Paul Holmes 04 Mar 2003 // 12:00AM GMT
NEW YORK—FutureBrand, a corporate identity and brand-consulting firm, is joining forces with Weber Shandwick Worldwide as part of a restructuring by mutual parent company Interpublic. The move will give the public relations agency a new capability that chief executive Harris Diamond believes will provide a new layer of intellectual rigor and provide tremendous synergies.
“FutureBrand is one of the world’s leading brand identity companies, specializing in brand management, valuation, consumer and corporate branding, product design and new product development,” says Diamond
“Like us, they create communications programs designed to reach all a client’s major stakeholders. Together, we will be able to offer the marketplace some unique approaches to corporate branding.”
FutureBrand is best known for its work in two areas: corporate identity consulting and brand valuation. Both have relevance to the public relations business, the former because it involves a detailed stakeholder analysis that provides valuable insights into corporate reputation, the latter because it offers sophisticated metrics for measuring reputation. The two firms may also work together in the employee communications arena.
“We have been working together on clients for six to nine months, but we haven’t come close to realizing what is possible,” says Diamond.
John Elkins, FutureBrand’s chief executive, will report to Diamond, but the firm will retain its own name and management team.
WSW’s Scott Meyer will work closely with Elkins and his team to identify “the best opportunities for collaboration,” says Diamond.
Meanwhile, Diamond says the shake-up at IPG this week—which saw chairman and chief executive John Dooner demoted to head of the McCann Erickson World Group and his place at the helm taken by former True North chief David Bell—will have no major impact on Weber Shandwick. Diamond has a good relationship with both men, having reported to Bell at BSMG Worldwide, and both understand the importance of the group’s lead PR agency to IPG’s future.