Warner Bros looks to fill consumer PR role

Warner Brothers is carrying out a pitch for a single agency to handle PR for both its consumer product and studio store divisions.

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

overlaps.



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

Time Warner.



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