Ketchum forms strategic alliance with Harrison & Shriftman

NEW YORK: Harrison & Shriftman, which works with clients such as Grey Goose and BlackBerry, has entered into a strategic alliance with Ketchum, a sister Omnicom Group agency.

NEW YORK: Harrison & Shriftman, which works with clients such as Grey Goose and BlackBerry, has entered into a strategic alliance with Ketchum, a sister Omnicom Group agency.

The new relationship between the agencies will see H&S operate as one of Ketchum's complementary businesses, giving H&S access to Ketchum's expanded geographic reach, which includes operations in 65 countries, as well as as its global network of services, including crisis and issues, digital, research, public affairs, and communication training expertise.

"The partnership was a strategic and natural fit," said Elizabeth Harrison, co-principal of H&S. "Aligning with Ketchum allowed us to grow on a global scale and provided us with an infrastructure that gave us the ability to offer expanded services and expertise that would have taken years for us to develop and hone on our own. The two agencies were already associated under the Omnicom umbrella, but this move better aligns our complementary skill sets."

Under the alliance, H&S will maintain its brand identity, and Harrison and Lara Shriftman will remain as principals of the agency. A number of H&S' client services will continue to be unique to the company, while others will be "synergized" with Ketchum Sports & Entertainment (KSE) and Ketchum's global brand marketing practice, added Harrison. Ann Wool will remain on board as Ketchum partner and MD of KSE.

"We've seen a strong pipeline of referrals develop between the two agencies, and we have already worked extensively with Ketchum's various practice areas for clients like Sony PlayStation, Oakley, and Waterford Crystal," she said. No immediate hires or layoffs are planned.

H&S clients, such as Baume & Mercier, SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, and the Redbury Hotel, will continue to be supported by the agency.

In addition, Harrison said they are currently working with Ketchum Raad Middle East's Abu Dhabi office in the final rounds of an RFP for a major project in the Middle East. She declined to give further details.

"The partnership has added significant capabilities in the luxury and lifestyle space that build on Ketchum's existing offering, particularly around experiential marketing and celebrity relations," Wool said. "Culturally, the two firms are a great fit, and we've already seen the alliance yield benefit."

On Tuesday, Ominicom Group announced its Q2 earnings, which saw a 7.1% year-over-year increase for its PR business worldwide.

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