H&K looks outside WPP for partners in diversity comms

LOS ANGELES: Hill & Knowlton has joined forces with two advertising agencies and a public affairs shop to form an umbrella multicultural group to target new business.

LOS ANGELES: Hill & Knowlton has joined forces with two advertising agencies and a public affairs shop to form an umbrella multicultural group to target new business.

The partnership is unusual because it brings together companies that do not share a parent and are not part of the same holding company. While similar arrangements do appear in multicultural marketing, they are usually in response to an RFP or a client that requires both ad and PR work, rather than as entities formed to search out new opportunities.

"Unlike a marriage or a union, we will not be exclusive," explained H&K diversity practice head Raul Garza. "We will continue to work as individual companies, but we will actively pursue new business projects together."

Other members of the endeavor are Washington, DC-based public affairs specialist The Walker Marchant Group, San Francisco-based Headquarters Advertising, and LA-based SAESHE Advertising.

Various members of the group have worked together on past accounts, including outreach campaigns on teen pregnancy for California's Department of Health Services, and for Pacific Gas and Electric.

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