Publicis Groupe's Olivier Fleurot targets acquisitions after restructuring PR under MS&L

Publicis Groupe PR supremo Olivier Fleurot has revealed that agency acquisitions are a major priority for his newly formed MS&L Group entity, which will house the bulk of the group's PR resources.

Executive chairman: Olivier Fleurot
Executive chairman: Olivier Fleurot

Fleurot said he was in specific talks with agencies in China and India, as he attempts to transform MS&L Group into a top-tier global PR contender. His comments follow the decision, first flagged in PRWeek earlier this year, to consolidate Publicis' PR brands - including Publicis Consultants - under the MS&L banner.

The new MS&L Group will include the flagship agency, along with a range of agencies, including Publicis Consultants, JKL, Winner & Associates, TMG Strategies, PBJS, Relay, Capital MS&L, Hanmer MS&L, SAS and Publicis Events.

Fleurot has also named a leadership team for MS&L Group. Current MS&L Europe chief Anders Kempe becomes Europe president, while existing MS&L leaders Jim Tsokanos and Glenn Osaki will oversee the Americas and Asia, respectively.

However, Publicis Groupe-owned agencies Freud and Kekst and Company will not be part of MS&L Group. Instead, Fleurot said he hoped to leverage those assets as needed. ‘I just want to build that relationship further because Matthew (Freud) is leading a very successful business in the UK that is growing this year.'

Fleurot also pointed out that not all of the brands under MS&L Group would adopt MS&L branding. Publicis Consultants in London, for example, will retain its name for the time being, while the same agency in Holland will become MS&L in 2010. ‘We will keep a few brands to manage conflicts within the network,' he said. ‘The key is not that they all have the same name - the key is that they communicate and co-operate.'

MS&L Group's global revenues have already been pegged at US$400m to $500m – which Fleurot called an ‘accurate estimate'. The figure puts the agency within the world's top four PR agencies by revenue.

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