Met Office awards QBO comms job

The Met Office has hired QBO to promote its commercial division on

fees in excess of pounds 100,000 a year.



Prowse and Co had handled media relations for the division since its

foundation in April 1999. Prowse pitched for the work, along with two

other agencies, and will continue as the retained agency for the Met

Office's business division, which comments on weather issues, such as

this week's storms.



QBO's programme for the commercial division will aim to move beyond

weather stories. It will promote the seven business units which comprise

the division, including marine, consultancy and planning, infrastructure

and retail.



The Met Office's commercial division was set up to generate profitable

business from the private sector, here and abroad. Marketing director

Marie Mastin said an agency had been hired 'to increase exposure to

commercial and business-to-business markets'.



'We need to stay ahead of the increasing competition and PR will play a

key role in raising our profile and promoting the services we offer,'

she said.



Shirley Hanley, QBO deputy MD, will head the account.



She said: 'Much of our work will examine the issues companies face as a

direct result of the weather and changing climate both in the UK and

overseas.'



The Met Office's turnover for 1999/2000 was pounds 151 million, with an

operating profit of pounds 8.5 million.



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