INTERNATIONAL: H&K buys San Francisco agency in IT shake-up

SAN FRANCISCO: Hill and Knowlton last week acquired San Francisco-based hi-tech agency Blanc and Otus. As part of the deal the agency’s president, Jonelle Birney, will fill the new post of global technology practice head at H&K.

SAN FRANCISCO: Hill and Knowlton last week acquired San

Francisco-based hi-tech agency Blanc and Otus. As part of the deal the

agency’s president, Jonelle Birney, will fill the new post of global

technology practice head at H&K.



Blanc and Otus has an annual fee income of pounds 5 million, and is the

world’s 19th biggest hi-tech agency according to Jack O’Dwyer’s

rankings. It will remain a separate brand, but will share existing

clients with H&K. The two firms will not compete for new business.



Blanc and Otus’ client list includes database company Sybase and

telecoms giant MCI WorldCom. H&K’s internet communications chairman,

Tony Burgess-Webb, said: ’IT is probably the fastest growing sector. We

are strengthening our offer in the area through acquisition.’



’We are planning very extensive co-operation between the two companies

within the restrictions of client conflict. Increasingly over time a lot

of synergy will develop,’ he said.



Burgess-Webb said Blanc and Otus will provide hi-tech PR expertise to

H&K, while the association will bring Blanc and Otus’ clients access to

H&K’s global presence.



H&K’s hi-tech practice claims to be in the top three European hi-tech

players, with a fee income of over pounds 6 million. Its client list

counts Intel, Microsoft and Novell. The two firms will have an estimated

joint total fee income of about pounds 130 million for 1998.



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