LONDON: Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has hired RLM Finsbury for a wide-ranging account after reviewing its approach to corporate communications.
Roland Rudd's agency will become the firm's retained PR adviser starting next week, with a mandate spanning financial PR, corporate communications, and public affairs.
Finsbury will replace five-year incumbent Powerscourt, though the agency and founder Rory Godson will remain onboard to offer strategic advice.
The betting firm previously used Weber Shandwick for public affairs.
The review followed the arrival of Brunswick director Catherine Colloms as Paddy Power's first director of corporate affairs in January.
Colloms confirmed Finsbury's appointment and added that “we believe the most effective way to deliver effective corporate comms is to combine public affairs, financial, and corporate in one place, and so we are structuring ourselves – and new agency support – accordingly."
When PRWeek UK broke news of the pitch in May, Colloms talked about the need for the firm to grow a stronger corporate voice in the UK to match its strong consumer brand built on a reputation for headline-grabbing stunts.
It is thought that government and regulatory affairs will play a more central role in Paddy Power's approach to corporate comms as it grows its UK presence across online and mobile.
The firm won a landmark case against Newham Council in June after the council had attempted to block the opening of an outlet of the bookmaker because of its planned use of gaming machines.
Partner James Murgatroyd will lead the RLM Finsbury team, while fellow partner Will Tanner will manage the public affairs aspect of the work.
Finsbury picked up the work after an extensive pitch, emerging from a three-way shortlist that also included Newgate Communications and a combined pitch by FTI Consulting and Fishburn Hedges. More than 20 agencies are believed to have provided initial submissions.
It is understood that Paddy Power took a robust view on client conflict, with Brunswick and Tulchan not considered due to their relationships with William Hill and Ladbrokes, respectively.
Powerscourt is a longtime adviser to Betfair, which went public on the London Stock Exchange in 2010, and is not thought to have re-pitched for the newly integrated brief.
Drury Communications, which handles the company's financial communications in Ireland, is unaffected by the review, as are the brand's consumer agencies.
This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.