Ogilvy buys public affairs group

WASHINGTON: Ogilvy Public Relations has entered the lobbying arena with the acquisition of Washington DC-based The Federalist Group (TFG), a government relations agency with strong Republican ties.

The firms will merge their operations in Ogilvy's DC office by the end of the year, though TFG will continue to operate under its own name.
It has 'cachet in town', said Robert Mathias, MD of Ogilvy's DC office. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. The firms already share several clients, integrating media relations and lobbying.

TFG founder and CEO Stewart Hall will stay on board to lead the 20-strong lobbying practice. Its employees include Wayne Berman,
a senior adviser to the Bush/Cheney team in 2001, and John Green, a former executive director of the New Republican Majority Fund.
Though known primarily as a right-wing shop, Mathias said TFG was not 'religiously Republican. I would expect to see the partisan make-up of the firm change'.

TFG's revenues rose from $5.5m (£3.1m) in 2003 to $12.8m in 2004, due in part to its acquisition of Berman's former lobbying consultancy Berman Enterprises. Clients include the Texas Department of Transportation, auto-parts supplier Federal-Mogul and Visa.

Ogilvy parent WPP already owns four major DC lobbying firms: Timmons and Co, Wexler & Walker, BKSH & Associates, and Quinn Gillespie & Associates.

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