Consolidated retains Buena Vista account

Consolidated Communications has defeated Porter Novelli in the final stage of a fierce battle to retain its hold on the PR account for Buena Vista Home Entertainment (BVHE) – the agency’s longest-running account.

Cohn & Wolfe also made the three-strong shortlist, which saw Consolidated re-appointed to an account understood to be worth as much as £1m per year in fees.

But a final two-way shootout with PN ended with Consolidated being hired to an account that will run for three years and span consumer, corporate, crisis and trade PR for BVHE, the DVD and video distribution division of The Walt Disney Company.

Consolidated board director Rachael Sansom, who leads the account, said the agency hoped to be involved in a fresh BVHE drive to combat film piracy, planned for next year, but that no major changes to Consolidated’s former brief were on the cards.

Consolidated will support BVHE’s 14-strong marketing team, promoting the company’s family and feature-film releases that are available on DVD and VHS.

BVHE is keen to boost its share of the family film market in which The Walt Disney Company built its reputation. Wired Publicity continues to handle BVHE’s broadcast PR and its remit is not affected by Consolidated’s fresh contract.

BVHE is gearing up for two product launches later this year. The DVD edition of Aladdin is set to be released next month, and the epic King Arthur will hit the shelves on 29 November.

Film distribution is handled separately by BVHE’s sister company Buena Vista International, which distributes films to cinemas on behalf of Miramax Films and Touchstone Pictures.

BVHE originally approached 17 agencies ahead of the formal pitch process.

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