GPC takes Vauxhall public affairs account from H&K

Vauxhall Motors has withdrawn its public affairs account from Hill and Knowlton and handed the wide-ranging brief to GPC.

Vauxhall Motors has withdrawn its public affairs account from Hill

and Knowlton and handed the wide-ranging brief to GPC.



The agency won the work, which is understood to carry a six-figure fee,

after a competitive pitch last week including H&K, PPS and Fishburn

Hedges.



H&K will continue to work on a range of consumer projects for Vauxhall

but GPC becomes the car firm’s only retained lobbying agency.



The account will be handled by Chris O’Keefe, head of the agency’s

transport practice, corporate policy director James Gurling and the

recently-recruited Julie Minns, who will lead the work on local

government relations.



The agency will report to Vauxhall director of public affairs Andy

Andersz and government affairs manager Katherine Bennett, who worked at

H&K with Gurling until two years ago.



The GPC brief covers government relations, monitoring and advice on

corporate social responsibility. It will target national, regional and

local government decision-makers.



Gurling said key issues facing Vauxhall were developments in transport

policy, and various aspects of environmental standards. More immediate

issues, such as proposed road pricing charges for central London, will

also be handled, although Vauxhall is not thought to have agreed a

policy stance on this issue yet.



Bennett, based in Vauxhall’s office in Luton, said in addition to issues

management, GPC would also be acting as ’the company’s arms and legs in

Westminster’.



- GPC has hired Ross DeGeer, a director in its Ontario practice as a

vice-chairman. DeGeer, a former managing director of Burson-Marsteller

in Canada, will report to European CEO Julia Harrison. DeGeer will focus

on strategic aspects of GPC’s mergers and acquisitions workload.



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