Incest & PR? Is this relationship doomed?

Jerry Lee Lewis GREAT BALLS OF FIREThe news is that Publicis is acquiring Kekst for somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 – $200 million. The real news is how Publicis chairman and CEO Maurice Levy, who has known Kekst & Co. founder Gershon Kekst for some time, characterized the deal: “It’s like having a marriage with a cousin.”

That’s the line that catches your eye and you know immediately why this union will fail. Kekst has carefully nurtured a public image of an exclusive, secretive partnership, the McKinsey of PR that is focused entirely on financial PR. If Andrew Ross Sorkin is writing about it, Kekst is working it, sometimes both sides of the deal. Their fees are high, they do not promote themselves or their client list – if you have to ask they’re not for you.  Publicis is a huge behemoth, and the reported price seems like a bargain. Gershon is getting on in years and philanthropy is more on his mind…. all the usual red flags of a bad match are there. Beyond that, look what happened to Jerry Lee Lewis when he married his cousin.

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