GE hands account to Ketchum, ends Peppercom union

NEW YORK: General Electric has moved its corporate PR account to Ketchum from Peppercom, which took on a similar account from Tyco last month.

NEW YORK: General Electric has moved its corporate PR account to Ketchum from Peppercom, which took on a similar account from Tyco last month.

John Weckenmann, Ketchum SVP and North American director of the corporate practice, confirmed last week that the agency had landed the account. Weckenmann referred questions to GE executive director of communications and public affairs Gary Sheffer.

"We're working with Ketchum on a public relations program focusing on growth," Sheffer said. "It's focused on the PR around some of our portfolio changes," such as health care, energy, and innovations and breakthroughs. He said that GE looked at "a number of agencies" before selecting Ketchum.

Sheffer would not comment on whether Peppercom's Tyco win spurred the move.

In early 2003, GE gave Peppercom a corporate account involving work to promote the company's reputation as an innovator. Peppercom co-founder Steve Cody described the account at the time as the agency's largest.

Last month, Peppercom won an account from Tyco that also involves promoting the company as innovative technologies and products. The Tyco account is now the agency's largest. Peppercom did not return calls seeking comment as to whether GE left because of a perceived conflict with Tyco.

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