INTERNATIONAL: H&K wins Ernst and Young US PR account

NEW YORK: International accounting firm Ernst and Young has parted ways with the Weber Group and handed its pounds 1 million US public relations account to Hill and Knowlton.

NEW YORK: International accounting firm Ernst and Young has parted

ways with the Weber Group and handed its pounds 1 million US public

relations account to Hill and Knowlton.



The shift comes a year after Ernst and Young chose the Weber Group to

consolidate its divisions under one global brand, an account understood

to be worth almost pounds 1.5 million. The company is in the process of

selling its consulting arm for an estimated pounds 7 billion.



Ernst and Young sent out a request for proposals to eight PR firms in

early April, before narrowing the list to H&K, Manning, Selvage and Lee

and BSMG.



Reporting to Ernst and Young director of PR Larry Parnell, H&K will

handle corporate positioning and media relations for Ernst and Young’s

tax, audit and corporate finance groups in North America.



Parnell hinted that the agency will also get the opportunity to handle

international work as it arises.



’Outside the US we use agencies on a project basis, but we need

consistency on global initiatives,’ he said.



Ernst and Young is the first of the ’big five’ accounting firms to shed

its consultancy arm, as professional services firms have come under

increasing scrutiny regarding the independence of their auditing and

consulting practices.



Parnell denied that H&K’s victory was aided by Ken Kerrigan, a former

managing director at H&K who last month went to join Ernst and

Young.



The H&K team on the account will be led by senior managing director Anne

Wright, who reports to agency chairman Paul Taaffe.



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