AS Biss buys rival lobbying firm Advocacy

AS Biss, the public affairs agency founded by PR veteran Adele Biss, has bought rival lobbying shop Advocacy.

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

consultants.



Advocacy, established in 1986 by ex-Tory MP Fred Silvester, will

initially retain its name, but its three staff will move into AS Biss’

offices.



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

Operators.



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

expertise.



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