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New Strategic Communication Firm Formed by Industry Veteran; Andy Cunningham Leaves Incepta to Form Privately Held Consultancy for Business-Critical Communication Assignments.

Business Editors

PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 24, 2003

Andy Cunningham today announced that she has spun Citigate Cunningham CXO out of Citigate Cunningham, a subsidiary of Incepta, a publicly traded marketing and communications company based in London. The firm immediately becomes CXO Communication, a privately held strategic communication consultancy that focuses entirely on communication challenges and opportunities that are top priorities for corporate officers and their teams.

CXO Communication will maintain an affiliated relationship with Incepta and Citigate Cunningham as Incepta will retain a 25 percent ownership interest. In this capacity, CXO Communication will continue to enjoy a referral relationship with the Incepta family of agencies. Effectively immediately, Andy Cunningham is president and CEO of CXO Communication and non-executive chairman of Citigate Cunningham.

CXO Communication Responds to Growing Market Need

Today's companies and executives are dealing with an unprecedented amount of change, crisis, scrutiny and skepticism. CXO Communication was formed to help organizations that are committed to strengthening their leadership positions during this difficult time take a more aggressive and focused approach to strategic communication.

CXO Communication recognizes that while senior executives and internal communication experts regularly seek counsel from a number of sources including management consultants, accountants, lawyers and marketing professionals, there is still no one place for them to turn when they need to tackle a business-critical communication assignment. In response, CXO Communication focuses solely on "bet the business" communication projects including launching new market categories, creating executive platforms, rebuilding brand reputations, developing and executing crisis strategies, positioning critical new products and helping companies meet and exceed new corporate governance requirements.

"When I launched Eclipse Aviation, Andy was one of the first people I called because I knew our challenge was to change the way the world thought about aviation. This is where CXO Communication excels. Creating a new market category and launching a new brand of jet aircraft in an industry that fears change and rejects innovation is a 'bet the business' kind of communication assignment. I never doubted this team could tackle it and their results have exceeded my expectations," said Vern Raburn, president and CEO, Eclipse Aviation.

For CXO Communication, Cunningham has assembled a group of senior strategic communication professionals who have worked with her over the years on innovative strategic communication initiatives. Each member of the group has worked on issues and projects that helped define leadership positions for Fortune 100 companies as well as paradigm-shifting startups. In addition, they are all experts at consulting with top executives and their teams. The CXO team has successfully worked with companies including Cisco Systems, Kodak, Eclipse Aviation, Motorola, Sears, AMD and E*TRADE Financial.

"The CXO team has decades of experience working specifically on communication issues that face corporate officers and their teams," said Cunningham. "This is a group of true professionals who have done countless executive platforms, managed numerous crises, developed scores of positions for both companies and products and conducted extensive thought leadership work for many corporations both large and small. Our job is to make a real difference immediately and we do."

Citigate Cunningham Continues to Advance Strategic Public Relations Vision

Three years ago, Incepta Group plc, the London-based international marketing and communications group, expanded its global capabilities and technology market prowess with the acquisition of Cunningham Communication. After the acquisition, Cunningham Communication was rebranded Citigate Cunningham. The partnership enabled the two companies to create an influential new global force providing world-class marketing and communications services focused on the burgeoning technology marketplace.

"The Incepta partnership allowed my team to move forward with our vision of creating a truly global public relations resource for technology companies," said Cunningham. "The acquisition was the right thing at the right time. I couldn't have asked for a better partner in that initiative. I am confident the firm, under the leadership of my friend Paul Bergevin, will continue to succeed in delivering on that vision." Bergevin was appointed president of Citigate Cunningham in October of 2002.

Citigate Cunningham is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Incepta Group PLC and part of the worldwide Citigate Global Technology Practice, a part of Incepta Group, one of the world's top five global communication players with a team of marketing agencies in more than 69 offices worldwide.

About CXO Communication

CXO Communication, LLP, is a privately-held strategic communication consultancy focused entirely on matters critical to corporate officers and their teams. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., the firm creates and executes communication strategies that enhance executive profiles and advance corporate positions. Optimized to work closely with executive leaders and senior communicators to address sensitive and important issues, CXO consultants have 15+ years experience in strategic communication.

The company's services include corporate and executive positioning, executive-platform creation and management, thought leadership, brand momentum, crisis management, category creation, corporate governance strategies, pivotal product launches and critical influencer communication. Companies that are interested in learning more about CXO Communication should contact Kathleen Bowden in Cambridge, Mass., at 617/374-4213, kbowden@cunningham.com or Aaron Feigin in Palo Alto, Calif., at 650/858-3856, afeigin@cunningham.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 24, 2003
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