The world’s third largest computer manufacturer Hewlett Packard
(HP) has put accounts for its UK public relations, worth pounds
500,000-plus a year in fees, out to pitch.
The review follows an amicable split with long-term agency PA
PA, which specialises in both management consultancy and strategic PR,
has decided that running HP’s press office no longer fits with its
It is understood that HP will tender three accounts, one to run the
press office for its consumer and commercial divisions, which sell to
home users and businesses respectively, and two accounts to provide
strategic PR advice to each division. Total fees for the three accounts
are estimated at between pounds 500,000 and pounds 750,000. PA is
expected to repitch for the strategic work.
Lori Costello, head of communications strategy at PA Consulting, said:
’After ten years we found it very difficult to be a management
consultancy as well as a tactical PR agency. Most of our business now is
strategic communications, in fact this was our only tactical PR client.
It didn’t fit with our long term strategy.’
After working together for ten years, both sides believe the
relationship is no longer in keeping with their future plans.
Since the companies first began to work together HP’s business has
significantly shifted focus to include the booming home computing
market. As a result, HP is considering employing separate agencies for
its consumer and commercial divisions.
Jon Van Duyne, general manager for Hewlett Packard’s UK consumer group,
said: ’We are continuing to develop more focused sales and marketing,
putting attention on the consumer side.’ Hewlett Packard has hired a
consumer PR manager in the last year.
HP is currently drawing up a shortlist of potential agencies and aims to
have a replacement in position by the end of May or early June. PA will
phase out its role with HP over the next two months.