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Ketchum Acquires Brandzeichen

 NEW YORK and DUESSELDORF, June 7, 2013 – Ketchum, one of the world’s leading communications firms, today announced its acquisition of Brandzeichen, one of Germany’s most creative brand public relations agencies. With expertise in lifestyle communications and social media, Brandzeichen adds to Ketchum’s strength and depth in Germany. The move reflects Ketchum’s global strategy to identify unique partnerships that enhance its areas of expertise and geographic coverage for the benefit of clients.

Germany has the largest economy in the European Union and the fourth largest in the world. In 2009, Ketchum merged with Pleon, a leading European public relations firm headquartered in Duesseldorf, in one of the largest mergers ever in the public relations industry. The region remains of great strategic importance to its clients.

“As we celebrate our 90th anniversary and reflect on our many milestones, it is exciting to add to our presence in Germany, the first country in which we opened an office outside of the U.S. Our current German operation continues to build on its exceptional 2012 performance, representing some of the largest companies in Germany and working on behalf of some of the largest brands in our network,” said Rob Flaherty, Senior Partner/CEO of Ketchum. “We’re thrilled to welcome them to the Ketchum network.”

Brandzeichen will continue to operate under its current brand and be led by its CEO, Victoria Wagner. Brandzeichen has offices in Duesseldorf, Munich and Hamburg. Founded in Duesseldorf in 2004, the company was recently ranked by Pfeffers PR Ranking 2012 as the number one lifestyle agency. Its client roster encompasses industries from beauty to luxury to automotive and food and beverage, with clients including Procter & Gamble and Kellogg’s. For the last three years Brandzeichen has been designated as one of P&G’s “Top Agency Global Suppliers.”

“Among the most important criteria that we consider when we explore acquisitions is ensuring the firm shares our commitment to superior client service and the attraction, development and retention of talent. Brandzeichen absolutely does and we are now fortunate to have the firm’s founder, Vicky, and all Brandzeichen colleagues joining our extraordinary team in Germany,” said Rob Lorfink, Senior Partner/President and COO of Ketchum.

“Brandzeichen has an outstanding reputation in Germany for its high-caliber work,” said Dirk Popp, Partner/CEO of Ketchum Pleon Germany. “Given Ketchum Pleon Germany’s strategy to expand our already strong brand communication offering, we sought to bring in the strongest partner in the market to our network. With this acquisition we strengthen our leading position in the market. We look forward to welcoming the Brandzeichen team to our agency and collaborating on new opportunities for our clients.”

Wagner said, “We’re excited to become part of the Ketchum network and delighted to combine our approach with Ketchum Pleon Germany’s incredible strengths in corporate communication.  This will significantly broaden our offer to the market. Together we will produce best-in-class work to achieve business results for our clients.”

About Ketchum

Ketchum is a leading global communications firm with operations in more than 70 countries across six continents. Named 2012 PR Agency of the Year (PRWeek) and the winner of an unprecedented three consecutive PRWeek Campaign of the Year Awards, Ketchum partners with clients to deliver strategic programming, game-changing creative and measurable results that build brands and reputations. For more information on Ketchum, a part of Diversified Agency Services, a division of Omnicom Group Inc., visit www.ketchum.com.

About Brandzeichen

Brandzeichen is a dynamically growing agency for brand consulting and communications, with offices in Duesseldorf, Hamburg and Munich. With strategic brand consulting and brand communications, the agency creates brand identities. The development and realization of integrated social media campaigns is another key pillar of the agency’s portfolio. Renowned brands and companies are among Brandzeichen’s references and clients. For more information on Brandzeichen, visit www.brandzeichen-pr.de.

About Diversified Agency Services

Diversified Agency Services (DAS), a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com), manages Omnicom's holdings in a variety of marketing communications disciplines. DAS includes over 200 companies, which operate through a combination of networks and regional organizations, serving international and local clients through more than 700 offices in 71 countries.

About Omnicom Group Inc.

Omnicom Group Inc. (www.omnicomgroup.com) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom's branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations, and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

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