GBC becomes newest Brit agency to open by the Bay

SAN FRANCISCO: What is it about San Francisco that continues to draw British PR pros like bees to honey? London-based Grant Butler Coomber (GBC) is the latest UK agency to cross the pond - and continent - to set up shop in the City by the Bay, no doubt angling for a piece of the Silicon Valley hi-tech PR pie.

SAN FRANCISCO: What is it about San Francisco that continues to draw British PR pros like bees to honey? London-based Grant Butler Coomber (GBC) is the latest UK agency to cross the pond - and continent - to set up shop in the City by the Bay, no doubt angling for a piece of the Silicon Valley hi-tech PR pie.

SAN FRANCISCO: What is it about San Francisco that continues to draw British PR pros like bees to honey? London-based Grant Butler Coomber (GBC) is the latest UK agency to cross the pond - and continent - to set up shop in the City by the Bay, no doubt angling for a piece of the Silicon Valley hi-tech PR pie.

Actually in San Francisco, GBC is launching a whole new subsidiary brand called Chocolate Communications.

'We worked with a branding company for several months to find a name that would reflect not just the GBC brand, but stand out and be memorable on its own,' explained newly appointed San Francisco director Samantha Allen. Like its parent firm, however, Chocolate will follow a unique results-oriented approach to PR in which measurable goals are established for specific clients, who are billed according to achievement of these standards.

Initially, the agency, which already has four full-time employees, will offer corporate and consumer PR. Public affairs capabilities will not be added for another 12 months, according to Allen.

Worldwide, GBC's roster includes Computer Associates, Data General, Global One and Wizards of the Coast.

GBC is the third major U.K.-based PR firm in the past two years to select San Francisco as its base of US operations. Just last year, Bite Communications, a subsidiary of London-based Text 100, opened its first US outpost here and already represents several noteworthy clients, including iSyndicate.

Parent company Text 100, which opened in Seattle and San Francisco within the past few years, has also recently begun to cash in on the Bay Area's booming economy, picking up such name-brand accounts as Ask Jeeves and Excite@Home within the past few months. In fact, Text 100 CEO Tim Dyson recently relocated to the Bay Area from his former Seattle base, another sign of the Bay Area's beacon call for Brits.

Does the Bay Area have room for more PR firms? After all, just about every agency in the world has planted a flag here.Regardless, in a town eternally enamored with the next 'new, new thing,' those with appealing accents and cute names should have no trouble.



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