Three Omnicom PR agencies join forces in Europe

FleishmanHillard, Ketchum, and Porter Novelli are pooling talent in France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain.

NEW YORK: Three Omnicom Public Relations Group agencies are joining forces in France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain.

FleishmanHillard, Ketchum, and Porter Novelli are set to begin pooling talent and resources for client work in these four markets. The agencies will retain their individual brands, but when working together will use the Omnicom PR Group name.

"In our first year of the Omnicom PR Group, one of the things we’ve seen is the power of collaboration," said Karen van Bergen, CEO of the unit. "Today is formalizing that integrated working structure in four specific markets."

Local leaders from offices in the four markets will head the collaborative teams. Fleishman’s Sandrine Cormary, GM of the Paris office, will lead in France; Massimo Moriconi, Italy GM and partner for Fleishman, will oversee Italy; Rosalinde van de Wall, MD of Fleishman’s Amsterdam office, will lead the Netherlands; and Porter Novelli’s Madrid MD, Higinio Martinez, will take the top role in Spain.

"These are four markets that have a vibrant competitive base of agencies and have unique needs," said David Gallagher, international president of growth and development at Omnicom PR Group. "From our view, structuring to collaborate makes more sense than structuring to compete. These are four markets that we thought were ripe for collaboration."

Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty said the partnership has helped to win business in Amsterdam because the combined agencies were able to offer services that a single firm could not. The sister agencies are used to collaborating; Ketchum and Fleishman both work for Philips within Omnicom’s OneVoice unit, for example.

"We have the opportunity to be much more competitive and flexible to leverage the size and scale of the three agencies in these markets and bring together larger teams," said Brad McAfee, CEO of Porter Novelli.

The partnership will also allow the three agencies to share professional development and learning courses in the markets.

"There are greater opportunities for individuals' career paths," said John Saunders, CEO of FleishmanHillard.

One year ago, the holding company created the Omnicom PR Group and put van Bergen, formerly Porter Novelli's CEO, at the helm of its 11 PR agencies. Omnicom's PR agencies achieved 7.7% organic revenue growth in the fourth quarter of last year to $358.9 million. For all of 2016, the firms saw organic revenue growth of 2.8% to $1.4 billion. 

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