Warner Brothers is carrying out a pitch for a single agency to
handle PR for both its consumer product and studio store divisions.
A six-way competition for the account is under way. Fees have yet to be
determined, but Tina Fipps, PR and marketing manager for studio stores,
said the work would carry substantial six-figure fees.
A group of senior communications VPs from Warner Brothers’ head office
in California are currently in the UK to help choose an agency.
According to Fipps, the decision to appoint a single agency across the
two divisions was made because the work involved significant
The consumer product division account is Europe-wide and focuses on
licensing agreements for brands such as Looney Tunes, Baby Looney Tunes,
Tom and Jerry, Scooby Doo, Batman and Superman.
This account had previously been held by the Wright Partnership (PR
Week, 12 June). However it was taken in-house several months ago after
the two parties came to a decision that the work required was too
trade-focused for the agency.
’The account is 65 per cent trade to 35 per cent consumer, so we are
looking for an agency with good contacts in this area,’ said Mara
Gardiner, who heads PR for consumer products and whom the new agency
will report to.
The studio stores account will cover PR for Warner’s 15 UK stores. The
appointed agency will report to Fipps. Until Christmas this work was
carried out by EMPR.
EMPR closed at the end of last year after an unfortunate series of
events, including its Covent Garden offices being gutted by fire and its
managing director, Sarah Dowden, being advised to take six months’ leave
on medical grounds.
Other Warner Brothers divisions using PR agencies include Warner Village
Cinemas, which appointed HDM at the beginning of last month, and Warner
Home Video, which uses Peter Noble PR and Ketchum Life, both on a
long-standing project basis.
Warner Brothers parent company Time Warner this week announced its
intentions to merge with the world’s biggest internet service provider,
AOL. The pounds 220 billion deal, which ranks as the largest takeover
ever, creates the world’s fourth-largest corporation, to be known as AOL