Michelin looks for a sole PR agency in North America

GREENVILLE, SC: Michelin North America, the world's second-largest

tiremaker behind Goodyear, is searching for a PR agency of record to

handle branding and corporate PR. "This would be a first for us, to

combine our corporate and brand PR," said Nan Banks, director of PR for

Michelin.



Michelin has hired Jones Lundin Beals, a Chicago consulting firm, to

help in the search. It hopes to pick a winner by the end of the

year.



A variety of firms are already inquiring about the business, but a

shortlist of candidates hasn't been determined.



Besides its Michelin brand, it also sells BF Goodrich, Uniroyal, and

Cavalier.



Michelin and other tire-makers spent the early part of 2001 dealing with

tire safety issues when the Ford/Firestone controversy dominated

headlines.



Last year, Michelin had about 23% of the $22.5 billion US tire

market, behind Goodyear's 28%, and ahead of Bridgestone/Firestone, which

prior to last year's tire recall had 21%.



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