INTERNATIONAL: H&K to represent Toronto Games bid as well as IOC

TORONTO: In a move sure to generate public outcry over conflicts of interest, Toronto’s 2008 Olympic bid committee has awarded its pounds 1.3 million PR account to Hill and Knowlton.

TORONTO: In a move sure to generate public outcry over conflicts of

interest, Toronto’s 2008 Olympic bid committee has awarded its pounds

1.3 million PR account to Hill and Knowlton.



When the committee invited H&K to bid in February, many journalists and

PR professionals objected - H&K also represents the International

Olympic Committee (IOC), which will select the 2008 venue in September

2001.



But H&K has been chosen over Edelman PR Worldwide, GPC Canada, Grey

Advertising-owned GCI Group and APCO Associates, who pitched jointly for

the business.



H&K found out it had won the Toronto work last week and is due to meet

the bid team this week to discuss the agency’s brief. While H&K has an

open-ended contract with the International Olympic Committee, Toronto’s

bid co-ordinator Jeff Evensen said the contract permits the agency to

work for a city bidding for the event and that the IOC had no

reservations about H&K’s participation.



Carole Kerbel, manager of H&K’s Toronto office, confirmed the win. But

she added that its role has yet to be fleshed out.



’Obviously we’re excited and flattered, but we haven’t sat down to

discuss what they want us to do,’ Kerbel said.



H&K informed the IOC from the outset that it intended to pitch for the

Toronto business. The IOC agreed to the idea, with the qualification

that separate account teams be used. H&K works for the IOC on a project

by project basis which includes corporate and crisis PR.



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