Editorial: Finding a place in the new structure

No merger is without its casualties, and the combination of two major agencies like Fleishman-Hillard and Porter Novelli under one brand was bound to cause some discomfort.

No merger is without its casualties, and the combination of two

major agencies like Fleishman-Hillard and Porter Novelli under one brand

was bound to cause some discomfort.



But Barry Leggetter’s departure will be unsettling for

Fleishman-Hillard, which has not had a great track record with its UK

management. Prior to Leggetter, who was widely regarded as a safe pair

of hands, the firm had run through several combinations in fairly quick

succession without apparently finding a winning formula. The agency must

move swiftly to fill the position to avoid further uncertainty.



Leggetter’s departure is said to have hinged on the issue of whether the

UK firm should continue report to St Louis as he wanted, or to the

European HQ in Paris.



While it may not have suited Leggetter, there is a lot of sense in

placing the UK office under the European umbrella. F-H is dwarfed by its

new sister agency Countrywide Porter Novelli, and, despite recent

successes, has made relatively slow progress in the UK.



The transatlantic PR axis remains hugely important for those running

global networks. But for those running F-H UK, it will almost certainly

be better to be a big player within the European network, than a small

satellite of the worldwide headquarters.



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