SAN FRANCISCO: Enfatico's PR division is being folded into AxiCom, a European tech and telecommunications firm that is part of the Cohn & Wolfe Group. The merger creates a global communications firm under the AxiCom brand, which will now serve as the global AOR for Dell, as well as service other tech companies.
The move comes less than a year after WPP folded Enfatico into its Young & Rubicam family of brands, prompting industry speculation that Enfatico was struggling.
“Enfatico remains a thriving brand but it's now going to focus on its strength of marketing production,” said Kelly McGinnis, CCO for Enfatico, told PRWeek.
McGinnis will now lead AxiCom's new US operations based in San Francisco, reporting into Donna Imperato, CEO of C&W. However, AxiCom will continue to operate independently of C&W as a tech specialty shop. Enfatico CEO Torrence Boone had been named chairman of the agency, but has since joined Google as managing director for agency development in North America.
“Cohn &Wolfe and AxiCom are still going to compete,” Imperato told PRWeek. “[C&W] has its own global tech practice with strong leadership… So I see the opportunity to compete but also to help each other with conflicts.”
She added that AxiCom will be positioned primarily as a boutique competing against other tech specialty shops. Dell's multimillion-dollar PR business will serve as AxiCom's anchor client.
“Dell's been very happy with PR and its ROI and continues to invest in it,” Imperato noted.
WPP opted for the Enfatico PR team to be folded into the C&W Group, in part, because GCI, which was folded into C&W in 2008, was Dell's primary PR agency before Enfatico, she added.
There are no layoffs planned with the merger and Enfatico's PR team, which is slightly less than 30 people now, will remain intact.
“We have a few open positions but we do remain optimistic that we'll be expanding to other clients and grow,” McGinnis said. “But right now, we're trying to be conservative on everything.”