Nelson/Padberg Merges With Phoenix Public Relations Firm

From a Times Staff Writer

The Costa Mesa public relations firm of Nelson/Padberg Communications has merged with Joanne Ralston & Associates of Phoenix to create an agency with 35 employees, the agencies said Tuesday.

The merged firm, to be known as Nelson/Ralston/Robb Communications, will be based both in Orange County and Phoenix. Their combined 1986 revenues totaled $2.9 million, said Robert Nelson, agency chairman and founder of Nelson/Padberg.

Nelson/Padberg, founded 10 years ago, has 19 employees, and specializes in advising corporations on public affairs. s

Its clients include American Express, Foothill Properties, Merrill Lynch Realty and the Sunrise Co.

The Ralston agency was founded in 1971 and specializes in consumer-oriented marketing. Its clients include Arthur Anderson & Co., Cabot, Cabot & Forbes, the Irvine Co., and Humana Inc.

According to Nelson, the merger makes Nelson/Ralston the 20th largest independent public relations and public affairs agency in the United States.

"There's two big reasons" for the merger, Nelson said. "There's no conflict (among clients), and what they specialize in, we don't specialize in." He predicted the new firm will add clients and employees.

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