NEW YORK: IPG agency DeVries Public Relations, a 35-year-old New York City-based consumer PR firm, is expanding globally with five new offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Singapore, and London. All offices will be up and running by December.
DeVries will take over existing IPG PR firms in the region and bring over top IPG talent to run each office, while retaining existing staff members.
Effective immediately, DeVries CEO James Allman has been named chairman of DeVries Global to spearhead the agency's expansion efforts. Stephanie Smirnov (pictured, right) is promoted from president to CEO of DeVries New York to oversee all North American operations.
At this time, no extra hiring is taking place, though “we'll be picking up people as we go along,” according to Allman. There will also be no job losses. “We're just going to be changing the roles of IPG talent,” explained Smirnov.
The acquisitions will effectively double the firm's headcount to 250 worldwide.
DeVries' main client Procter & Gamble relocated its global skin, cosmetics and personal-care unit from Cincinnati to Singapore in March. “It certainly is very opportune,” said Smirnov. “Our plans were already in place.”
Prior to joining the firm as CEO in 2004, Allman worked for ad agencies J. Walter Thompson and Ammirati Puris Lintas, where he was chairman of its New York office. In her 12 years at DeVries, Smirnov has served as president and chief creative officer.