SAN FRANCISCO: Fleishman-Hillard has absorbed UpStart Communications and has decided to retire that tech agency's brand. Fleishman acquired the Emeryville, CA-based tech agency in 1999, which continued to operate as a separate entity.
About two years ago, UpStart's tech-focused staff went in-house at Fleishman, leaving UpStart to focus on customer leverage programs. Fleishman has now turned UpStart's focus into a new division called the customer leverage group, which is based in the San Francisco office, but works with clients across the agency.
Most of UpStart's small staff - about four people - has joined Fleishman's San Francisco office. One person who did not join is UpStart GM Patty Lund, who is taking time off to "recharge her batteries," said Curt Kundred, Fleishman's West Coast president.
UpStart, which opened its doors in 1990 and initially focused on start-up technology companies, was one of a number of tech agencies acquired in the late-1990s during the tech boom.