NEW YORK and SAO PAULO, Sept. 26, 2011 – Interpublic today announced it has acquired majority control of S2Publicom, ranked among the top five public relations firms in Brazil. The operation will represent an important part of Weber Shandwick and Golin Harris growth plans in the region. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
S2Publicom was formed last year by the merger of S2 and Publicom, two major public relations firms that have been operating in the country for more than two decades, both of which were affiliates of Weber Shandwick and Golin Harris. The firm has two offices in São Paulo and one in Rio de Janeiro. It employs 125 professionals with broad communications and media relations expertise, as well as specialists in crisis management, media training and digital communications. S2Publicom has been at the center of marketing communications in Brazil, providing clients with strategic communications insights and counsel in multiple sectors such as corporate, consumer, technology and healthcare. McDonald’s, Petrobras, HTC and Gol Airlines are among the agency’s long-standing clients.
José Luiz Schiavoni, one of S2Publicom’s founding partners, will continue to lead the company as CEO. Schiavoni has been a pioneer in the public relations industry in Brazil. In addition to his client-related experience, he has been a vocal advocate for continuous improvement of professional standards and ethics in public relations. He also served as the president of the Brazilian Association of Public Relations Agencies (Abracom) for four years, from 2004 to 2008. Two of the other three original founding partners, Luciana Gurgel and Aldo De Luca, will continue to be senior strategists and client counselors.
Harris Diamond, chief executive officer of Interpublic’s Constituency Management Group, which includes Weber Shandwick, Golin Harris and other companies with operations in Brazil including FutureBrand and Octagon, commented about the acquisition: “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. Brazil is one of the largest consumer markets in the world, and as it plans to host the FIFA World CupTM 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Summer Games, we see great opportunities to build our presence in the market.”
Schiavoni added, “Through our long association as an affiliate partner with Weber Shandwick and Golin Harris, our agencies have built a relationship of mutual trust. The experience of bringing the best thinking to our clients has demonstrated that our business philosophies and styles are a good fit. We are very excited that we can now offer our staff more opportunities for professional development and can offer our clients a global reach.”