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Agency Whispers: Economic ripples, mental health challenges, and lots of acquisitions

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There has been lots of chatter this week over the unexpected decline in Q3 revenues for Publicis. Is it a clear sign of the much-anticipated economic challenges that agency leaders have been talking about recently? A CNBC analysis argues agencies shouldn’t be overly concerned since many experts say the problems are specific to the French holding company.

For those who want to prepare for a recession — whenever it may appear — Gini Dietrich and I cover that in the two most recent episodes of the Agency Leadership Podcast.

Now let’s get to this week’s news, notes, jobs, and more.

— Chip Griffin


In a survey of UK PR professionals by the PRCA and Opinium, 89 percent reported “struggling with mental well-being.” 

Access Intelligence acquired Pulsar, a social listening solution, to join Vuelio and ResponseSource in its portfolio of solutions targeted at communicators and marketers.

IPG launched Kinesso, a software company focused on data. It will be led by CEO Arun Kumar who will continue to serve as Chief Data and Technology Officer for the holding company.

Agencies in the News

MediaMonks acquired digital agency Firewood for $150 million.

Healthcare firm W2O acquired Arcus Medica.

Buffalo Groupe acquired 54 Brands, based in Charlotte, NC. This is their third acquisition since forming earlier this year.

Alexandria, VA based firm Yes& acquired GreenSmith PR.

Sweden’s Rud Pedersen Group acquired We Made You Look, a digital agency.

The River Group, a full-service marketing agency, joined with Lisa Taylor to launch Maven Communications, a UK PR and communications firm.

APCO Worldwide launched ignite, a dedicated integrated communications offering for entrepreneurs and startups in Dubai.

Frank launched Good Stuff, a division led by Ryan Sketchley to help clients focused on social change.

Ben Jackson, formerly of MSL, started the new employee experience consultancy Cogency.

Clarity launched a financial services and venture capital PR practice to be led by Michael Celiceo.

United Spirit Nordic of Copenhagen joined WorldWise PR Affiliates, a network of independent agencies.

Talent on the Move

Edelman named Yannis Kotziagkiaouridis as its first global head of data and analytics.

Ilan Schafer appointed as CEO of Weber Shandwick’s German operations.

Grayling named Frankie Oliver as Head of Consumer Brands for UK and Ireland.

Hot Paper Lantern promoted client services head Abby Trexler to Partner. 

Mercury Public Affairs named Steve Burns as Managing Director of the firm’s Sacramento office.

Porter Novelli hired Joe Farren, former EVP at Powell Tate, as MD of their DC office.

ReviveHealth announced four new senior hires: Lindsey Thompson, executive vice president, communications; Ryan Colaianni, senior vice president, issues/crisis; Bjorn Gunnerud, senior vice president, insights; and Gale Pryor, vice president, content.

Jo Crouch and Khalid Latif joined the London healthcare team at Weber Shandwick in the newly created roles of Managing Director of Strategic Planning and Creative Director of Health for EMEA.

Inspire PR Group of Columbus hired Marisa Long as Executive Vice President and promoted Diane Hurd and Hana Bieliauskas to Vice President.

Zoe Thorngood returns to APCO Worldwide after 18 months as Chief of Staff and Director of External Communications for the UK Conservative party. The firm also announced that Jeff Astle would become Shanghai Managing Director.

The Latest on AgencyLeadership.com

How to build an agency project budget

The only way to operate profitably is to control costs and price client engagements correctly. (more)

How agencies can prepare for the coming recession (part 2 of 2)

What owners can do now for their businesses and their teams before times get tough. (more)

Rebranding after an agency merger (featuring Trevor Francis)

The challenges and opportunities when integrating two businesses while also introducing a new name. (more)


BFG Marketing (New York, NY): Event Producer

Gregory FCA (Ardmore, PA): Account Executive

LaVoie Strategic Communications (Boston, MA): Media Relations Specialist

Taoti Creative (Washington, DC): Art Director, Proposal Writer, Project Manager, and more

Ogilvy (New York, NY): Account Supervisor, Healthcare Public Relations

Qorvis (Washington, DC): Vice President, Public Affairs

Red Havas (Pittsburgh, PA): Fellow (entry-level) 

Reuben Sinclair (Surrey, England): Account Executive

Something Big (Surrey, England): Account Director

Would you like to see your agency’s job opening listed here for free? Just send an email to jobs@smallagencygrowth.com.


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