BEIJING: General Motors China has hired Ketchum Newscan to handle
its PR in mainland China and Hong Kong.
The agency is understood to have pitched against four other
consultancies including Shandwick and Fleishman-Hillard. General Motors
is then understood to have drawn up a shortlist, pitting F-H against
Ketchum. The firm’s PR in China was previously handled by Hill and
Ketchum’s brief involves corporate and product PR, media relations
support and public affairs for General Motors China. The final contract
has yet to be signed, but the work will include promoting imported
Opels, Buicks, Chevrolets and Cadillacs in China and Hong Kong. General
Motors is involved in 18 joint ventures in China, manufacturing cars and
car parts, which Ketchum’s brief is not expected to encompass.
General Motors China public affairs and communications director Sherrie
Childers, who was involved in the competition, said: ’I can confirm that
Ketchum is our agency and they will be assisting our in-house PR team
enhance General Motors’ image in China. It’s more corporate PR and image
work, but they would be involved in product activity on the brands we
The US car giant has offices in Shanghai and Beijing. It counts five
in-house PR staff covering China, including Childers. General Motors
announced fourth quarter losses for 1998 of pounds 72.5 million in the
Asia-Pacific region earlier this year.