US ad agency McCann-Erickson’s hunt for UK acquisitions stepped up
a gear this week as it emerged it has had exploratory talks with top ten
PR agency Charles Barker.
Larry Weber, chairman of the advertising giant’s PR arm the Weber Group,
said he couldn’t comment at the moment but added: ’We are talking to a
lot of important companies in the UK. Charles Barker may be one of
Weber has pledged to build McCann-Erickson a top five worldwide network
by the year 2001. His plan is to dominate each PR sector and the key
geographical areas of the US, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Japan and
Last month it acquired the financial and corporate specialist Ludgate
and now has its eye on hi-tech, public affairs, publicity, consumer and
However, industry insiders played down the likelihood of a deal with
Charles Barker, which recorded a fee income for the year ending July
1996 of pounds 5.85 million.
Last year it moved into the healthcare sector with the acquisition of
OTC specialist Concept and set up a business and technology
The company also has a style and youth division called SLAM.
Agency chief executive Tim Sutton said last month that the firm has
received a ’number of approaches’ from interested buyers. (PR Week, 14
Sutton said this week he had ’nothing to add’.