The agency said the five-year plan devised at the time of the merger has been "very successful", with the business now 50 per cent bigger. It has also won more than 50 awards over the period, including PRWeek UK Awards Large Consultancy of the Year and the Large Agency category at PRWeek UK Best Places to Work Awards, and introduced new services.
The rebrand marks an end for the Fishburn name after 30 years. Its origins date back to 1991, when Neil Hedges and Dale Fishburn formed the PR agency Fishburn Hedges, which later joined advertising network Abbott Mead Vickers and in 1998 became wholly owned by Omnicom.
The creation of FleishmanHillard Fishburn in 2016 marked the emergence of a combined entity with annual fee income of between £25m and £30m and 200 employees, based in Omnicom’s Bankside premises in London. Jim Donaldson, then managing director of FleishmanHillard’s UK operations, became chief executive, with former Fishburn agency head Ali Gee made deputy chief executive.
FleishmanHillard Fishburn was the name of the UK operation, with the agency retaining the FleishmanHillard title globally.
Donaldson, now chief executive of FleishmanHillard UK, said: “The shift to FleishmanHillard UK is an expression of the agency leaning even further into global comms, whether that’s a global view or through the actual work. Ali and I both feel that there’s more that unites us globally with our colleagues as FleishmanHillard than makes us different, and this has become particularly apparent in the last year.
"We have always had our own distinct culture within our office in London. That doesn’t change. We're adapting and innovating to meet our clients' needs – such as launching our COP26 Unit, for example – and that will remain at the centre of what we do in London and for the network.”
Gee, deputy chief executive of the renamed agency, said: “This merger was everything we could have hoped for. To this day, former Fishburners are carving their way around our global agency, making waves, and all of them recognise two things: how great for our clients and people becoming FleishmanHillard has been, and that the time has now come to embrace it with this final step.”
The new name takes effect from today (4 February).
FHF was ranked 12th in last year's PRWeek UK Top 150 Consultancies list, with estimated revenue of £35.3m in 2019 and a headcount of about 300.