You're hired (or fired)! 11 account moves that shook up PR in 2016

Winning and losing business is all part of life's rich tapestry - but sometimes those account moves tell us something about where the industry or the agency is going. Here are some of 2016's biggest.

Asda checks out of Freuds contract

In September, PRWeek revealed that Freuds' lengthy relationship with Asda was coming to an end. A blow to an agency, which has left agencies circling the US-owned retailer.

Unity loses M&S

Another major retailer ending a substantial partnership with a PR firm which had won the plaudits. Whether news that Asda may be on the hunt provides Unity any comfort remains to be seen...

Diageo toasts new agency

After a lengthy pitch process, Teneo Blue Rubicon won a global corporate brief with drinks giant Diageo that had previously been held by Edelman. It was one of a number of impressive wins for the agency since its restructuring and rebranding.

Finsbury's current account

Finsbury is one of the world's largest PR firms. HSBC is one of the world's largest banks. Bad luck, FTI.

Spotify shuffles it up

Spotify handed The Red Consultancy a wider brief. The music-streaming giant, which was widely reported at the time to be gearing up for an IPO, decided in May that its change in comms strategy meant there was no space left for The Romans, the hot and happening new agency it had taken on just 12 months before.

Kellogg's wakes up to Havas

Havas PR winning the brief to rep Kellogg's cereals portfolio is a great win, given that the brand is such a juggernaut. But the news that it would no longer take on additional agencies on a local level, in an apparent efficiencies drive, will be a blow to the likes of Taylor Herring, for whom it has done a number of campaigns in recent years.

Weber checks in

Virgin Atlantic is a big brief for Weber Shandwick - the UK's fifth-biggest airline and, as a Branson brand, always likely to ask for something a little bit different.

Turkey flies in APCO

A short-term brief, but with big impact, the Turkish's goverment's decision to take on agency support in the wake of a coup attempt is a reminder of the role that PR and public affairs agencies have in international diplomacy - and of APCO's stature within the public affairs niche.

Poundland gets change

A major boon for FleishmanHillard Fishburn at the start of this year, one of its most eye-catching wins following its late 2015 merger - but bad luck to independent Oxford agency Bottle, which had worked with the discount retailer for seven year.

Fever takes PlayStation controls

Perhaps the biggest new brief of the year across Creston's PR operations, Fever's win is a vote of confidence in previous work done by the agency for PlayStation maker Sony, after five-year incumbent Shine did not repitch.

HomeAway hosts Hotwire

The holiday lettings firm's appointment was notable, not just for being something of a new departure for Hotwire, but as another company to part ways with Freuds, soon after Asda (see above).

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