The world’s fourth largest PR agency Fleishman-Hillard is looking at
launching a second-string agency to stem the loss of potential new
business through client conflict.
Chief executive John Graham told PR Week the company would decide
whether to go ahead by the end of this year.
He said a second agency was seen as a way of retaining the dollars 10 to
dollars 12 million (around pounds 7 million) F-H loses annually due to
the conflict issue.
‘Like most major agencies,’ he said, ‘We face this issue on a continual
basis, across the board. It looks to us that a second agency would be
one of the solutions to the problem.’
Graham, who is based in St Louis, said that although the agency had
grown organically since its 1946 launch, he did not rule out developing
the second agency through acquisition.
However, the more likely route is a start-up operation drawing on
Fleishman-Hillard’s existing staff and expertise.
Graham said the company was considering whether the new agency should
launch in a niche area, such as technology, but stressed its ultimate
aim would be to expand into a full service agency.
He also predicted it would share the international spread of its parent,
which employs 980 people in 25 offices.
Graham, who has headed Fleishman-Hillard since 1974, added that, to be
successful, the new agency would need its own board and offices.