NEW YORK—North Carolina-based French/West/Vaughan, one of the nation’s largest independent public relations agencies, has acquired two boutique firms in New York: Jody Donohue Associates and BurtonLuch PR. The acquisitions are designed to expand FWV’s office in New York following last month’s demerger of J.B. Cumberland, and position the firm for overseas growth.
The 90-person Raleigh agency will absorb the business operations, personnel and client rosters of Jody Donohue Associates, a nearly 30-year old firm best known for its representation of premium lifestyle brands such as Givenchy, Ferragamo, Almay, the Italian Trade Commission, and Swatch, and BurtonLuch, a 20-year-old agency noted for its international work in the luxury home category for clients such as Bosch, Thermador, Armstrong, Sony, Marimekko, Pierre Deux and 3M.
Jody Donohue, president of JDA, will serve as senior counsel to FWV and clients of what is now a 15-person New York office. Jacqueline Burton, president of BurtonLuch, will be a vice president of FWV with primary responsibility for client service and business development in the Northeast market. Both will work closely with Lauren Taylor, executive vice president and general manager of FWV’s New York office, as well as agency president Richard French, who is looking to expand FWV’s international reach via acquisitions or joint ventures in both London and Paris.
The acquisitions will add clients such as the Speedo Swimwear brand; international fashion designer and noted Parisian socialite Jacqueline de Ribes; Indesit Company, the Italian-based maker of the Ariston line of premium kitchen appliances; Tulikivi Oy, a Finnish architectural stone and fireplace company; and Alpine Log Homes.
French says Donohue and Burton “have a great deal of experience both domestically and abroad, which I see as great benefit to FWV. The contacts and category experience each agency brings with them align very nicely with the consumer products focus of our NY office.”