GE tasks PepperCom with newest image campaign

NEW YORK: General Electric has extended its relationship with New York-based PepperCom to include several corporate initiatives, giving what cofounder Steve Cody boasts is the New York firm's "biggest-ever win."

NEW YORK: General Electric has extended its relationship with New York-based PepperCom to include several corporate initiatives, giving what cofounder Steve Cody boasts is the New York firm's "biggest-ever win."

The account, which is believed to be in the mid-six-figure range, includes work promoting the conglomerate's image as an innovator.

While GE retains several agencies and does not have an official corporate agency of record, PepperCom will be working with every one of the company's business units, as well as with corporate GE.

PepperCom had been working with GE Financial Insurance for three years, promoting the company as an expert in the field of financial planning through traditional media placement and some more experimental viral campaigns.

In preparation for a new advertising campaign scheduled to kick off in 2003, GE invited PepperCom to participate in a "trial run" campaign linked to the ad campaign's theme of innovation. The company was pleased with the results of that effort, and decided to formally extend its already existing relationship with the agency. There was no RFP or agency search for the account.

"This wasn't a large agency search," said Beth Comstock, GE's VP of communications. "It was much more iterative. It grew out of an existing relationship."

PepperCom has a team of about 12 people working on the account, but that number could grow to 15 in the coming months. PepperCom's task will mostly be proactive marketing-related efforts, and will not extend to day-to-day corporate media relations.

"We're not the people who will be answering the calls when someone wants to ask GE about a problem or an issue," said Ed Moed, managing partner at PepperCom. "It's about getting different articles about GE's innovation in its different specialties. We expect to be an innovation-oriented news bureau for GE."

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