Manning Selvage and Lee is to boost its international PR offering,
following the merger of its holding company the MacManus Group with
marketing services rival The Leo Group.
Although no formal announcements have been made, the agencies are
expected to remain separate, much as the advertising agencies involved
in the deal, Leo Burnett and D’Arcy.
MS&L has global PR fees of pounds 40 million, while The Leo Group’s
global PR interests are estimated to total pounds 4 million. Some ties
already exist: MS&L’s South African affiliate of six years is Sonnenberg
Leo Burnett, owned by The Leo Group. The two agencies have worked
together on local clients such as South African Airways, satellite
telephony operator Inmarsat and Rolex.
According to Elliot, the main area for synergy between the agencies will
be in the Asia-Pacific region. In the past 18 months, MS&L has opened
offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo serving clients such as Philips Domestic
Appliances, Mars and Western Union.
Leo Burnett is a more firmly established player there, with offices in
Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Taiwan.
’It creates the opportunity to develop joint business and share clients
we have already,’ said MS&L executive vice-president Jackie Elliot.
Thus global clients may use the strongest agencies in each territory -
MS&L in the US and UK and The Leo Group in Asia-Pacific and Latin
There are no significant client conflicts.