Interpublic’s PR subsidiary Weber Shandwick has launched a full-service advertising agency called Sawmill. The firm said it was making the move to better serve clients demanding fully integrated marketing solutions.
According to Weber Shandwick, the new shop’s expertise spans content and channels -- broadcast, print, social, digital and mobile. Services include creative advertising, account management, strategic planning, production, and paid media strategies.
The move marks a continued blurring of the lines between traditional PR and advertising territories in the digital era. Both disciplines have major stakes in the social media and marketing domain. And it’s the second example this week of how those lines continue to blur. Earlier, independent PR giant Edelman and United Talent Agency joined forces to create a new experiential and content marketing agency, services that many ad shops also offer. Weber Shandwick launched a content marketing unit, MediaCo, last year.
The new Weber Shandwick agency will be part of its Sawyer Miller group, known for its strategic advocacy offering. Tim Ryan, president of Sawyer Miller and Josh Rose, Weber’s chief creative officer, multi-platform campaigns, will serve as co-heads of the new agency.
A Weber Shandwick rep confirmed that the new shop launches with “the creative strength of about 50 staffers” in offices in New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC, as well as talent in Chicago and Seattle.
Initial clients include Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Healthcare.gov and Abengoa, a Spanish multinational corporation with companies in the energy, telecommunications, transportation, and environmental sectors.