UK tennis seeks ace to succeed Clifford

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is seeking fresh PR support after Max Clifford declined to repitch for the business.

Max Clifford Associates picked up an account to promote the Tennis Foundation, the charitable arm of the LTA, last summer (PRWeek, 11 July 2008). The aim of the brief was to change the perception that the sport was only for the rich by capitalising on the news-grabbing Wimbledon season.

But six months later the brief has been broadened to include the non-charitable elements of the LTA's work. The LTA also wants an agency to promote its new lead sponsor, financial services company Aegon. The new brief means working much more closely with LTA press and PR manager Rhian Evans.

Max Clifford Associates was asked to repitch for the business but declined. Clifford said: 'We were asked a month ago if we were prepared to pitch, because of the new sponsor, and I explained I don't pitch for business.'

On plans for the agency to work more closely with Evans, Clifford replied: 'We work on our own. We do our own thing in our own way.'

Six other agencies are now expected to pitch for the business; some of them have already done so.

Clifford said his account with the LTA was only intended to run for six months. The LTA said it had been 'very happy' with Clifford's work, particularly in terms of promoting tennis for disabled people and highlighting its role in the community.

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