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The review of PR Pitches and M&A in UK PR: February 2024

Welcome to our February 2024 Review of PR Pitches and mergers & acquisitions in the UK PR scene with Andrew Bloch, where we will discuss the biggest, most seismic pitch wins and mergers and acquisitions that the PR sector has seen in 2023.

Andrew is the lead consultant - PR, Social, Content and Influencer at the new business consultancy firm AAR and a partner at PCB Partners, where he advises on buying and selling marketing services agencies.

Andrew was also co-founder and managing partner at PR agency Frank, before stepping back in 2020 to found Andrew Bloch & Associates.

A quick mention about the relaunch of PRmoment. If you take a look at PRmoment.com, you'll see a brand new design with lots of new features, hopefully, easier navigation and also the launch of our new subscription training service for senior folks within agencies' PRmoment Leaders. Do take a look and let us know if you like it.

Thanks also so much to the PRmoment Podcast sponsors the PRCA.

Pitches

2 mins Andrew talks us through this month's biggest PR pitch wins in the UK:

Tortilla, the Mexican fast food restaurant, appoints PR agency Houston.

Orlebar Brown - a luxury swimwear brand owned by Chanel - appoints PR agency W.

Bolt appoints PR agency Boldspace

Burger King appoints PR agency The Academy

Versuni (Philips brand owner) appoints PR agency Smoking Gun.

(Ketchum continues to partner with Philips. Tin Man continues to handle global comms.)

Heineken’s trade PR goes to food and drink PR specialist Fleet Street

Ballantines Whisky appoints Pangolin on a global brief.

M&C Sport and Ents retain the global music brand strategy brief and Firstlight Group handle corporate comms.

Four Seasons appoints Red - replaces PRCO after a 30-year client-agency relationship.

Greggs appoint That Lot for a social media brief.

Santander appoints two agencies - Lansons Team Farner for its consumer PR and MHP for its public affairs work.

eToro appoints Lansons/Team Farner on a combined corp and brand brief.

British Gas appoints Smarts for a consumer PR brief. (Working alongside BCW)

“If there is a lack of long-term client commitment, you have to adjust your cost base accordingly. The great agencies do that.”

“We don’t do this for fun. There is no point running an agency that doesn't make any money.”

16 mins Andrew talks us through February's M&A activity:

Fantastic Media acquires Faith Brand Communications.

SEC Newgate acquires a 70% stake (over five years) in Athens HQ V+O Group.

Real Chemistry acquires Avant Healthcare.

Havas acquires b2b marketing specialist Ledger Bennett

Cognito, an independent global PR agency, has completed the majority acquisition of its German operation Cognito DACH.


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