Ernst & Young grabs H&K

NEW YORK: On the verge of selling off its consulting business to French IT giant Cap Gemini, Ernst & Young has parted ways with The Weber Group and handed its dollars 1.5 million PR account to Hill & Knowlton.

NEW YORK: On the verge of selling off its consulting business to French IT giant Cap Gemini, Ernst & Young has parted ways with The Weber Group and handed its dollars 1.5 million PR account to Hill & Knowlton.

NEW YORK: On the verge of selling off its consulting business to

French IT giant Cap Gemini, Ernst & Young has parted ways with The Weber

Group and handed its dollars 1.5 million PR account to Hill &

Knowlton.



Weber will continue to work for the dollars 4 billion consulting unit,

which Cap Gemini agreed to purchase in an dollars 11 billion cash and

stock deal earlier this year. Cap Gemini shareholders are expected to

approve the sale this week.



The shift comes a year after E&Y chose Weber to consolidate its

divisions under one global brand, an account rumored to be worth dollars

2.5 million (PRWeek, May 24, 1999).



E&Y sent out RFPs to about eight firms in early April, then narrowed the

list to H&K, Manning, Selvage & Lee and BSMG. Weber was not a

candidate.



’Weber is strong in the tech and Internet space, and that is what we

were seeking (last year),’ said E&Y director of PR Larry Parnell. ’But

now we have a different positioning.’



Weber Group EVP/GM Jamie Pearson said that the majority of its work over

the past year was in the consulting area, so ’it made sense to continue

working with (Cap Gemini).’



H&K will handle corporate positioning and media relations for E&Y’s tax,

audit and corporate finance groups in North America, and Parnell hinted

that the agency will get the opportunity to handle international work as

it arises: ’Outside the US we use PR agencies on a project basis, but we

need consistency on global initiatives.’



E&Y is the first of the ’Big Five’ accounting firms to shed its

consultancy, as professional services firms have come under increasing

scrutiny regarding the independence of their auditing and consulting

practices.



Asked if H&K’s victory was facilitated by Ken Kerrigan, a former MD at

H&K who last month went over to Ernst & Young, Parnell said, ’No -Ken

was one of (H&K’s) toughest critics.’ Quipped senior MD Anne Wright, who

will head up the H&K team, ’The good news is they know how we work. The

bad news is they know how we work.’



David Schutzman, the in-house PR manager in charge of E&Y’s consulting

business, will continue in that role at Cap Gemini.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.