BMW pitches PR for Mini marque with shortlist of four

LONDON - BMW Great Britain has put the PR business for its Mini brand up for grabs, with four agencies battling it out to secure the contract.

Ptarmigan Consultants, Cartmell Communications, Performance PR and incumbent Cunning Stunts Communications were this week pitching for the business.

Mini media relations manager Natalie Wakefield said those agencies on the shortlist would compete for a contract that it is understood to carry annual fees in the region of £200,000.

Wakefield said the hired agency would handle "a broad horizon" of consumer PR, including lifestyle work and 'dealer PR', plus possible events work.

However, she said that the remit had yet to be finalised and it was "still early days".

Launches this year include the Mini One D, which runs on diesel and will go on sale in the UK in June.

BMW is also launching the "John Cooper Works" kits for Mini's Cooper and Cooper S marques, which increases the brake horse-power on the latter car from 163 to 200.

"This PR contract will be for the Mini brand as a whole, supporting the in-house team," Wakefield said.

She insisted the decision to repitch did not indicate any dissatisfaction with Cunning Stunts, which has promoted Mini for two years, having scooped the contract after a five-way pitch.

Wakefield, who reports to corporate communications manager Mark Harrison, works within BMW's 13-strong in-house PR team, which has just one other staff member -- media relations executive Ellysia Graymore -- dedicated to Mini.

Both the Mini One D and the John Cooper Works kits were unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month, with the kits going on sale next month.

Wakefield was media relations manager for BMW's product PR until taking the Mini role two months ago.

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