In what Advertising Age‘s Michael Bush calls, “one of the largest mergers in the PR industry,” Omnicom has merged agencies Ketchum (U.S.) and Pleon (Europe). “The combined consultancy has more than 2,000 employees in owned operations and will now operate in 66 countries with 103 owned and affiliated offices worldwide,” according to the release.
Bush elaborates: “The move makes Ketchum a nearly $400 million shop, bumping it into the neighborhood of some of the world’s largest agencies, including Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Weber Shandwick, Omnicom’s Fleishamn-Hillard, independent shop Edelman and WPP’s Burson-Marsteller.”
Ketchumn Senior Partner and CEO Ray Kotcher will retain leadership globally and Timo Sieg, who most recently served as Chairman and CEO of Pleon, will be the company’s CEO of Europe. A micro-site, www.ketchumpleonmerge.com, was set up to coincide with the announcement. Kotcher told AdAge that the merger, “is about clients, and clients who need to be operating on a global basis, need competent communications counsel worldwide, and need extraordinary power on the ground regionally and locally.”