Microsoft consolidates regional PR with Weber Shandwick

Microsoft has consolidated its communications account under Weber Shandwick across Asia-Pacific, minimalising the roles of roster agencies Edelman and Waggener Edstrom in an attempt to streamline regional operations.

Consolidating regional PR: Microsoft
Consolidating regional PR: Microsoft

Weber Shandwick, which was also a roster agency for the tech giant, won the account following a five-way pitch process that began earlier this year. Fellow roster agencies Edelman and Waggener Edstrom also vied for the business along with Ogilvy PR and Hill & Knowlton, a Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed.

Weber Shandwick is currently the regional agency-of-record for Microsoft's consumer business and reportedly handles additional work for the client's Singapore headquarters. Meanwhile, Edelman has been handling Microsoft Advertising's regional communications, and Waggener Edstrom oversees its analyst relations account and manages pieces of the corporate business.

Effective 1 July, Weber Shandwick will oversee Microsoft's full regional PR business, including its trade advertising account, analyst relations and leadership of the agency community in Asia.

However, the account does not extend to work carried out in-country by Microsoft offices, which use local arrangements and will independently choose agency partners. Further, Edelman will handle some aspects of Microsoft's PR in Singapore as well as its entertainment unit, which includes Xbox, the spokeswoman said. Waggener Edstrom would also handle some other pieces of Microsoft's business groups.

'We chose Weber Shandwick because they presented us with a compelling vision for our business' communications, based on a good understanding of our business requirements,' said Stephen Forshaw, corporate communications director for Microsoft Asia-Pacific.

'I would like to record thanks to our existing agency partners for their solid contributions over past years. All these agencies continue to work with Microsoft in other areas of our business.'

'We are extremely proud of our long and close relationship with Microsoft, which has grown from one office in 1996 to dozens of offices around the world today,' added Tim Sutton, chairman of Weber Shandwick Asia-Pacific.

The appointment comes as Microsoft conducts a pitch for its Windows 7 media, creative and digital businesses in China. Microsoft has reportedly shortlisted agency teams from WPP and Interpublic for the account.

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