AS Biss, the public affairs agency founded by PR veteran Adele
Biss, has bought rival lobbying shop Advocacy.
The deal, announced this week, brings the combined annual fee income for
the new company to more than pounds 1.5 million, with a team of 20
Advocacy, established in 1986 by ex-Tory MP Fred Silvester, will
initially retain its name, but its three staff will move into AS Biss’
Silvester, who is 67 and plans to retire soon, will work for the agency
as a consultant.
Advocacy’s remaining board members are Maureen O’Mara and Paul Lynes,
who will stay on at the new company. A fourth director, Robin Squire, is
standing for the Conservative party at the next general election in
Hornchurch, a seat he held for 18 years until 1997. He has stood down
from the agency to focus on this.
Clients for the merged company will include - from AS Biss’ roster: Lunn
Poly, ONdigital, the RAC, Camelot and the Federation of Tour
Advocacy’s flagship retainer is food and drinks giant Nestle, and it has
private sector fostering agency Foster Care Associates on its books.
No change is expected to the AS Biss board, which is made up of Biss as
chairman and Jeremy Sweeney, formerly of Ian Greer Associates, as
managing director. AS Biss was launched in the IGA offices and many of
the agency’s early clients joined following the collapse of IGA, in the
aftermath of the ’cash-for-questions’ lobbying scandal in 1996.
Biss stood down in 1988 as MD of Biss Lancaster, the PR shop she
co-founded with Graham Lancaster. She then spent three years as joint
chairman of the English Tourist Board and the British Tourist Authority.
AS Biss has since developed tourism and travel lobbying as an area of