BlueFocus set for London office following Huntsworth investment

BlueFocus, the Chinese PR firm that last week snapped up a chunk of Huntsworth, has been tipped to open a London office.

China deal: Chadlington will head East to develop group strategy (Credit: Emilie Fjola Sandy)
China deal: Chadlington will head East to develop group strategy (Credit: Emilie Fjola Sandy)

A well-placed source said a move was probable within two years. ‘It will be a credible competitor to the global networks in not too many years,’ the source said. ‘It is already in Hong Kong and to achieve its growth ambitions London is likely to be next.’

Huntsworth chief executive Lord Chadlington said it was a ‘possibility, but not a top priority’ when he unveiled the deal with his BlueFocus counterpart Oscar Zhao last week.

BlueFocus agreed to buy 19.8 per cent of the group behind Grayling and Citigate for £36.5m. Chadlington said the two businesses would start work on how to market themselves when he travels to China this week, but stressed he had no plans to reduce Huntsworth’s presence in the country.

‘Clearly, if we’ve got a client in the Grayling offices in Europe we’ve got to have Grayling offices in Beijing or Shanghai so there is continuity,’ he said. ‘With BlueFocus, we will look at ways we can do the reverse with its clients.’

But he added: ‘I think it’s very unlikely that we will have a BlueFocus office in every Grayling office. It will be much easier for BlueFocus to say to its clients that Grayling is its European network.’ Huntsworth employs 25 people in its Grayling and Citigate offices in Beijing and Shanghai, while BlueFocus has around 2,000 staff in the country.

Zhao said BlueFocus had worked closely with a Grayling team in London during the 2012 Olympic Games on a project for two Chinese local government clients. The two groups have partnered in China for several years and Huntsworth tried to buy BlueFocus in 2006, according to industry sources.

BlueFocus has been growing beyond PR, having acquired stakes in companies including Chinese ad agency Kingo and outdoor media company Eyes Media.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

EasyJet aimed to break the world record for the highest ever theatrical performance for Shakespeare's 450th birthday yesterday with the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing on a flight from Gatwick to Verona.

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Senior executives from IBM, Nestlé, Vedanta, GE, Cargill, Philips and Allianz will be among the speakers at PRWeek's first Global Congress.

Max Clifford trial jury reconvenes with majority verdicts direction

Max Clifford trial jury reconvenes with majority verdicts direction

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has reconvened after being told by the judge yesterday afternoon that he will now accept majority verdicts.

The latest social media fail case study: #myNYPD

The latest social media fail case study: #myNYPD

The New York Police Department's Twitter fail offers another social media lesson for organisations.