Finn Partners and the Stagwell Group:
The Stagwell Group is purchasing a minority interest in Finn Partners and Stagwell’s CEO, Mark Penn, will become one of Finn’s board members. Both Firms will continue as before working separately, but they will create a separate PR agency held and operated jointly – Wye Communications. Wye will use people from both Finn and Stagwell (with 1350+ combined employees between them) and will be based in the U.S., serving clients around the world. Stagwell will maintain the controlling interest in Wye.
The funds Finn receives from Stagwell for the purchase of the minority share will be used to further expand Finn, which has tripled in size since it was founded in 2011.
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller – 2016 Stevies PR Agency of the Year in the Middle East and Africa:
Nabbing 23 trophies at the awards including four golds, seven silvers, and 12 bronzes made ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller the obvious choice for PR Agency of the Year. It was their best year to date. Of course, other companies not in PR also won awards at the event, so their ‘Grand Stevie’ award put them in third place overall in number of awards received. ASDA’A tied with Cisco Systems for that ranking.
Dropbox Signs Zeno Group as Agency of Record:
Dropbox, a U.K. based file-hosting cloud service shifted their PR work to Zeno Group from Portland. Dropbox was founded in 2007 in the United States and has grown rapidly since then reaching a 500 million user base earlier in 2016. Much of that growth recently has been in international markets, and the company was valued at $10 billion in a recent funding round.
3 Monkeys and Zeno were separate agencies until last year when they merged. 3M/Z will work to increase Dropbox’s reputation and build their number of business users, especially in the tech field.
Rob Shuter Speaks About Brangelina Breakup:
Rob Shuter has plenty of experience handling PR when celebrity couples split: he’s worked for Jessica Simpson when she left dkcNick Lachey, and J-Lo when she walked away from Ben Affleck, and had a long stint at DKC PR. Here’s some of what he had to say in a recent interview with Marie Claire about possibly the most famous of all celebrity couples today.
Shuter feels that the leak about the breakup probably came from Jolie’s legal team rather than from her. Mainly because of the timing of the leak – the weekly celebrity-centered magazines are put to bed on Monday evenings so they can be on the newsstands on Wednesday. The leak came on Wednesday, and since Jolie has worked with People closely, Shuter feels she would have let them know earlier or waited.
Although it’s possible that there was no leak and TMZ stumbled on the court filings, Shuter said: “In my experience as a publicist and a columnist, you don’t stumble. Someone aims you in the right direction. This is speculation, so I don’t know. But in my experience, someone will say, ‘You might want to check out a filing on this date.’ And then you find it yourself. For TMZ to find it and to do it on a Tuesday after all the weeklies had closed, that feels to me like her team is somewhat involved.”