Matthew Hiltzik's move comes after news - broken on prweek.com last Thursday - that French marcoms company Publicis Groupe is to buy a 50.1 per cent share of the iconic UK agency.
Hiltzik has left Miramax - a long-standing agency client - to run Freuds' embryonic New York office, which is to offer 'high-level, strategic' global advice to new clients, and existing ones, such as Sony Pictures Entertainment and Discovery Networks.
Hiltzik is likely to be given a title akin to US CEO. He was formerly head of corporate comms and government relations at Miramax, working as spokesman for co-chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein.
The Publicis deal will add Freuds to Publicis' existing PR agency stable, including Manning Selvage & Lee and Publicis Consultants.
It will allow Freuds access to Publicis' global network of clients within its advertising and PR businesses and signals the end for Freud Inside, the joint venture with ad agency Clemmow Hornby Inge run by director Gaby Zein. Zein, a ten-year stalwart, is thought to be considering her future with the group.
Freuds, hitherto Britain's largest independent consumer PR agency, employs 103 staff in the UK. It is understood founder Matthew Freud is to retain around two thirds of the remaining 49.9 per cent of the company, with several other senior execs sharing the remainder.
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