Publicis Groupe deal ends CHI's Freud Inside division, Friday, 24 June 2005 12:14PM

Freud Inside, Clemmow Hornby Inge's PR joint venture with Freud Communications, is to close, following Publicis Groupe's purchase of the PR company.

Last week, Publicis Groupe announced it was to take a controlling 50.1 per cent stake in the Freud Communications. The deal, reportedly worth as much as £35 million, prevents Freuds from being associated with rival agencies.

Freud Inside, a 50:50 joint venture, was created last year to offer strategy and media expertise to CHI's clients and to provide a new revenue stream for the agency. It is headed by Gaby Zein, a director of Freuds, who was based at CHI.

Zein is still working within CHI, but will take some time over the summer to decide whether to remain at the ad agency or return to Freuds.

CHI's clients, including British Gas and Talk Talk, will continue to be served by Freuds. Johnny Hornby, the managing partner of CHI, explained: "The joint venture is no more but we will continue to work closely with Matthew Freud and the agency on the clients we share."

Freuds' deal with Publicis comes just four years after Freuds bought itself out from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO when the ad agency became part of Omnicom.

The agency will sit next to the group's lesser-known PR agencies Manning Selvage & Lee and Publicis Consultants within the network's Public Relations and Corporate Communications Group. The deal gives Freuds access to Publicis' global network of clients, while boosting Publicis' PR credentials in the UK.

Matthew Freud, the agency's founder, is thought to retain as much as two-thirds of the remaining 49 per cent of the agency.

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