board is a strong operations group.'
Others were sceptical of Ogilvy's claim to have formed the largest
Turnbull Porter Novelli chairman Noel Turnbull said: 'I'm very
interested in their claims, and my only response is if they're obsessed
with how big they are then I'm a bit worried for them.'