INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Incepta gets into intelligence field

NEW YORK: Incepta, UK-based owner of the Citigate PR agencies, has

purchased US-based Global Intelligence and Security (GIS), adding to the

ranks of communications companies forging ties with the competitive

intelligence (CI) industry.

To GIS, the deal is worth up to $44 million over seven years.

In the past two years, PR agencies such as Fleishman-Hillard and Edelman

subsidiary PR21 have launched or bought CI offerings, adding value to PR

for clients through increased access to strategic information.

Competitive intelligence augments traditional information sources with

investigative work such as interviews and visits to industry events.

However, less ethical CI firms have resorted to rifling through

competitors' garbage.

That was the case last year when Procter & Gamble hired a CI firm to

conduct research on competitor Unilever. The resulting scandal cost P&G

a multimillion-dollar settlement.

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