Brodeur Worldwide steps in for Schwartz to help Red Hat push Linux

RALEIGH, NC: Red Hat, one of the largest distributors of the Linux operating system, has named Boston-based Brodeur Worldwide as its PR agency.

RALEIGH, NC: Red Hat, one of the largest distributors of the Linux operating system, has named Boston-based Brodeur Worldwide as its PR agency.

Red Hat has been without an agency of record for the last month after a mutual split with Schwartz Communications, its agency of the last three years, according to a source close to the company.

Linux, which is based on a so-called "open source model under which programmers can share and alter the system's source code, has been called the only credible threat to Microsoft's Windows franchise.

Red Hat was a stock market darling during the tech boom, but has seen its fortunes reverse during the tech collapse. Nevertheless, Red Hat is no stranger to PR, as the software firm held one of the flashiest and most successful IPOs of 1999, during which company executives made several public appearance donning red baseball caps and touted Linux.

Margaret Bonilla, SVP of Brodeur, said her agency presented Red Hat with a campaign designed to last at least one year, and focuses on new enterprises, but she declined to go into specifics.

"We were introduced to them through other clients, Bonilla said.

Melissa London and Lisa Sullivan, who headed the Red Hat communications effort until the two left the software company to start their own agency (Vermont-based Hats Off Communications), are expected to work closely with Brodeur throughout the duration of the campaign.

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