Aarti Shah 21 Mar 2013 // 12:00AM GMT
NEW YORK — The Y&R Group, a subsidiary of WPP, is expanding its PR portfolio in North America by launching PPR regionally to serve as a conflict shop for Burson-Marsteller.
Fred Hawrysh will lead North American operations, which will initially involve 40 people spread across three geographies: New York, San Francisco and Washington DC. The agency’s profit & loss (P&L) structure will be led by geography and PPR is currently in “final talks” with regional heads to helm each market.
PPR’s North American operations will be anchored by key clients in the enterprise and consumer tech space, as well as professional services. Hawrysh declined to name these, but the firm works with clients like Dell, McDonald’s, Microsoft and Unilever from its Australian headquarters.Founded in Australia, PPR has serviced the Asia-Pac market for more than 40 years as a mid-sized agency.
Ultimately, there are plans to expand further into North America, as well as EMEA and Latin America next year, Hawrysh said.
Hawrysh said in coming months, he hopes to replicate the agency’s focus on “innovation, creativity and client service” in North America.
“We’ll have content managers and channel architects and make a strong use of creative directors,” Hawrysh said. “You’ll certainly see a blurring with traditional PR and paid and owned media.”
He added, with such a small team in North America he expects to be able to service clients similar to a boutique agency.
Already, North of Nine serves as a conflict shop for Burson-Marsteller, focusing mostly on tech companies, including Intel and start-ups like Snapchat.
Hawrysh joins PPR after previously being global head of corporate communications at Accenture and head of corporate affairs at Thomson Reuters before that. Before this, Hawrysh also spent more than 20 years at Burson-Marsteller. He will report to Y&R leadership.