The French are invading Washington: Famous government relations firm Qorvis Communications has been completely acquired by the Paris-based Publicis Groupe.
The new combined agency consisting of 80 staff from Qorvis, and 30 employees from Publicis Groupe will be moving into Qorvis's old space on Connecticut Avenue, under the new name MSLGROUP.
Founded in 2000 by Catholic University alum Michael Petruzzello, Qorvis Communications has grown in just over a decade from an eight-person operation focusing on Internet clients to a nearly 100-person-strong firm representing big names across the healthcare, defense and energy industries. Qorvis has also made a name for itself in Washington by signing lucrative contracts with the governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Fiji, focusing primarily on crisis management, while also providing services in government contracting, public diplomacy and mobile strategy.
Petruzzello will remain on as President in the Washington offices, as well as serve as the company's North America practice director of public affairs under Renee Wilson, president of MSLGROUP North America.
As part of the acquisition, Publicis Groupe also bought out the D.C.-based Clarus Research Group. Clarus president Ronald Faucheux will be placed in a leadership position with the newly formed MSLGROUP, overseeing all planning and the expansion of analytics offering for North America.
"Today, markets and capitols [sic - JB] are more closely linked than ever. Issues no longer recognize national boundaries and the capability to manage issues and reputation demands global reach," Petruzzello said in a statement. "With MSLGROUP, we will be able to expand the limits of what we can do for our clients around the world.”
Publicis Groupe also encompasses KL Group in Brussels, CNC in Germany and Kekst & Company in New York City. On their way to being a truly global force in public relations, then, D.C. was a logical next step.