Airbus switches firms in UK comms review

Airbus has ditched ten-year City incumbent Merlin Financial after a review of its external UK corporate PR needs.

The aerospace and defence group - which this week defeated Boeing to win easyJet's hotly contested new aircraft order - put the PR brief out to pitch earlier this year.

This followed Merlin's appointment to handle the strategic and corporate account for parent group European Aeronautic Defence and Space (PRWeek, 2 August).

Airbus denied rumours the review was linked to Merlin's EADS win, adding they 'occasionally review PR accounts'.

The firm has now handed the remit to rival City PR firm Financial Dynamics.

It is understood FD pitched against Brunswick for the business.

Airbus head of press and PR Barbara Kracht said on FD's remit: 'It's a general corporate brief consisting of media relations essentially.'

FD managing director of industries and business services Andrew Lorenz will head the account, with support from fellow MD Steve Jacobs.

Jacobs said: 'Our job is to build Airbus's profile here in the UK as a major manufacturer, employer and aircraft supplier.'

Airbus is expecting to add to its extensive UK staff base of 9,000 as it prepares to start manufacturing the A380 'super jumbo' next year, which will see all wings for the aircraft built in Britain.

The FD team reports into Kracht and senior vice-president of corporate communications Rossella Daverao.

Meanwhile, Airbus parent EADS has promoted Pierre de Bausset to senior vice-president of investor relations and financial communications, based in Paris.

De Bausset was previously in charge of developing the US investor base, having joined the IR team in 2000.

In his new role, De Bausset succeeds Marc Paganini, who has been appointed as president and CEO of the US arm of EADS' helicopter business America Eurocopter.

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