Robert Phillips and Jackie Cooper, who founded JCPR, have established Cooper Phillips Brand Communications as an umbrella company for a network of 'non-advertising communications companies' and are currently negotiating the first partnership deals through Pembridge.
Cooper said the decision to launch the firm was prompted by a desire to form a PR and marketing group of their own: 'We have been courted by most of the big groups over the years, but we felt that the partnership with Pembridge allows us to develop a group of our own,' she said.
Under the terms of the deal, Pembridge takes a ten per cent stake in the new firm, with the remainder owned by Cooper, Phillips and the existing JCPR board. CPBC will operate independently of JCPR.
Phillips said the move would formalise the agency's relationship with other firms, and refused to rule out acquisitions or expansion into areas beyond consumer PR.
Phillips claimed he was unconcerned that Pembridge's stake may be a conflict of interest, as the firm also owns ten per cent of JCPR rival Lexis Public Relations, after advising on the MBO in that agency in April (PRWeek, 19 April).