Earlier this year Gazprom looked set to hire Hill & Knowlton in a bid to show its independence from the state (PRWeek, 24 January).
But H&K has revealed that it will not be working for the company. Gazprom has instead turned to Gavin Anderson, Ketchum and Brussels-based public affairs agency GPlus to manage all financial and corporate communications and external relations issues worldwide.
The work is believed to be led by Gavin Anderson Worldwide group CEO Richard Constant, reporting to Gazprom’s Moscow-based management. Constant declined to comment.
Gazprom is keen to improve its reputation by focusing on its successful trading record. Critics claim it is used as a political tool by President Vladimir Putin.
Last year, the Kremlin drafted in Ketchum’s London office, GPlus, Gavin Anderson in Japan and Maslov, Sokur & Associates in Moscow to provide media advice on Russia’s G8 presidency.