GPlus
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Holmes Report
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GPlus

Holmes Report

Public affairs consultancy

 

It’s a natural inclination of most business leaders to see regulators and legislators as a threat, and that tendency may be even greater when it comes to the European Union. But GPlus founders Peter Guilford and Nigel Gardner have both worked as spokesman for EU institutions, and one of the core beliefs that underpin their work is that the EU provides smart business with opportunities as well as challenges. At the same time, they understand that the EU strikes many CEOs as a Byzantine and intimidating organization, and that those CEOs need to draw on the expertise of insiders if they are to achieve their objectives in the policy arena.

            GPlus provides that expertise, working to help clients craft messages and communications strategies. It also offers considerable policy expertise, in areas including international trade, competition, financial services, energy and the environment.

Before forming GPlus in 2000, Guildford was deputy spokesperson for former EU Commission president Romano Prodi. Gardner was spokesman for Sir Leon Brittan, former vice president of the European Commission, and had worked for the Labour group of MEPs in the European Parliament. Both are former journalists, Guilford for The Times of London and Gardner at the BBC. They are joined at the helm of GPlus by John Wyles, a Financial Times journalist for 16 years (including stints as bureau chief in Rome and Brussels) and Michael Tscherny, who previously worked for Mario Monti, former EU Competition Commissioner. New to the firm over the past 12 months are senior advisors Antony Vinall, an eight year veteran of the U.K.’s Department of Trade & Industry and Angus Roxburgh, formerly the BBC’s correspondent in Moscow and Brussels and an expert media trainer. They lead of truly multinational and multicultural team of about 35, representing 13 nationalities and speaking 13 languages.

            The most significant event of the past 12 months was the firm’s acquisition in February of this year by the Omnicom group, and GPlus was immediately installed as the preferred Brussels public affairs provider of three Omnicom-owned public relations firms: Ketchum, which has probably been the most active in tapping into the services of its new sister company; Porter Novelli; and Gavin Anderson & Co. The firm has also added several important clients, including Telefonica, Deutsche Börse, Visa and the Russian Presidency of the G8, the latter a partnership with Ketchum that involved media management on the ground in St. Petersburg, including supervision of the BBC webcast the preceded the meeting. They join a client roster that includes Time Warner, Chiquita, Toyota, BHP Billiton, Wal-Mart, Mars, Microsoft, AVIVA, the Royal Bank of

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