ADVERTISING & PROMOTION: A marriage of PR and ads - With the boundaries between advertising agencies and PR firms blurring, Patrick Barrett looks at how new agency Renegade plans to break away from tradition

The traditional advertising agency received another virtual nail to its coffin last week, when an agency called Renegade launched claiming that ’advertising’s dead’ and that it would combine the traditional advertising function with public relations specialists.

The traditional advertising agency received another virtual nail to

its coffin last week, when an agency called Renegade launched claiming

that ’advertising’s dead’ and that it would combine the traditional

advertising function with public relations specialists.

The new shop aims to capitalise on a growing desire among companies to

incorporate PR into their marketing, and follows recent calls by

Unilever’s Niall FitzGerald for agencies to provide more than just TV ad


The power of PR has been proven by Virgin, which has used it as the main

element of its marketing. Bass has used PR to bring Hooper’s Hooch and

Caffrey’s Irish Ale to market before backing them with ads. Most

spectacularly, Playtex’s Wonderbra campaign, featuring model Eva

Herzigova, secured an estimated pounds 50m worth of media coverage,

dwarfing original spend on the posters. PR campaigns are becoming an

integral part of more ad campaigns (see box).

Integration game

The barriers between the two disciplines are breaking down as marketing

communications firms park their tanks on each others’ lawns. Ad agency

CDP has integrated PR into its operations, while PR giant

Burson-Marsteller has positioned itself as a ’perception management

agency’ and Saatchi & Saatchi has dropped ’advertising’ from its


Dale Fishburn, chairman of Fishburn Hedges, which is part of the Abbott

Mead Vickers Group, says that as it becomes more difficult to reach

consumers through advertising, PR is destined to become a more important


’Consumers are more marketing literate and know more about the companies

behind the products they buy than ever before. It should be feasible to

produce a set of advertising and PR objectives that work together,’ he


Sue Aitken, managing partner at Renegade, says that although advertising

agencies have flirted with integrating PR into their operations, many

clients are taken by surprise when their advertising generates media


’We decided to combine advertising with PR because they set a brand’s

agenda. There has been hostility between advertising and PR people

because they see themselves as adversaries fighting over the same

budget. Clients are having to synchronise PR on top of their

advertising,’ she says.


Campaign             Dedicated stories

Wonderbra                           12

Pretty Polly                         9

Walkers Crisps                       8

Lucozade                             7

Nike                                 7

Source: Propeller July-September 1997.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug