MG Rover draws up shortlist for dealer PR

MG Rover is drawing up a shortlist of agencies to handle its UK

dealer PR business.



The car manufacturer is looking for a consultancy to take up the brief,

which was resigned last December by Harrison Cowley.



MG Rover director of corporate affairs, Gordon Poynter, said the pitch

process is already in place and that he hopes to narrow it down to three

contenders soon.



'The brief will include developing the profile of our local dealers in

their own communities to ensure that they have a high profile and the

image of the company and brands they sell have a high profile,' said

Poynter.



Harrison Cowley handled dealer PR for both Rover and Land Rover up until

the car group's changes in ownership last year.



The agency decided to step down from the Rover account due to conflicts

of interest with Land Rover, which arose following its sale to Ford for

£1.8bn.



Poynter added that he will also be 'looking into all the PR options' for

Rover's motor sports venture.



The firm recently announced that it would be heavily investing in that

sector and plans to push the MG's profile with its return to the Le Mans

tournament after a gap of 35 years.



Poynter said he was considering external PR support for that

campaign.



As part of the group's motor sports ambitions, Rover appointed Greg

Allport as manager of brand product and motor sports PR last month.



He joined from Land Rover, where he was international communications

manager. Land Rover said they expect to announce his replacement

soon.



Katie McPhilimey also joined MG Rover last month as regional business

press and public affairs officer from cable firm ntl.



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