CHICAGO: Publicis Dialog has finally completed its long-rumored purchase of Selz/ Seabolt Communications.
CHICAGO: Publicis Dialog has finally completed its long-rumored
purchase of Selz/ Seabolt Communications.
The deal, which had been discussed for the last six months (PRWeek,
23), gives Publicis the Chicago presence it has long coveted. President
and COO Andy Hopson said negotiations dragged on longer than expected
due to issues involving Selz/Seabolt’s employee stock ownership
The purchase, the latest in Publicis’ buying binge, boosts the firm’s
total US PR revenues to dollars 24 million. Other recent acquisitions
include LobsenzStevens (New York) and Purdom Public Relations (San
’If you’re going to be a national agency, you have to be able to service
clients nationally, and that means a Chicago presence,’ said Hopson.
Selz/ Seabolt will assume the Publicis Dialog name.
Present Selz/Seabolt management, including chairman Paul Fullmer and
president Patricia Pearson, will remain in place after the deal is
closed, likely in February. Pearson, who served as president and COO,
will become CEO and manage the Chicago office.
Fullmer, who has spent nearly 43 years with Selz/ Seabolt, owned 92% of
the firm until three years ago, when he sold his interest to the
He plans to remain as chairman for at least two years.
While he enjoyed running an independent firm, Fullmer said he had become
increasingly frustrated that most larger clients wanted to deal with
integrated multinational firms. ’There comes a time when you have to
move into the major leagues,’ he said.
Selz/Seabolt boasts 35 people and about dollars 4 million in PR
revenues, counting Sargento Foods and the American Society of Golf
Course Architects among its 30 clients. Fullmer expects the Chicago
office to expand shortly after the Publicis deal is consummated. ’We
should be staffing up very, very soon,’ he said.
Publicis already has an ad presence in Chicago, Publicis & Hal Riney,
and is reportedly negotiating to buy marketing service firm Frankel &