Ketchum consolidates German agencies under one banner

Ketchum has announced that its German brands Ketchum Pleon, Brandzeichen and Emanate will be consolidated to form what it says will be the largest comms consultancy in the country.

Rob Flaherty: Senior partner, CEO, and president, Ketchum
Rob Flaherty: Senior partner, CEO, and president, Ketchum

The alignment of the agencies under the Ketchum Germany name will begin immediately, with a shake-up at the leadership level.

After 20 years, Dirk Popp, partner and CEO of Ketchum Pleon, will depart the firm. Victoria Wagner, current CEO of Brandzeichen, will take on the role of CEO at Ketchum Germany.

Simone Hoch is promoted from managing partner of Ketchum Pleon Munich, to chief operating officer of Ketchum Germany.

Wagner, Hoch and Horst Wettlaufer, who becomes the chief financial officer of Ketchum Germany, will sit on the Ketchum Germany Executive Board. They are tasked with working with the leadership teams from all three agencies to establish a framework to increase client and employee satisfaction. 

Rob Flaherty, partner, CEO and president, Ketchum said that combining the three business units would help create a unique offering in Germany.

"Ketchum Pleon is known for its corporate expertise while Brandzeichen is focused on brand communications and social media prowess. Emanate has earned its reputation around relevance marketing. By grouping these three businesses together, we are creating a consultancy in Germany that stands out from the crowd in terms of breadth of client services, innovative thinking, depth of strategic and creative talent, and geographical reach," he said.

Since December 2015 there has been a flurry of activity by global PR players in the German market. That month Edelman acquired German comms consultancy ergo Kommunikation, a deal that the agency says makes it the fourth strongest agency in the country.

In April 2016, Interpublic Group announced the launch of Golin Germany, a PR, digital, content and advertising firm formed as a joint venture between its agencies Golin and GGH MullenLowe, and WPP firm Finsbury announced a strategic partnership with a local agency.

Most recently, global PR firm Allison+Partners increased its presence in the German market with the acquisition of tech-focused Berlin and Munich agency Higher Ground Communications.

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