Havas union marks end for Middleberg as industry brand name

NEW YORK: The birth of Euro RSCG Magnet - announced last week with news of the merger of two of Havas' largest PR agencies - marks the end of the line for Middleberg as a PR brand.

NEW YORK: The birth of Euro RSCG Magnet - announced last week with news of the merger of two of Havas' largest PR agencies - marks the end of the line for Middleberg as a PR brand.

The move joins Magnet Communications, perhaps best known for its consumer and technology work, with Euro RSCG Middleberg, which has repositioned itself since the tech bust as an agency focused on corporate and healthcare work.

Don Middleberg, whose firm thrived during the tech hysteria of the late 1990s and who is an industry rags-to-riches story, will serve as chairman of the new company.

"Euro RSCG as a network is very focused on integrated marketing and offering media-neutral solutions to their clients," said Magnet CEO David Kratz, who will be chief executive of the new agency. "So from a network point of view, it made much more sense to have one PR offering that all of their various businesses would go to."

The new agency's client list will include Bayer, Heinz, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Thomson Corp., and the US Department of Treasury.

The agencies are planning to combine offices in Chicago and New York, with the former serving as its headquarters. Staff sizes are not expected to change, according to the agencies' executives. The move will essentially double the size of the New York staff.

Magnet president Paul Jensen will become co-president and chief strategy office of the new entity. Aaron Kwittken will be the co-president and COO of the newly formed Euro RSCG Magnet, rounding out the senior management team.

Magnet entered the Euro RSCG network last year. The firm was a part of Arnold Worldwide Partners.

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