INTERNATIONAL: MS&L swells as Bcom3 absorbs Leo Burnett PR

LONDON: Top 10 marketing services group Bcom3 has wiped out the Leo Burnett PR brand by bringing all of the advertising giant's PR arms under the Manning Selvage & Lee umbrella.

LONDON: Top 10 marketing services group Bcom3 has wiped out the Leo Burnett PR brand by bringing all of the advertising giant's PR arms under the Manning Selvage & Lee umbrella.

Leo Burnett has 94 full-service ad offices and a PR business worth over pounds 10m in 13 countries.

The Leo Burnett PR offices now merge with MS&L, including those in Chicago and Milan.

The merger is the latest in a series of consolidations since Bcom3 was formed last January by Leo Burnett's merger with the MacManus Group, MS&L's parent company.

No jobs will be lost among Leo Burnett management and client teams, the company said.

MS&L's director of global clients and accounts, Jackie Elliot, said the decision would bring 'greater cohesion' to the company.

'Previously, although we had Leo Burnett affiliates in many countries, they did not form a cohesive brand,' she said. 'So the decision was made that there would be one PR brand in the Bcom3 group and that would be MS&L'

Elliot said the decision would increase the importance of the company's European base in London. This office is likely to recruit more staff this year to handle extra work from new offices in Athens, Budapest, Madrid, Oslo and Warsaw. Jakarta, Johannesburg and Caracas will also come under the MS&L umbrella.

The agency's clients include Nestle, Nike and Philips. It had 1999 fee income of pounds 60m and employs 900 staff globally.

The former vice-president of Leo Burnett's PR arm, Mike Grossman, will manage the transition as chief integration officer for MS&L. MS&L chairman and CEO Louis Capozzi said the move would significantly add to the agency's 'geographic footprint'.



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