Microsoft shifts UK b-to-b comms to Edelman, ends relationship with Bite

LONDON: Microsoft has concluded a review of its UK b-to-b communications account, shifting duties from Bite to Edelman.

LONDON: Microsoft has concluded a review of its UK b-to-b communications account, shifting duties from Bite to Edelman.

The win strengthens Edelman's existing PR duties with the computing giant, which had included corporate communications as well as Xbox PR duties though consumer arm JCPR.

A number of agencies were approached by Microsoft when it kicked off the pitch, as revealed by PRWeek UK in May.

Agencies with existing relationships with the tech company, and a number of agencies with no links to Microsoft, were approached for the account, which is estimated to be worth a mid- to high-six-figure sum.

Microsoft's UK director of PR Nicola Taylor said Edelman had “an outstanding pitch, a very strong team” and “superb chemistry.”

She observed that with the agency working across a wide range of Microsoft business, its work would be more integrated, but highlighted that throughout the pitch Microsoft was open to working with different agencies.

“We saw outstanding agencies, which is a reflection of the strength of the agencies in the UK right now,” said Taylor. She added that the breadth of Microsoft's business made it hard to find a firm without conflict issues.

Edelman's technology practice will manage the work, led by MD Matt Hurst.

The appointment ends a ten-year relationship with holding company Next Fifteen. Its agency Bite, which was invited to re-pitch but declined, had worked on the business since 2009. Next Fifteen shop Inferno had held the account since 2003 until it merged with Bite.

“We have enjoyed working with Microsoft for the past ten years, but it was time to hand the reins to others,” said Bite MD Kath Pooley. “Edelman is a great agency, with a strong relationship with Microsoft.”

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.

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