APPC merger plan gets a boost as Hanover enters the fray
Charles Lewington’s agency was 'lobbied hard by both sides'.
The controversial plan to merge the APPC and the PRCA has been boosted by Hanover Communications throwing its weight behind the move.
Hanover’s position has not previously been reported, but PAN has established that Charles Lewington’s agency will back the merger when it goes to a vote next month.
“As the largest independent public affairs team in the London market… we’ve been lobbied hard by both sides. After careful consideration we can confirm that we support the merger plan,” a Hanover source told PAN.
Each APPC firm has one vote in the final ballot, so Hanover’s support does not mean that the pro-merger wing has dramatically increased its numbers overnight. Nevertheless with Hanover boasting a revenue of more than £8m, the development will be seen as noteworthy because of Hanover’s clout in the UK lobbying world.
Senior figures from other top agencies - including Portland, MHP Communications, Edelman and Cicero Consulting - have already backed the merger. Among the major agencies expected to oppose the merger are Teneo Blue Rubicon, FTI Consulting and Lexington Communications.
Supporters of the merger plan seized on the latest news, with APPC vice chair George McGregor calling it “very significant”.
The Interel Consulting public affairs chief added: “Hanover were initially cautious but are now convinced of the merits of merger. With the ballot papers about to land the momentum is with those supporting merger.”