HSR merges with Gyro

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HSR Business to Business, Cincinnati, and Gyro International, London, last week completed a merger that creates what the principals say is the world's largest b-to-b agency. The merged agency, GyroHSR, has combined annual revenue of more than $100 million and operates 17 offices in nine countries across North America, Europe and the Middle East. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “The reason this merger makes sense is because it works for our clients,” said Richard Glasson, previously CEO of Gyro and now CEO of GyroHSR. “We are now able to offer a true international network to our existing clients.” Glasson will direct the agency's overall strategy and operations from its headquarters in London. Rick Segal, previously CEO of HSR, is now CEO of GyroHSR North America, based in Cincinnati, and global practice leader of b-to-b marketing for the overall agency. “Our clients need and deserve this,” Segal said of the global expansion. “For us to lag at all in this important area of global capacity would be to do a disservice to our clients.” Gyro International brought to the merger global clients including Hewlett-Packard Co., Nokia Siemens Networks, Shell, Sony, T-Mobile and Virgin Atlantic. For Nokia Siemens Networks, Gyro recently launched a campaign called “Unite” to elevate the company to a thought leadership position in the telecommunications industry. The campaign, aimed at telecommunications service providers, business partners and government regulators, included innovative Web 2.0 components such as placements on iTunes and YouTube, as well as online communities to foster discussion about industry issues. For Virgin Atlantic, Gyro created an integrated campaign called “T3 Upper Class Lounge” to introduce the airline's new terminal at London's Heathrow Airport and educate business and leisure travelers about its Upper Class travel experience. HSR brought b-to-b clients including First Data Corp., Hobart Corp., John Deere & Co., Pitney Bowes and USG Corp. For Pitney Bowes, HSR created a repositioning campaign called “Connections That Matter,” designed to show that the company offers a full range of solutions beyond the mailroom. The campaign, including print, online and direct, used creative images such as a rocket, waterfall and flower emerging from a plain envelope. The combined agency's business will be roughly 80% b-to-b and 20% b-to-c. “This is a great match with virtually no conflicts,” Segal said, noting that the merged agency will not need to resign any accounts due to client conflicts, nor will it have to reduce staff due to restructuring. GyroHSR has more than 600 employees in offices including Chicago, Cincinnati, New York, San Francisco, Dubai, London, Madrid, Munich and Paris. It serves vertical markets including construction, telecommunications, technology, financial services and life sciences. “It works for all of our clients,” Glasson said. “They now have access to an absolutely unrivaled b-to-b global organization with reach, scale and depth of knowledge across advertising, digital, media, PR and other areas.” One of the strengths of the merged agency is its digital capacity, Glasson said, with more than 200 employees working purely in interactive. “We expect to see an increasingly large part of our business coming from digital,” he said. “We are absolutely able to meet all of our clients' Web site needs, from building tech-heavy database sites to marketing around social networking.” GyroHSR launched a new Web site at, and it has been working on integration issues over the past year while the merger negotiations were being conducted. “We are locked and loaded on Day 1 and are ready to operate as a seamless organization,” Segal said. “Lots of agency players are developing global networks, but GyroHSR can offer a solution that is seamlessly managed from the Dubai time zone all the way to San Francisco.” HSR, which BtoB last month named top midsize agency of the year, has been growing rapidly through acquisitions and mergers over the past three years. In 2006 it acquired b-to-b agency Brozena Ripley & Partners in Denver, establishing HSR Denver. Last November it acquired Flow Creative in Chicago, and in January it bought Fergus/Peters Group, also in Chicago. Gyro, which has been in business since 1991, has also been on an acquisition streak of late, acquiring five agencies in the past two years. In 2007, it acquired Cicero Manchester, a b-to-b agency in Manchester, England, that was founded in 1915; Dowell Stubbs, a branding agency based in Stockholm; Woolley Pau, a London-based health care marketing agency; and HSD Communications, a London-based health care PR agency. Last year, it acquired Bluhalo, a Farnborough, England-based digital agency. M
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