Agencies vie for Microsoft

Hill & Knowlton and 3 Monkeys Communications are fighting it out for a major retainer with Microsoft.

The two agencies are believed to be frontrunners to land the seven-figure consumer account, currently held by The Red Consultancy.

One industry insider said winning the account would be a massive coup for 3 Monkeys and could ‘lift the agency to a new level’.

Microsoft’s head of PR Philippa Snare insisted there were still five agencies in contention – Hill & Knowlton, 3 Monkeys, Weber Shandwick, The Red Consultancy and Six PR (a sister agency of Lexis PR).

Snare added that the review reflected a reorganisation of the company and that Microsoft had ‘realigned the business to ensure a greater focus on the consumer side and is bringing all consumer assets under one roof’.

The Red Consultancy currently manages Microsoft’s consumer PR accounts including Hotmail. Snare said that Microsoft would be working with the incumbent agency until February or March.

In September, Weber Shandwick won a brief for all Microsoft’s non-consumer PR across EMEA, though the agency does do some consumer work (PRWeek, 11 September).Edelman manages UK corporate PR and public affairs for Microsoft and consumer PR for Xbox. Inferno handles Microsoft’s UK technology and business PR.

Snare said the pitch process was ongoing and that no decision will be made or announced until January.

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