Creditanstalt Bankverein, Austria’s second largest bank, has picked
Edelman Public Relations to lead a global PR drive, netting the agency
at least pounds 500,000 a year in fees.
The appointment follows a lengthy selection process which saw six PR
agencies - Edelman, Citigate, Dewe Rogerson, Charles Barker, Ludgate and
Ogilvy Adams and Rinehart - pitch in Vienna in March.
A final shoot out between Dewe Rogerson and Edelman was held in April
before a special committee of Creditanstalt’s commercial and investment
banking wings, which opted to hire Edelman last week.
Creditanstalt’s press spokesman Joachim Kuehnert declined to say which
agency had been chosen until the unsuccessful firms had been officially
notified. However, he did not deny industry rumours that Edelman had
clinched the account.
Working through a programme of media relations and events, Edelman will
aim to boost awareness of Creditanstalt’s commercial and investment
banking activities across key financial markets in the US, western
Europe and the emerging markets of the Far East. The bank is
particularly keen to promote its activities in central and eastern
Europe, where it plans to open 15 new branches by the year 2000.
Lucrative privatisation work is also possible. The Austrian government
has been trying to sell off its 70 per cent voting interest in the bank
for five years. A consortium led by EA-Generali, the Italian insurer’s
Austrian subsidiary, is expected to resume talks which were broken off
last year. Asian investors, including HSBC, are also thought to be
The public relations account will be headed from New York by Andrew
Dewar, Edelman Financial’s worldwide managing director, who moved across
from London last year to develop the agency’s financial PR business (PR
Week 24 November).
Dewar declined to comment on the Creditanstalt account until the agency
had received official confirmation of its appointment.