Ketchum takes majority stake in longtime Brazilian affiliate

The Omnicom Group agency's longtime partner in Brazil, Ketchum Estrat├ęgia, will rebrand as Ketchum.

Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty

SAO PAULO: Ketchum has increased its investment in Ketchum Estratégia to a majority stake, the firm said on Tuesday.

As a result, the Omnicom Group agency’s longtime partner in Brazil will rebrand as Ketchum.  

"While our timing was tied to the Olympics, the real attractiveness is this long-term play," said Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty. "We didn’t go out looking for a sports marketing agency."

He added that aside from sports, Ketchum Estratégia is also strong in healthcare, corporate, and public affairs, and it works with clients including Proctor & Gamble, Gillette, and Oral-B, as well as other "brands that serve the growing middle class" in the country.

Other Ketchum Estratégia services include brand marketing, technology, digital, and crisis management. The firm was the first Brazilian PR agency to create a specialized sports and entertainment division for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero.

Flaherty said the investment will benefit Ketchum’s global network, but also noted the amount of trade between Latin America and Asia.

"There are best practices here that we can import around the world," he said. The deal also means Ketchum has majority positions in PR agencies across all the BRIC countries.

The firm has added Gabriel Araujo as EVP for creativity and digital in Brazil, Flaherty noted. He has worked at Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam.

Ketchum Estratégia partner and CEO Valeria Perito and partner and COO Rosana Monteiro will continue to run the firm, with Perito reporting to Ketchum international senior partner and CEO Jon Higgins.

The firm also has a new affiliate in Rio de Janiero, JCM Communications, Flaherty added.

Financial terms of the deal were not released.

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