AdMedia Partners Advises Public Strategies In Its Acquisition

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Investment bank sees acquisition of leading public affairs firm by global communications services company as part of larger market trend.

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In addition, Public Strategies has the depth and breadth of talent to deliver on its promises.

WPP, a global communications services company, today announced the acquisition of Public Strategies, a leading public affairs firm. AdMedia Partners (, a New York investment bank, advised Public Strategies in the acquisition.

Abe Jones, Managing Director at AdMedia Partners, said, “Communications holding companies like WPP recognize the need for resources that can advise senior client management on critical corporate and public affairs issues. Firms like Public Strategies provide tremendous value to their clients – both corporate and non-profit. They offer an integrated suite of services, ranging from government relations and crisis management, to creative and research services, to media relations.”

Greg Smith, Managing Director at AdMedia Partners, sees the acquisition of Public Strategies by WPP as part of a larger market trend. He said, “In the past few years, there has been a wave of consolidation among firms in corporate communications, public affairs and government relations. We expect further consolidation, as large multinationals and private equity buyers seek out high quality independent companies, whose owners see the benefits of having a strong international partner.”

Other independent public affairs and government relations clients represented by AdMedia Partners in sales to large multinational buyers over the last few years include: The Federalist Group acquired by Ogilvy Public Relations, Quinn Gillespie and Associates acquired by WPP, and Dittus Communications acquired by Financial Dynamics.

The official release is as follows:

Public Strategies, Inc. Joins WPP

London and Austin – August 1, 2006 - Public Strategies, Inc., an Austin, Texas-based public affairs firm that serves a diverse clientele including some of the world’s largest and best-known corporations, non-profit organizations, associations and professional firms, today joined WPP, the global communications services company.

"Public Strategies has a unique approach to public affairs, something it describes as the Fifth Seat at the table. By engaging with clients at the highest levels, Public Strategies ensures consideration of public opinion and the media in important corporate decisions," said Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP. "In addition, Public Strategies has the depth and breadth of talent to deliver on its promises."

“We’re pleased to become part of the WPP family of companies,” said Public Strategies Chairman Jack Martin. “Over the last several years, we have been approached repeatedly by companies offering to buy Public Strategies. WPP’s offer was the right one because it met our three core criteria: It allows our firm to maintain its independence, provides our clients with additional resources and our employees with extensive professional opportunities.”

Public Strategies, established in 1988 by Martin, now has nearly 175 employees in 15 U.S. cities and two offices in London and Mexico City. Much of its practice involves managing high-stakes campaigns for corporate clients, anticipating and responding to crises. It helps forward-thinking companies assess public opinion and risk, and develops strategies that affect perception and systems for managing uncertainty. Public Strategies’ clients often seek its help in building organizational capabilities. It handles the outsourcing of entire functions such as government relations, corporate and employee communications and places senior executives in interim leadership roles directly in client offices.

Martin developed the Fifth Seat® practice when he recognized that traditionally, CEOs and their boards routinely ask for advice from their general counsels, accountants, investment bankers and management consultants but that there was a missing piece. “While those advisors offer sound advice, they are not traditionally responsible for paying attention to the public,” said Martin. “And when the public is ignored in the corporate decision-making process, the consequences become evident — consumer backlash, shareholder turbulence, damaging headlines and government policy that runs contrary to business interests. That’s the important role we play.”

“WPP acquires companies to help them succeed and grow stronger rather than to manage them,” said Howard Paster, WPP’s executive vice president. “We are very excited about the future of Public Strategies as a member of WPP.”

New York-based investment banking firm AdMedia Partners acted as financial advisor to Public Strategies in the transaction (

WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY) is one of the world's leading communications services groups, providing national, multinational and global clients with advertising; media investment management; information, insight & consultancy; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity, healthcare and specialist communications.

WPP's worldwide companies include JWT, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Y&R, Grey Worldwide, The Voluntarily United Group of Creative Agencies, MindShare, Mediaedge:cia, MediaCom, Millward Brown, Research International, KMR Group, OgilvyOne Worldwide, Wunderman, 141 Worldwide, Grey Direct, Hill & Knowlton, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Burson-Marsteller, Cohn & Wolfe, GCI, CommonHealth, Sudler & Hennessey, Ogilvy Healthworld, Grey Healthcare Group, Enterprise IG, Landor, Fitch and G2 Worldwide among others.

WPP companies provide communications services to clients worldwide including more than 300 of the Fortune Global 500; over one-half of the NASDAQ 100 and over 30 of the Fortune e-50. Our companies work with over 330 clients in three or more disciplines; more than 230 clients in four disciplines and nearly 200 clients in six or more countries.

Collectively, WPP employs 92,000 people in over 2,000 offices in 106 countries.

For further information, please contact:


Feona McEwan (London)

T. +1 44 20 7408 2204

Kevin McCormack (New York)

T. 212 632 2239         

Public Strategies, Inc

Mark Palmer

T. 713 408 7788

About AdMedia Partners

AdMedia Partners is a leading boutique investment bank that provides middle market mergers and acquisitions advisory services to the advertising and marketing, media, and related online and information services businesses. Founded in 1990 and located in New York City, the firm has completed over 100 transactions since 1999.

Selected advertising and marketing services transactions completed by AdMedia Partners in the last year include:

  • Representing Dittus Communications, a Washington, DC based public affairs firm with legislative and regulatory expertise, in its acquisition by Financial Dynamics.
  • Representing Federalist Group, a Washington, DC based government relations firm, in its acquisition by Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, a unit of WPP Group.
  • Representing Taylor Rafferty, an independent global investor relations and financial communications advisor, in its sale to Xinhua Finance, China’s premier financial services and media company.
  • Representing Medical Broadcasting Company, one of the largest independent interactive healthcare agencies, in its acquisition by Digitas Inc.
  • Representing Bridge Worldwide, an interactive relationship marketing agency, in its acquisition by Wunderman, a unit of WPP Group.
  • Representing Dynamic Logic, the leading independent marketing research company, in its acquisition by Millward Brown, a unit of WPP Group.
  • Representing Creative Domain in its merger with Trailer Park to form one of the largest providers of diverse entertainment marketing services in Hollywood. The transaction was backed by a financial commitment from Lake Capital.


Abe Jones

AdMedia Partners Managing Director


ajones @


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AdMedia Partners
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