NEW YORK: WPP Group advertising network Young & Rubicam Group has expanded the global footprint of its Asia-Pacific PR firm PPR, opening three offices in the US, including a North American headquarters in New York.
PPR North America launched Thursday with offices in New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC. Fred Hawrysh, former global head of corporate communications at Accenture, has taken the helm as the firm's president and CEO.
Richard Lazar, MD and CEO of PPR Asia-Pacific, will continue to lead its operations in that region. The firm was founded in Australia in 1970.
PPR has 40 staffers across its North American network, said Hawrysh, and the firm is looking to open in two more US markets in the near future. The agency has about 180 employees in Asia-Pacific.
One of Hawrysh's main objectives for PPR North America is to “truly develop a credible third agency choice within the Young & Rubicam Group” for both large and mid-sized clients. Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe are also part of Y&R.
Hawrysh added that the firm can serve clients of all sizes, but as it continues to expand in North America, it will maintain its boutique-like feel.
Initially, the firm will focus on the consumer and b-to-b technology, professional services, and financial services sectors, he said. He declined to name PPR North America's launch clients.
PPR North America will be independent from its sister PR firms within Y&R, explained Hawrysh, who spent 23 years at Burson. He said Burson, C&W, and PPR will have “friendly competition.”
The agency plans to appoint a New York head at the beginning of next month. Shortly after that, it will name a lead for its Western operations, added Hawrysh.
PPR also plans to launch operations in Europe later this year and in Latin America in early 2014.
Prior to his three-year stint at Accenture, Hawrysh was the head of corporate affairs at Thomson Reuters, where he worked for two and a half years.
Before that, he spent 23 years at Burson, working in various regions, such as Asia, Europe, Canada, and the US. He closed out his time at the WPP Group firm as an MD.