INTERNATIONAL: Dell Computers Americas PR brief goes to GCI Group

AUSTIN, TX: GCI Group has captured Dell Computers' hotly contested

Americas PR review.



The contract, worth more than £1.4m annually, makes GCI the agency

of record in the US, Canada, and Latin America.



Weber Shandwick Worldwide was believed to be GCI's closest

competition.



'This is a very significant win for us,' said GCI president and CEO Bob

Feldman.



PR work for Dell runs from corporate positioning and support to

marketing strategy.



Feldman added: 'Dell dominates the desktop with its PCs, and has built a

remarkably successful business, providing built-to-order, low-priced

PCs.



'Now it wants to move further up the food chain at the enterprise

level.'



The account puts another feather in the cap of GCI's recently opened

Austin office.



The Dell team will be led by Jeff Hunt, who joined Read-Poland as CEO

several months before it was acquired in April by GCI.



Working closely with Hunt will be tech practice leader Diane Gleason in

Boulder and Don Bartholomew, SV-P of GCI Read-Poland's tech practice in

Dallas.



GCI will draw on resources from offices in Boulder, Dallas, San

Francisco, New York City, Chicago, and Toronto.



But Hunt expects much of the work to be handled out of Austin, where

Dell is based.



'Dell is all about efficiency, and we need to put in place a

communications approach that is equally efficient,' Hunt said.



PR work for Dell will reflect the company's 'made-to-order' business

model, he added.



Mexico City and Sao Paolo, Brazil, will serve as hubs for Latin

America.



GCI will use its own employees in the region and team up with affiliate

agencies including Gaspar & Associates in Brazil, which already does

some work for Dell.



The appointment was made by Barry French, communications director for

Dell's Americas business.



Also in the running were New York's Shepardson Stern & Kaminsky (SS&K)

and California-based Walt & Co Communications, both of which have worked

on projects for Dell.



Incumbent agency of record Fleishman-Hillard decided not to pursue a new

contract.



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