PR Firm Explores Emerging Science

Brodeur forms unit to target nanotechnology clients

Germ-resistant clothing. Microscopic robots that seek and destroy viruses. These are just two of the promises of nanotechnology, the science of manufacturing products on a molecular level. Figuring that today’s science fiction may be tomorrow’s hot PR category, Omnicom tech specialist Brodeur Worldwide launches a nanotechnology consulting practice this week.

The unit begins with two nanotech-product clients, LSI Logic in Silicon Valley, Calif., and Magfusion in Phoenix.

“We’ve been studying it for several months, and the amount of media coverage dedicated to nanotechnology has increased dramatically,” said Michael Brewer, the new practice’s leader and evp at Brodeur in Boston.

There is little competition; one small San Francisco independent, Antenna Group, has handled nanotech clients. “There’s very few PR firms involved [in the field] right now,” said Matthew Laudon, executive director of the Nano Science and Technology Institute in Cambridge, Mass. “The beauty of it is that it’s a core technology that ends up being applied across all [disciplines].”

Last month, the U.S. Army and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology opened the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology, an initiative to develop equipment such as bulletproof uniforms. And the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill authorizing $2 billion in spending during the next three years on nanotechnology research.