Top 100 hi-tech firms account for 25% of business

NEW YORK: The top 100 hi-tech firms raked in half a billion dollars in 1998, according to the most comprehensive study conducted of the US hi-tech PR industry.

NEW YORK: The top 100 hi-tech firms raked in half a billion dollars in 1998, according to the most comprehensive study conducted of the US hi-tech PR industry.

NEW YORK: The top 100 hi-tech firms raked in half a billion dollars

in 1998, according to the most comprehensive study conducted of the US

hi-tech PR industry.



PRWeek’s first-ever hi-tech agency rankings reveal across-the-board

growth, as agencies capitalized on an unprecedented influx of venture

capital and a voracious desire for brand building among startups. The

dollars 498.8 million total represents a staggering 25% of the PR income

generated by PRWeek’s overall top 200 firms.



Waggener Edstrom, the main agency for Microsoft, easily topped the field

with dollars 40.9 million in hi-tech income, while major global powers

such as Fleishman-Hillard, Porter Novelli and Shandwick vied for spots

in the top five. Double-digit growth rates were the norm at most firms,

but the most impressive showing among the top agencies was turned in by

BSMG Worldwide, which blew past several leading players to finish 12th,

up 87% to dollars 15.9 million.



Further down the table, the rising stars included Middleberg &

Associates, whose bevy of blue-chip clients helped the agency grow 100%,

the McQuerter Group, up 60% to dollars 1.7 million, and Strategy

Associates, up 154% to dollars 1.8 million.



With consolidation rampant in the sector, quality mid-sized independents

are becoming an endangered species. The acquisition of the year in 1998

was Ogilvy’s pickup of Alexander Communications, which more than doubled

Ogilvy’s hi-tech income to dollars 13.9 million. Globalization and

’consumerization’ were two other hot-button issues last year.



- See feature, p22.



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