US PR giant Fleishman-Hillard is rejigging its Asian operation following
a parting of the ways with its Asian partner, Scotchbrook.
The group has just sold its minority stake in Fleishman-Hillard
Scotchbrook Asia, the Hong Kong- and Singapore-based corporate, investor
relations and government affairs firm, to Scotchbrook Associates
International. In turn, F-H has bought out Scotchbrook’s Beijing
The terms of the deal remain undisclosed, but it does leave Fleishman-
Hillard temporarily without staffed offices in either Hong Kong or
Commenting on the deal agency chairman and chief executive, John Graham
said F-H’s existing client base, which includes Wal-Mart, Emerson
Electric and Baxter International, would be serviced through affiliate
companies, including Scotchbrook.
He also admitted that the agency was looking to hire five or six people
immediately and expected to appoint a general manager for both Hong Kong
and Singapore by early 1996. In the meantime, he said, the business will
be managed from the Beijing office.
While Fleishman-Hillard prepares to flex its wallet - ‘we’re ready to
spend a great deal,’ said Graham, who also wants to expand into southern
China, Shanghai, Malaysia and India - Scotchbrook is concentrating on
its existing dollars 3.8 million a year niche business. Current clients
include, Apple Computer, Chubb Insurance, Electricite de France and NBC.
Godfrey Scotchbrook, chairman and majority shareholder in the new group,
Scotchbrook Communications International, said: ‘We want to remain
highly focused; we’re not interested in consumer PR, nor any other
specialist areas such as technology.’
Being part of such a big American firm was restricting, he said,
especially when clients asked Scotchbrook to recommend agencies. ‘We
needed to broaden our network of referrals,’ he said. But he claimed
that the split was amicable and that both firms continue to share client
accounts on both sides of the Pacific.