Blackburn made MD at Fleishman-Hillard

In a joint announcement, Omnicom-owned agencies Ketchum and Fleishman-Hillard UK have revealed two senior appointments.

In a joint announcement, Omnicom-owned agencies Ketchum and

Fleishman-Hillard UK have revealed two senior appointments.

Paul Blackburn, currently managing director of Ketchum’s UK healthcare

practice has been appointed as managing director of F-H UK.

He will be replaced by David Gallagher, who heads Ketchum’s healthcare

practice in Washington DC.

Fleishman-Hillard has been without a UK MD for five months, since the

departure of Deborah Saw to Burson-Marsteller as director of marketing


European president and chief operating officer Jack Modzelewski has

assumed the role of UK MD in the interim. Blackburn’s appointment will

allow Modzelewski to continue with his mission of growing the F-H

business in Europe, organically and by acquisition.

Blackburn will take responsibility for F-H’s London office, and report

to Modzelewski. The office has just over 30 staff, and estimated fees of

over pounds 5.5 million last year. There are plans to increase staff to

nearly 40 by the end of the year, and to strengthen the second tier of


Gallagher’s role will have new responsibilities, as he becomes the first

head of Ketchum’s European healthcare practice. Ketchum has offices in

Milan, Paris, Madrid and Munich, as well as London. Fees for the

European practice are estimated at over pounds 5 million, and clients

include AstraZeneca and Ciba Vision.

The appointments are the result of co-operation between Ketchum and F-H.

Blackburn headed Ketchum healthcare in London for five years, during

which time he built fee income from pounds 200,000 a year to nearly

pounds 2 million.

However, when he was looking to make his next move, and expressed an

interest in running a general agency, Ketchum chief executive James

Maxwell expressed a hope that he could be ’kept in the family’.

Omnicom’s Diversified Agency Services division, which includes agencies

such as Gavin Anderson, Brodeur Worldwide and Porter Novelli, has a

policy of keeping talented staff within the group.

There is a move towards developing an Omnicom employment strategy, which

could include a graduate training programme. It already offers senior

staff at agencies the opportunity to undertake a ’mini-MBA’, to help

develop general business knowledge.

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