Russo buys back independence

NEW YORK: Principals at the agency formerly known as Noonan Russo have purchased the agency back from its parent company, Havas, making it an independent firm yet again.

NEW YORK: Principals at the agency formerly known as Noonan Russo have purchased the agency back from its parent company, Havas, making it an independent firm yet again.

The agency, formerly a healthcare boutique operating under the Euro RSCG Life umbrella since Havas bought the firm five years ago, is now Russo Partners LLC. The agreement was finalized on May 1.

Russo Partners will steer away from big pharma and instead will concentrate its business on the mid-cap companies that have made up much of its core business in the past. Euro RSCG Life PR will continue to serve big pharma clients.

"We're going to focus on what we do best," said Tony Russo, chairman and CEO of the new breakaway agency. "Many of our clients are entrepreneurs and our personality now properly reflects the spirit of our clients."

David Schull will remain MD of the agency, while Brad Prunty, who served as COO of Noonan Russo, will serve as SVP.

Currently the agency has 33 active client programs. The firm has long done work with significant companies in the biotechnology and life-science arena, having relationships with clients such as Decode Genetics and GPC Biotech spanning nearly a decade.

As part of the agreement, Russo Partners will retain a strategic alliance with Euro RSCG Life and may call on it for services such as advertising, medical education, or interactive marketing, Russo said.

The agency will also retain its London presence - the operation within Maitland UK will be branded Maitland/Russo Partners. Financial details of the deal were undisclosed.

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