TORONTO: Fleishman-Hillard Canada has acquired High Road
Communications, a three-year-old technology PR company that operates
across North America with fees in excess of pounds 1.5 million.
Under the terms of the deal, the two companies will maintain separate
identities for trading purposes. Clients of both companies have been
informed and only one client conflict has been identified.
Fleishman-Hillard represents telecommunications network Nortel, while
High Road is retained by its main rival, Lucent. Both agencies expect to
be able to retain these clients by keeping the businesses apart, while
still handling them within the Omnicom holding company.
Linda Smith, who heads Fleishman-Hillard operations in Canada, pointed
to High Road’s technology base as something from which the world’s fifth
largest PR company wished to benefit.
’Ottawa, one of Canada’s hottest technology corridors boasts around
1,000 hi-tech companies so we feel this is a win-win situation,’ she
Last year Fleishman-Hillard bought Upstart, a California-based hi-tech
agency, as the first part of its plan to expand into the sector by
Rick Doyon, High Road’s managing partner, said he hoped the merger would
provide greater opportunities for his staff and that the firm would
attract a greater number of clients who believe ’that geographic borders
are irrelevant in today’s technology world.’
It is not yet clear whether Fleishman-Hillard with 50 people in Canada,
or High Road, with 26, intend to expand their staff lists in the
country, though there are no plans to open new offices outside the two
firms’ Ottawa and Toronto bases.