Multispecialist communications consultancy
ABC was one of two public relations firms that helped to define the modern public relations business in Germany back in the early 80s. The other, Leipziger, has disappeared from the scene, and ABC—acquired by Havas in the mid 90s—is no longer the dominant force it was, as other firms (many of them launched and led by people who got their start at ABC) have changed the competitive landscape. But the firm is still a significant player, with more than 50 professionals at offices in Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Berlin, and it has seen a revival of its fortunes in recent years, a result of the improving German market and a new leadership team.
The firm is differentiated from the competition by virtue of its heritage—it is now 40 years old, and was a founding member of the German Public Relations Association; by its international links to other Euro RSCG public relations firms, including C&O in France and Bikker in the Netherlands; and by its focus on a handful of key sectors: corporate communications and change management, financial PR, brand marketing, healthcare PR, political communications, and public sector campaigns.
Chief executive Wolfgang Kreuter started in the firm’s Dusseldorf office in 1995, but left to helm BSMG Worldwide (later part of Weber Shandwick) in Germany, before returning in 2004 to take over the leadership role and manage the firm’s political communications as well as several healthcare and corporate accounts. He is joined by a senior management team that includes managing partners Patrik Buchtien, based in Hamburg and responsible for the corporate and change practice and Ulrike Hanky-Mehner, also in Hamburg, where she is responsible for brand PR and health and nutrition, and officers Joachim Klopsch (public campaigning), Oliver Chudy (brand PR in the Frankfurt office), and Martin Scherer (corporate and financial in the Dusseldorf office).
The firm works for major clients including CMA (the Central Marketing Association of the German Agricultural Industry), Nintendo of Europe, United Parcel Service, United Technology, and MAN Brennerbau. Significant wins over the past 12 months included LG Electronics, several brands from Kraft Foods, an initiative to improve medical care for dementia patients (led by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and insurance company AIK), and PR support for Carrier Corporation’s acquisition of Linde Kältetechnik. The financial PR unit assists a host of midsize Germany companies with their shareholder communications.