A wave of privatisations will offer big opportunities in government and investor relations

A wave of privatisations will offer big opportunities in government and

investor relations

After coming to power in May, the centre-right Partido Popular is

preparing its first wave of privatisations in an effort to reinforce

market confidence and bring Spain’s budget deficit down in time to meet

the criteria for the single European currency in 1999.

Cutting interest rates is another favoured measure to stimulate non-

inflationary economic growth in Spain’s flagging economy, where

unemployment, at 23 per cent, is the highest in the EU.

Despite this gloomy picture, Juan Astorqui managing director of Burson-

Marsteller says: ‘The economic situation is improving and we hope that

if not this year then next year we’ll notice a boost in the PR business.

Managing director of SAE de Relaciones Publicas, Juan Sola is also

cautiously optimistic: ‘The new government is providing more confidence

but public spending has not yet begun to grow.’

Fee income among the 14 agencies represented by the Spanish trade body

Asociacion de Empresas Consultoras en Relaciones Publicas y Comunicacion

(ADECEC) grew by 9.8 per cent last year to Pta 3.3 billion from Pta 3

billion in 1994.

Big opportunities in government and investor relations are presented by

early privatisations including the stock market and tobacco companies.

The Spanish Government also seems to be partially liberalising some of

the most protected sectors of the economy such as electricity,

telecommunications and land development.

To take advantage of this Sanchis y Asociados has formed a strategic

agreement with Albion Comunicaciones - an agency which specialises in


The last year was notable for a period of strategic manoeuvring by

Sanchis. It acquired a 25.9 per cent stake and 50.9 per cent voting

rights in retail and airline specialist MBO Communicacion in February

1995 and a 30 per cent stake in financial shop Common Sense in April


President Jose Luis Sanchis identifies information technology, tourism

and leisure, banking and pharmaceuticals as key growth sectors.

Astorqui adds healthcare to the list and sees expansion in crisis

management and environmental advice.

Meanwhile, Ulled y Asociados has set up a specialist internal

communications division to take advantage of the demand by large

companies in this area.

In the rankings table Grupo Sanchis y Associados’ activities have

enabled it to rise from number three last year to knock Burson-

Marsteller off the top slot, while SAE de Relaciones Publicas dropped

one place to number three.

Burson-Marsteller went through a difficult time, losing four managers in

a nine-month period. It did, however, manage to win hotel chain NH

Hoteles in March after communications manager Isabel Saracho joined the

agency three months earlier.

B-M’s former CEO Jose Antonio Llorente, who set up his own agency JA

Llorente y O Cuenca with fellow former B-M group account director Olga

Cuenca in July 1995, picked up major accounts for Gillette, Johnson and

Johnson and leading design agency Vierka.

SAE de Relaciones Publicas’ Sola says its own growth has been

principally in information technology, investor relations and consumer

work. This includes investor relations for Sol-Melia hotels, broad-

ranging work for Digital and consumer campaigns for the Port Aventura

theme park and Kodak.

The head of its Barcelona office Toni Rabal left to set up his own

consultancy, and former consumer account director Javier Curtichs took

over. The agency has also opened a third office in Tarragona.

‘Our strength lies in our consumer and marketing experience and the

investment in interconnectivity between offices,’ says Sola.

Terp Hill and Knowlton had a good year, increasing its fee income by 19

per cent. This included picking up a campaign for the Kentucky

Distiller’s Association. However it lost Jan-Ulf Soderberg, director of

its Madrid office to Sanchis y Associado.

This move backs Sanchis’ claim that his agency is fast moving from being

a specialist to a generalist and highlights a PR market characterised by

a battle between these two types of consultancy.

Sanchis adds: ‘As a national independent company we can specialise on

Spain and want to be the best as well as the most effective. We are

also doing our best to keep fee revenues high against a general industry

trend towards lower prices.’

Sola takes a different angle: ‘We have increased our productivity. For

the same price we are giving more value to our clients.’


Euro Consultancies: Spain (part one)


Rank  Company                         Fee income (pounds)     Location

                                        95          94

 1    Sanchis y Asociados1           3,911,434   3,671,852    Madrid

 2    Burson Marsteller Spain        3,003,000   2,807,000    Madrid

 3    Shandwick Spain                1,907,000           *    Barcelona

 4    Tormo y Asociados              1,415,000     612,245    Madrid

 5    Imagen uno Com.                1,215,000   1,235,000    Madrid

 6    Ulled y Asociados              1,177,000   1,151,000    Barcelona

 7    Ketchum/SEIS                     904,000     815,000    Madrid

 8    ACH Asociados                    858,145     740,059    Madrid

 9    Terp Hill & Knowlton             691,464     580,005    Madrid

10    GP Inforpress                    589,214     546,875    Barcelona

11    Gabinete Uribe                   510,913     512,650    Barcelona

12    Key Communications               500,000           *    Madrid

13    Issues Relaciones Publicas       473,360     511,240    Madrid

14    SCR                              426,000     410,000    Barcelona

15    Poweraxle                        411,800     400,718    Madrid

16    Solsona & Filloy                 346,685     164,960    Barcelona

17    Roman y Asociados                242,000     248,000    Barcelona

18    D J Edelman Espana2              178,551           *    Madrid

19    Imago Grup                       160,000     266,000    Madrid

20    Pinpoint Int Services            140,000      87,000    Madrid

* Figures not available. 1Includes figures for MBO.  Consolidated

according to Spanish law which requires majority of voting rights.

2Office opened July 1995.



Euro Consultancies: Spain (part two)


Rank  Company                           Status

 1    Sanchis y Asociados1              Independent

 2    Burson Marsteller Spain           Burson Marsteller subs

 3    Shandwick Spain                   Shandwick subs

 4    Tormo y Asociados                 Euro plus member

 5    Imagen uno Com.                   Independent

 6    Ulled y Asociados                 Comms Intl Group

 7    Ketchum/SEIS                      Ketchum subs

 8    ACH Asociados                     MS&L subs

 9    Terp Hill & Knowlton              H&K subidiary

10    GP Inforpress                     Independent

11    Gabinete Uribe                    Independent

12    Key Communications                Trimedia/Key Comms mbr

13    Issues Relaciones Publicas        Independent

14    SCR                               Euroforce member

15    Poweraxle                         GCI & Rowland assct

16    Solsona & Filloy                  Independent

17    Roman y Asociados                 Grayling Associate

18    D J Edelman Espana2               Edelman network mbr

19    Imago Grup                        ECCO member

20    Pinpoint Int Services             Grayling Associate

* Figures not available. 1Includes figures for MBO.  Consolidated

according to Spanish law which requires majority of voting rights.

2Office opened July 1995.


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