Paris 2012 taps WS to help bring Olympics to France

PARIS: Paris 2012, the organization formed to lure the 2012 Summer and Paralympic Games to Paris, has hired Weber Shandwick to implement an international communications strategy.

PARIS: Paris 2012, the organization formed to lure the 2012 Summer and Paralympic Games to Paris, has hired Weber Shandwick to implement an international communications strategy.

WS has helped bring the Games to three other cities: Sydney, Australia (2000 Summer Games), Turin, Italy (2006 Winter Games), and Beijing (2008 Summer Games). The firm will run the account out of its Paris office with support from other outposts around the world and said in a release that it will "adhere to and respect the International Olympic Committee (IOC) bidding rules on the use of international PR."

In the past, controversies surrounding unsavory courting of IOC members have damaged some host cities' reputations.

The firm also said that its hiring demonstrates Paris 2012's "intent to promote its bid beyond France's borders." The team will focus on its relationship with the IOC, monitor IOC protocol, and maintain ethics in media relations as related to Paris' Olympic candidacy.

"We're taking a new approach to communications for Paris 2012, one that's evolved from an analysis of previous bids," said Philippe Caudillon, Paris 2012 director general, in a statement.

WS will work alongside French agency Publicis, which was hired in late 2003 to handle communications within France.

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