MERGER MANIA CONTINUES

If this keeps up, there's going to be one giant firm called Public Relations Inc. in a couple years. In the most recent move connecting the coasts, Porter Novelli International of New York and San Francisco's Copithorne & Bellows Public Relations, two wholly owned subsidiaries of the Omnicom Group, are merging to create an international business unit focusing on serving technology-driven companies. On the first of the year (assuming anarchy isn't ruling the world), the companies will combine and form the Porter Novelli Convergence Group, a global unit of Porter Novelli, which will start with more than 400 employees and nearly $50 million in annual revenue. It will focus on traditional technology companies and emerging e-commerce Internet clients. Meanwhile, Ogilvy PR Worldwide has acquired London-based Magellan Medical Communications, a specialist medical and healthcare communications consultancy with annual billings in excess of $1.6 million. The purchase is Ogilvy's second in the U.K. this year and raises its estimated 1999 fee income for the London office to roughly $8 million.