NEWS: Agencies on alert as WDA launches review

The Welsh Development Agency has kicked off a review of its PR account one year into its three-year contract with Hill and Knowlton. The account was worth pounds 350,000 a year to the PR firm.

The Welsh Development Agency has kicked off a review of its PR account

one year into its three-year contract with Hill and Knowlton. The

account was worth pounds 350,000 a year to the PR firm.



The move follows an overhaul of the WDA’s marketing operation and the

hiving off of overseas PR work to local suppliers - in the case of North

America and France, to Hill and Knowlton itself.



Those agencies will now report directly to one of three newly appointed

vice-presidents of marketing in Europe, Asia and North America. In

addition, the WDA is strengthening its own in-house team with the

appointment of a third press officer and intends to handle all media

work in Wales itself.



With H&K’s brief now reduced to the UK only, the WDA has decided not to

renew its contract at the end of April but to ask it to re-tender for

the business along with other agencies.



David McLaren, chief executive of Hill and Knowlton, explained: ‘The

nature of the contract has changed fundamentally and they now have to

issue a new tender for a domestic UK appointment’. He added that the

agency was bidding again.



Last time the account was up for tender in January 1995, it attracted

bids from 13 agencies including Shandwick Consultants, Biss Lancaster

and incumbent Good Relations.



Bet Davies, media and communications director for the WDA confirmed the

nature of the brief had changed and said the fee had been reduced

accordingly from pounds 350,000 to ‘below pounds 200,000’.



The successful agency will be required to assist in the ‘development and

management of a PR strategy for Wales... aimed at attracting inward

investors’. It will also be expected to devise a programme to ensure

‘consistent positive coverage’ for Wales and the WDA itself.



* Hill and Knowlton has promoted Karen Moyse, 34, to the new position of

deputy chief executive. Moyse, who has been with the firm for ten years

latterly as deputy managing director of its marketing communications

division, will be responsible for developing existing practice areas as

well as new products and services.



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