BUENOS AIRES: Cisco Systems has ended its relationship with Muchnik, Alurralde, Jasper - a Manning Selvage & Lee company - and appointed CICMAS on a media relations brief.
The agency was appointed following a pitch including Edelman Worldwide and local Citigate Dewe Rogerson affiliate Victorica & Asociados.
Cisco, the world's largest computer network equipment maker, is also understood to be headhunting for a PR manager to help enhance its image and awareness in Latin America.
The company began to strengthen its regional practice last year when it hired former Citigate executive Alberto Arebalos.
In a bid to improve its media relations activity in Latin America, it recently commissioned research into how journalists in the region use the internet.
Cisco hired US research firm Kaagan & Associates to find out the best ways to reach the regional media via the internet. The study revealed that almost all Latin American journalists have come in to contact with the web, but Brazilian and Mexican journalists have been working with the internet the longest and spend more time on it.
The study also found that Argentines and Chileans have the least amount of experience with the internet, while Venezuelans are the most net savvy.
Earlier this year, Cisco joined the ranks of high technology companies warning of the impact of a slowing US economy. John Chambers, president and chief executive, said the second quarter had been 'a little bit more challenging' than expected.
Cisco was one company analysts thought would be relatively protected if there was a slowdown in the growth of information technology investment.
It had been expected to continue to benefit from demand for faster networks.
Cisco's shares fell 6.3 per cent to pounds 22 in heavy trading. The company announces its second quarter results next week.
Cisco appointed Banner Public Relations to handle trade and technical press across Europe last September (PRWeek, 15 September 2000). This brief had previously been handled in-house.