Paddy Power picks RLM Finsbury for wide-ranging corporate brief

Fast-growing Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has appointed RLM Finsbury for a wide-ranging brief after reviewing its approach to corporate communications.

Paddy Power: Appointed RLM Finsbury for corporate, financial and PA brief
Paddy Power: Appointed RLM Finsbury for corporate, financial and PA brief

Roland Rudd’s City agency will become the firm’s retained PR adviser from next week, with a brief spanning financial PR, corporate comms and public affairs.

Finsbury replaces five-year incumbent Powerscourt on the City account, though the agency and its founder Rory Godson will remain onboard to offer strategic advice.

The betting firm previously used Weber Shandwick for public affairs.

The review follows the arrival of Brunswick director Catherine Colloms as Paddy Power’s first director of corporate affairs in January.

Colloms confirmed Finsbury’s appointment and added: "We believe the most effective way to deliver effective corporate comms is to combine PA, financial and corporate in one place and so we are structuring ourselves – and new agency support – accordingly."

When PRWeek broke news of the pitch in May, Colloms talked of the need for the firm to grow a stronger corporate voice in the UK to match its strong consumer brand built on a reputation for headline-grabbing stunts.

It is thought that government and regulatory affairs will play a more central role in Paddy Power’s approach to corporate comms as it grows its UK presence across online, mobile and the high street.

The firm won a landmark case against Newham Council in June after the council had attempted to block the opening of a high street outlet of the bookmaker because of its planned use of gaming machines.

The RLM Finsbury team will be led by partner James Murgatroyd, while fellow partner Will Tanner will manage the public affairs aspect of the work.

Finsbury picked up the work via an extensive pitch, emerging from a three-way shortlist that also included Newgate Communications and a combined pitch by FTI Consulting and Fishburn Hedges. More than 20 agencies are believed to have provided initial submissions.

It is understood that Paddy Power took a robust view on client conflict, with Brunswick and Tulchan not considered due to their relationships with William Hill and Ladbrokes respectively.

Powerscourt is a long-time adviser for Betfair, which floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2010, and is not thought to have repitched for the newly integrated brief.

Drury Communications, which handles the company's financial comms in Ireland, is unaffected by the review, as are the brand's consumer agencies.

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