Magnet Joins with Arnold Advertising in Havas Reshuffle
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Magnet Joins with Arnold Advertising in Havas Reshuffle

Magnet Communications, formerly part of the diversified agencies group at Havas Advertising will be aligned with the Arnold Worldwide brand as part of a major restructuring by the French communications holding company.

Paul Holmes

NEW YORK, November 19—Magnet Communications, formerly part of the diversified agencies group at Havas Advertising will be aligned with the Arnold Worldwide brand as part of a major restructuring by the French communications holding company. Magnet, created two years ago by the merger of Creamer Dickson Basford and Kratz & Jensen, will work closely with the advertising agency on integrated programs, says Magnet president David Kratz.
 
Havas announced a month ago that it would disband its diversified agencies group and that most of the firms in the group would join one of three major brands: Euro RSCG Worldwide, Arnold Worldwide, and MPG. Magnet was the major PR firm affected, joining Arnold, which has its own, small PR operation, while biotech specialist Noonan Russo Communications becomes part of the Euro RSCG group that also includes Middleberg Euro RSCG and healthcare specialist Presence Euro RSCG.
 
In a separate announcement last week, Abernathy MacGregor—which is a stand-alone public relations company and not part of one of three major brands—joining forces with corporate and financial communications specialists in London and Paris as part of the new AMO Network.
 
Kratz says he was told of the restructuring by Havas chairman and CEO Alain de Pouzilhac, and given complete freedom to decide where Magnet would be aligned. “In some ways, not a lot is going to change, because we were always part of a network and we were always an independent entity within the network,” says Kratz. “That’s the relationship we have here. But in other ways, this is a better situation for us. We really like the people and the culture at Arnold, and like us it is very much a marketing driven organization—with a real interest in an integrating approach.”
 
Arnold, meanwhile, has operations in several key European market, and has made clear that it would like to see Magnet expand to serve clients in those markets also. “They want to preserve our character and our independent identity, but they are also in a position to help us grow,” says Kratz.
 
According to de Pouzilhac, the aim of this reorganization is to enable Havas to better resist the recession, by refocusing its activities around its three major brands. Also joining the Arnold network are Brann, a specialist in direct marketing; Conran Design in the U.K.; and French corporate communications firm W Group.
 
Several PR firms will continue to operate independently of the three major units, however, including Abernathy MacGregor, British financial communications specialist Hudson Sandler, and Grayling Group, which has offices in the U.K., France, Ireland, Belgium, and Singapore.
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