The new agency, M&C Saatchi PR, has been created to capitalise on what the firm sees as the growing importance of PR in consumer marketing. It will work with current M&C Saatchi Group clients such as DSG and Travelex as well as developing new clients.
M&C Saatchi already has another PR business, Talk PR, that will continue to operate as part of the group and will specialise in fashion, beauty and luxury.
The new agency will be led by managing director Chris Hides, who previously worked at Talk. Hides will be supported by a team of seven PR consultants including digital, consumer and business-to-business specialists who have been recruited from Talk and externally. The agency plans to recruit a new CEO. It will recruit more staff if new business wins justify it.
M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment CEO Steve Martin will be the chairman of the new PR agency, and will continue in his existing role.
Commenting on the launch, Martin said: 'The PR market is in growth and we feel the time is right to step up our offering in the broader consumer PR space. We just feel that there is an amazing opportunity in the PR sector now and hence we are launching the new agency to make the most of this from both consumer and corporate points of view.'
As part of the changes, Talk will move to purpose-built new premises close to M&C Saatchi this week. The office has its own specialist showroom and beauty facilities.
Talk is also planning to attract new business in other sectors including hotels and hospitality.
Meanwhile, Talk has been hired by Dutch-born designer Michael Van Der Ham to handle his PR activity. The brief includes full media management of Van Der Ham's Spring/Summer 2011 show at London Fashion Week.