INTERNATIONAL: Weber Group enters worldwide PR top ten

NEW YORK: Weber PR Worldwide has leapt into the world’s top ten agencies, in its first full year of business since its purchase by ad agency McCann-Erickson in 1996. Burson-Marsteller topped the league with a fee income of pounds 165 million.

NEW YORK: Weber PR Worldwide has leapt into the world’s top ten

agencies, in its first full year of business since its purchase by ad

agency McCann-Erickson in 1996. Burson-Marsteller topped the league with

a fee income of pounds 165 million.



According to O’Dwyer’s directory of PR firms, published in New York this

month, Weber’s 1997 fee income was pounds 38 million. The Weber group

has grown dramatically through acquisition since joining

McCann-Erickson. UK financial PR firm Ludgate was acquired by Weber last

year. Its fee income now outstrips firms including Ogilvy PR Worldwide

and Rowland Worldwide.



The O’Dwyer listing does not compare fee income for Weber with last

year’s figures, because this year the group submitted figures for all

its companies, including UK financial PR firm Ludgate. The listing

includes income from outside the US for international firms. Hill and

Knowlton was not included because it did not include a client list,

according to O’Dwyer’s.



Of the 50 largest PR firms in O’Dwyer’s directory, 39 saw double-digit

growth last year. Of the top 20 firms, only Shandwick and its sister

brand Golin/Harris Communications failed to show growth in the ranking.

The Shandwick Group reports in sterling and the UK currency’s

appreciation against the dollar therefore hit its US income figures for

1997. BSMG Worldwide was the fastest growing top 20 agency. Shandwick,

which is in talks to sell part or all of its shares to another company,

and Edelman are the only top ten agencies which remain independently

owned.



Porter Novelli and Fleishman-Hillard, both owned by Omnicom, now form

the world’s largest PR group, Communications Consulting Worldwide.



O’Dwyer’s top ten agencies

Agency               Net fee income    Staff    % change

                       (dollars US)             from ’96

Burson-Marsteller               265    2,129        13.5

Shandwick                       159    1,742         -

Porter Novelli Int              148    1,331        22

Fleishman-Hillard               135    1,115        25

Edelman PR

Worldwide                       134    1,332        19.7

Ketchum PR

Worldwide                        97      827        29

MS&L                             64      459        32.5

GCI Group                        62      645        18.6

BSMG Worldwide                 61.6      539        40.2

Weber PR Worldwide               61      350  new entity



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