NEWS: F-H leaves partner in Far East reshuffle

US PR giant Fleishman-Hillard is rejigging its Asian operation following a parting of the ways with its Asian partner, Scotchbrook.

US PR giant Fleishman-Hillard is rejigging its Asian operation following

a parting of the ways with its Asian partner, Scotchbrook.



The group has just sold its minority stake in Fleishman-Hillard

Scotchbrook Asia, the Hong Kong- and Singapore-based corporate, investor

relations and government affairs firm, to Scotchbrook Associates

International. In turn, F-H has bought out Scotchbrook’s Beijing

holding.



The terms of the deal remain undisclosed, but it does leave Fleishman-

Hillard temporarily without staffed offices in either Hong Kong or

Singapore.



Commenting on the deal agency chairman and chief executive, John Graham

said F-H’s existing client base, which includes Wal-Mart, Emerson

Electric and Baxter International, would be serviced through affiliate

companies, including Scotchbrook.



He also admitted that the agency was looking to hire five or six people

immediately and expected to appoint a general manager for both Hong Kong

and Singapore by early 1996. In the meantime, he said, the business will

be managed from the Beijing office.



While Fleishman-Hillard prepares to flex its wallet - ‘we’re ready to

spend a great deal,’ said Graham, who also wants to expand into southern

China, Shanghai, Malaysia and India - Scotchbrook is concentrating on

its existing dollars 3.8 million a year niche business. Current clients

include, Apple Computer, Chubb Insurance, Electricite de France and NBC.



Godfrey Scotchbrook, chairman and majority shareholder in the new group,

Scotchbrook Communications International, said: ‘We want to remain

highly focused; we’re not interested in consumer PR, nor any other

specialist areas such as technology.’



Being part of such a big American firm was restricting, he said,

especially when clients asked Scotchbrook to recommend agencies. ‘We

needed to broaden our network of referrals,’ he said. But he claimed

that the split was amicable and that both firms continue to share client

accounts on both sides of the Pacific.



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