SAO PAOLO--Interpublic Group has entered the Brazilian public relations market by acquiring majority control of S2Publicom, one of the country’s top five PR firms.

The deal establishes a Brazilian presence for Interpublic (IPG) PR agencies Weber Shandwick and Golin Harris. S2Publicom was formed last year by the merger of S2 and Publicom, agencies that held affiliate relationships with the two IPG PR firms.

The combined firm employs 125 staffers in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, with a broad offering that includes media relations, crisis management, media training and digital communications. Key clients include McDonald’s, Petrobras, HTC and Gol Airlines.

S2Publicom founding partner Jose Luiz Schiavoni will remain CEO of the agency, while his two co-founders, Luciana Gurgel and Aldo De Luca, will continue as senior strategists and client counselors.

Brazil’s PR market is growing at a double-digit rate, fuelled by increasing consumer spending and a number of high-profile upcoming events, including the 2014 Fifa World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. Notable agency activity in recent times includes MSLGroup’s acquisition of Andreoli, and Edelman’s purchase of Significa.

"Our successful past collaborations with S2Publicom convinced us that they are the right partners to help Weber Shandwick and Golin Harris support their multinational clients and to continue to build a great business together in what is clearly one of the world’s fastest growing economies,” said Harris Diamond, CEO of IPG’s CMG division, which houses Weber Shandwick and GolinHarris.

"Through our long association as an affiliate partner with Weber Shandwick and Golin Harris, our agencies have built a relationship of mutual trust,” added Schiavoni. “The experience of bringing the best thinking to our clients has demonstrated that our business philosophies and styles are a good fit."