INTERNATIONAL: Egg ousts GCI France and pitches extended PR brief

PARIS: Online bank Egg is pitching its French PR business less than a year after hiring GCI France.

Egg confirmed the agency has not been invited to repitch for the work, which was handed to GCI last May (PRWeek, 10 May 2002).

The bank, part-owned by Prudential, has decided to merge corporate and consumer PR in a combined brief worth six-figure fees.

Egg corporate comms head Emma Byrne said the move was not designed to cut costs but to reflect the way the French financial media works.

'There's a very limited personal finance press in France compared to the UK - mostly personal finance and corporate stories are covered by the same journalists,' she said.

Consumer incumbent Ogilvy PR Worldwide, hired on a project basis at the end of last year, is understood to be included on the pitch list.

Egg is still finalising the short list, but confirmed six firms would be invited to pitch, comprising both local French agencies and international networks.

On the brief Byrne said: 'We are looking for tactical support from agencies to embrace both the corporate and consumer work, while the strategy will be very much led in-house.

'We have very visible brand communications and will be launching another push in due course this year - the product element is important, as is the corporate reputation.'

Egg's recently appointed French head of PR, Amy Porter, will lead the pitch, reporting to Byrne and Egg France chief executive Marc Luet, who was appointed in January.

Porter, a former director of European technology at Burson-Marsteller France, is aiming to add a senior press officer to her two-strong in-house team in the next few months.

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