Hollywood’s two biggest public relations agencies announced a merger on Tuesday, creating a combined firm with more than 500 clients as competition from boutique publicity agencies intensifies.
Both of the merging agencies, PMK-BNC and Rogers & Cowan, are owned by Interpublic Group, but they have competed as stand-alone public relations and branding agencies. By joining forces they expect to reduce costs while providing clients with greater resources.
The combined entity, which has yet to be named, will be led by chairman Cindi Berger (currently PMK*BNC chairman and CEO) and CEO Mark Owens (Rogers & Cowan CEO), with Rogers & Cowan co-president Alan Nierob serving as chairman of the entertainment division. The leadership team will be rounded out by Shirley Hughes as president of the brand marketing division, Brad Cafarelli and Fran Curtis (who has worked with Elton for many years) as vice chairmen of entertainment in Los Angeles and New York, respectively, and Bill Rosenthal as COO and CFO.
The move cements the company’s position as the biggest Hollywood-focused PR firm. Together, it will represent more than 500 clients, including musical artists (such as Elton, the Rolling Stones, and Katy Perry); big screen notables including Jerry Bruckheimer, Robert Redford and Denzel Washington; and athletes (with Kobe Bryant among them), as well as more than 30 global brands. Some of the latter include Chopard; MasterCard; McDonald’s; Samsung; YouTube and Verizon.