Hotwire beats rivals to win Thus corp and trade remit

Quoted telecoms provider Thus has handed tech shop Hotwire PR an estimated £100,000 corporate and trade communications brief.

The account was sealed following a two-way final shootout against Lexis Public Relations. At an earlier stage in the process, it is believed Nexus Communications and Mmd pitched for the work.

Hotwire replaces Scottish agency BLI on the brief, which is focused on three aspects of Thus's business. These are its voice and data services, it contact centre services, and its Demon ISP brand.

The account at Hotwire is headed by programme director Brendon Craigie and managing partner Kristin Syltevik, and reports into Thus head of press and corporate communications Deborah Rodgers and director of corporate affairs Ian Hood.

BLI was appointed a year ago (PRWeek, 12 October 2001) to handle trade and corporate PR. The agency is not thought to have repitched for the business a year on.

The other agency used by the Thus group is Smithfield Financial, which has been involved since before the company's 1999 float and handles financial PR and analyst relations.

Glasgow-based Thus is the successor company to Scottish Telecom, which was spun out of Scottish Power in 1994 - after five years as Scottish Telecom it rebranded as Thus.

Following the float on the London Stock Exchange, Scottish Power retained a majority stake in the business, but disposed of it in March this year after a debt for equity swap that saw Thus emerge as an independent company.

'We will raise its profile in the trade and business pages,' said Sian Gaskell, Hotwire's senior partner. 'We will focus on industry audiences to raise awareness.'

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