Firefly on alert as Adobe rethinks strategy in UK

Software company Adobe Systems has put its three-year account with Firefly Communications up for pitch.

The move comes amid mounting challenges from web-based users and rivals.

The UK account, believed to be worth between £100,000 and £150,000 a year, includes strategic support for product launches.

Firefly confirmed the review but declined to say whether it would repitch for the business. The agency was appointed in 2003 to replace Weber Shandwick.

Adobe product PR manager Nick Peart was unavailable for comment as PRWeek went to press.

Next week, Adobe is due to launch Creative Suite 3 - a program including Photo­shop CS3 and Photoshop CS3 Extended - in New York. It recently released the first public alpha version of its Apollo development tool - used to create rich web applications that run on desktops without a browser.

Kevin Lynch, senior vice-president and chief software architect at Adobe, said in a statement: ‘With this alpha release, we're continuing our collaborative effort with the community of ­developers and designers to further evolve the way in which the world engages with ideas and in­formation. We can't wait to see what the community will create in this new medium.'

The release of the alpha Apollo program marked Adobe's recognition of the need to collaborate with new groups of online software developers, designers and users following the growth of Web 2.0.

Adobe also faces an increasing threat from free and ­open-source software such as the Linux operating system, ­Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email program, which allow users to circumvent commercial developers.

The company's revenue for Q4 in 2006 was $682.2m (£380.3m) - representing year-on-year growth of 34 per cent. Adobe, based in San Jose, California, was founded in 1982. 

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