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Brand-building public relations; Germany

Holmes Report


achtung! (formerly achtung! Kommunikation), restructured last year, eliminating a number of companies specializing in advertising, public relations, direct marketing and digital communications to create a truly integrated firm capable of serving clients with teams drawn from all of those practices. From its early days, the firm has differentiated itself on the basis of its integrated capabilities and an approach that emphasizes creativity and client service and is summed up in achtung!’s motto, “The closer we are to our clients, the further we can take them.”
Founded just eight years ago by Mirko Kaminski, a former press spokesman for Citibank in Germany who also worked at Burson-Marsteller, achtung! has been one of the fastest-growing public relations firms in Germany. With a team of about 100 in offices in Hamburg and Munich, it reported fee income of around ?8.5 million in 2009 (enough to rank in the top 10 in Germany, according to the Pfeffers league table), and is anticipating growth of around 10 percent in 2010, which will probably be enough to once again outperform the market as whole.
Kaminski continues to lead the agency’s business development efforts, supported by Thorsten Beckmann, head of finance (who is also overseeing the growth of the advertising business) and new hire Wolfgang Lünenbürger-Reidenbach, formerly of Edelman, who serves as head of digital strategy. The senior management team also includes Tanja Scheufens, who runs the Munich business and is responsible for integrated work; creative director Lars Joseph; human resources manager Sybille Gast; and Alexandra Neelsen and Henning Klawiter, both directors in the PR unit.
Much of the growth in 2010 came from longstanding clients including Deutsche Bahn, ebay, Teekanne, and Vapiano, many of which are taking fuller advantage of the firm’s integrated offer. New additions in 2010 included Deutsche Telekom, Daimler, Lego, Hornbach and netbank, contributing to the firm’s continued growth. The most interesting assignments included support for several regions and business units of Deutsche Bahn (the German railway), which draw on advertising, public relations and digital capabilities.

achtung! provides leadership on several international assignments, working with selected partner agencies.
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