NEWS: Second agency may solve F-H conflict issue

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.

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.



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