Firefly beats rival Lewis to six-figure account

Lewis has lost out to rival Firefly in a two-way shootout after an acquisition left the tech agencies competing for consolidated business.

Firefly will handle the UK PR programme for the newly enlarged Steria IT services business following its acquisition of outsourcing and technology firm Xansa.

Firefly held the previous Steria account and went against the Xansa incumbent, Lewis, in a two-way pitch. Both agencies were ­engaged on sizeable retainers and, post-merger, Firefly's annual fee is worth six figures.

The five-strong team will be headed by account director Siobhan Gilheany, overseen by Firefly CEO Claire Walker. The account team at the London tech outfit will report to Steria group comms director Sally Robins.

The agency will help to raise awareness in the UK media of the new scale and breadth of the combined ­Steria outfit. Steria and Xansa together employ 20,000 people worldwide, with revenues of more than £1bn.

Walker said Firefly would be targeting national publications as well as trade press. ‘The campaign is broad and Steria wants to be in the ­nationals, where business, management and technol­ogy is discussed,' she said.

Lewis UK general mana­ger Kath Pooley claimed the tech agency's split from Xansa was amicable. She said: ‘Agency consolidation is a given as part of any integration process. We ran a hugely successful, two-year business-focused campaign for Xansa before it was acquired last year. We have no regrets and wish Firefly all the best with what promises to be a great campaign.'

Steria made the news this week as one of six companies still in the running for the Government's controversial multibillion-pound identity card programme.

Recent Firefly wins inc­lude telecoms/energy startup first:utility (PRWeek, 7 December 2007) and BBC-ITV joint venture Freesat, a free HD digital TV channel.

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