Burson may relinquish top slot in US after slow 1999

NEW YORK: Burson-Marsteller's long-held position as the top PR agency in the US and the world is under serious threat.

NEW YORK: Burson-Marsteller’s long-held position as the top PR agency in the US and the world is under serious threat.

NEW YORK: Burson-Martseller’s long-held position as the top PR

agency in the US and the world is under serious threat.



Burson increased revenues by 6% in 1999, with global PR income reaching

dollars 275 million. The results are an improvement on last year’s

numbers (when the firm grew by 4%), but are by no means spectacular when

compared with the double-digit growth of other agencies.



Shandwick is expected to report US fee income of dollars 153 million in

1999 (up 40%) and dollars 240 million worldwide, while Fleishman-Hillard

will report fee income up an estimated 30% worldwide to over dollars 200

million.



President and CEO Chris Komisarjevsky attributed the modest growth to

the global nature of Burson’s business, noting that the agency is more

vulnerable than many of its competitors to the vagaries of the

international economy and foreign exchange rate conversions.



Although Komisarjevsky did not disclose Burson’s 1999 US performance

(dollars 142 million in 1998), he promised that US results would be ’in

the same ballpark’ as last year’s 17% US growth.



’Our US operations continue to be the engine driving our worldwide

company,’ he said, adding that Burson has active client relationships

with more than 85 Internet companies, including and Hotjobs.com.



Komisarjevsky said Asia-Pacific was the firm’s weakest division last

year, but claimed that recent months have seen a considerable

upturn.



Burson has also released its CEO survey, which reveals that a company’s

CEO can represent a staggering 45% of its overall reputation. Results

are available at Burson’s new Web site for CEOs, www.ceogo.com.



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