Y&R pumps up PR muscle with new division

NEW YORK: Acknowledging the dramatic growth in clients’ demand for PR services, Young & Rubicam has formed BrandBuzz, a new internal division designed to up the advertising powerhouse’s PR muscle.

NEW YORK: Acknowledging the dramatic growth in clients’ demand for PR services, Young & Rubicam has formed BrandBuzz, a new internal division designed to up the advertising powerhouse’s PR muscle.

NEW YORK: Acknowledging the dramatic growth in clients’ demand for

PR services, Young & Rubicam has formed BrandBuzz, a new internal

division designed to up the advertising powerhouse’s PR muscle.



The 15-strong integrated outfit will be staffed by a collection of

experts drawn from all corners of the Y&R conglomerate. Cohn & Wolfe EVP

Barbara-Jo Howard has been the PR driving force behind the project,

while promotions specialist Wunderman Cato Johnson’s Lincoln Bjorkman

has been brought on board as a creative director. Also involved are

Y&R’s media-buying operation The Media Edge and Web-focused divisions

such as Luminant.



Surprisingly, Y&R’s prize PR holding, Burson-Marsteller, has been left

out of the mix. John Partilla, BrandBuzz’s newly appointed managing

director, explained Burson’s absence by saying that he initially wants

to keep the unit small.



BrandBuzz was formed in response to increasing demand from Y&R clients

to have their ad campaigns coordinated with non-mainstream activities,

ranging from event promotion to guerrilla marketing. The firm’s clients

have responded enthusiastically to its creation, with Colgate and

Campbell’s among those who have already expressed interest.



Partilla said the operation will initially focus on persuading existing

clients to use BrandBuzz, rather than attempting to encourage non-Y&R

clients to come on board. He hopes, of course, that clients will look at

replacing their third-party service agencies with BrandBuzz.



’It is in everybody’s interest to have all marketing disciplines

connected,’ he said. ’It’s not enough to buy a TV ad and have PR as an

afterthought. PR is more vital than ever before.’



Howard said that BrandBuzz staffers will be able to contribute ideas

from all standpoints, and will not be restricted by their areas of

expertise.



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