INTERNATIONAL NEWS: GCI Group to overhaul Swedish carmaker's PRstrategy

GOTEBORG, SWEDEN: GCI Group has been retained as the agency of

record for Saab Automobile AB in Sweden, following a massive PR

consolidation.



The car manufacturer previously used 25 different PR firms. "By working

with one single PR firm, we will benefit from the synergy and teamwork

already in place," said Niklas Andersson, Saab's ED of corporate and

product communications, in a statement.



The account represents a huge revenue boost for GCI's Goteborg office,

but the agency would not disclose precise budget figures. "We are an

agency of 12 people," said Kjell Svensson, GCI's MD in Goteborg. "This

account will more than double our revenue."



GCI will work on both internal and external communications, including

car launches, speech writing, and media relations. The task could extend

further, as some of Saab's importer companies in Europe have also been

talking to GCI offices in their respective countries about taking on PR

assignments, Svensson said.



Coordinating launches and media relations in such locations as Detroit

and Tokyo will also be part of the agency's responsibilities. GCI

offices around the world will be brought in as needed.



Saab received excellent publicity last week when JD Power and Associates

ranked the Saab 9-5 as the best midsize luxury car in 2001.



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