NEW YORK—DeVries Public Relations, a New York-based Interpublic Group agency best known for its work with consumer and lifestyle brands, is launching a new network that initially includes offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Singapore. An office in London will be added to the network in late summer, after the 2012 Olympics.  

The new network, DeVries Global, will draw on talent from the firm’s New York headquarters as well as other IPG operations and is designed to service global brands, offering greater cross-market collaboration.

James Allman, currently CEO of DeVries Public Relations, will take on a new role as chairman of DeVries Global. He will lead the expansion of the agency’s global footprint with the creation of the new micro-network. Stephanie Smirnov, currently president, will be promoted to CEO of DeVries New York and assumes oversight for the agency’s US operations.

Allman joined DeVries’ management team in June 2004 as chief executive officer, bringing more than 20 years of experience at two leading advertising agencies: J. Walter Thompson and Ammirati Puris Lintas, where he was the chairman of the New York office. He has lived and worked in the US, Italy, UK and Thailand.

Smirnov, a 12-year DeVries veteran, previously served as president and chief creative officer of the agency. She brings more than two decades of consumer PR experience on both the agency and corporate sides, including leadership roles at L’Oréal USA and Donna Karan International.