The Pearson-owned Financial Times Group is merging the marketing duties for its North American newspaper and internet activities into two segments: advertising and public relations. Overall billings are expected to be around $10–$20 million.

The move brings together the accounts for the Financial Times newspaper and the website. “It's important that we manage the positioning in a much more integrated way,” explained the group’s chief marketing officer Barry Herstein.

A review has been launched to select networks for the two consolidated accounts. Four New York shops are currently in the running for the advertising business – Avrett Free & Ginsberg, incumbent on the ad account for the newspaper; BBDO Worldwide, which currently handles the website; True North; and the Sterling Group.

The PR review also consists of four New York agencies – Hamilton Group and Porter Novelli, respective incumbents on the newspaper and website accounts; plus Robinson, Lerer & Montgomery; and P Tanaka & Co.

Decisions are due at the end of February or the beginning of March.

News source: New York Times