Freud was inducted into PRWeek’s Hall of Fame by Sir Howard Stringer, the former chief executive of Sony, at the awards ceremony at Grosvenor House in London’s Mayfair, in front of 1,000 communications professionals.
"Matthew Freud has balanced precariously on the cutting edge of PR with a mission – not to succeed at all costs, but to succeed by doing the right thing," said Stringer.
Freud said: "Our profession may not be rocket science or cancer curing, but increasingly it makes a difference in shaping attitudes and behaviour on key issues. We should be proud of what we do, or we shouldn't do it."
Freud set up Freud Communications, now Freuds, 30 years ago when he was just 22 years old. Today the firm’s client list includes Pepsi, Universal and Warner Brothers. It has a turnover of close to £40m and employs 230 people. Freud says he is most proud of his firm’s role in cause-related campaigns such as Comic Relief, Make Poverty History and Product (RED).
PRWeek’s editor-in-chief, Danny Rogers, said: "Matthew is one of the seminal figures in the creation of today’s thriving British PR industry. He is that rare mixture of entrepreneur, creative thinker and adept manager of reputations. He has created campaigns that have both shaken and improved the world.
"Thirty years after it was founded, Freuds remains one of the country’s most compelling communications agencies."
Each year PRWeek will induct a new member into the industry Hall of Fame, based on their impact on, and contribution to, the UK PR sector.