Public Affairs: Nestle puts Weber Shandwick on alert

Weber Shandwick's public affairs division is fighting to hold on to one of its most prestigious accounts.

Key client Nestle is believed to be reviewing its public affairs arrangements after more than a decade with Weber Shandwick. A number of major agencies have been in contact with the confectionery giant, but it not yet clear whether a formal pitch will take place.

One source at a rival agency claimed that Weber Shandwick would 'fight tooth and nail' to hang on to the six-figure account.

Weber Shandwick's public affairs MD Michael Prescott declined to comment. Nestle UK head of corporate communications Samantha Fulton did not deny that the account was under review.

Fulton, who reports to director of corporate affairs Ian Rayson, insisted that Nestle had a policy of not commenting of its external agency arrangements.

Nestle's overseas arm has already handed some business to TLG (The Ledbury Group), the corporate and public affairs agency recently set up by ex-Weber Shandwick director Malcolm Gooderham.

It is understood that Weber Shandwick's retainer account is run from Nestle's UK headquarters but also involves significant work with its overseas arm in Switzerland.

Weber Shandwick's Nestle account was previously run by Gooderham and Lee Findell, who spent six years with Weber Shandwick and is now an associate director at Fishburn Hedges.

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