HONG KONG: Merrill Lynch has appointed Ketchum as its first PR
agency of record in Asia after a five-way pitch including
Burson-Marsteller and Shandwick. The brief is to raise the profile of
the US investment bank’s debt, equity and investment arms in ten Asian
markets. The move breaks Merrill’s model of different agencies retained
in each local market, as in Europe and the US.
Ketchum has been retained for six months, subject to a review in June,
according to Tim Cobb, the bank’s marketing communications director.
’The structure of the relationship and the six-month review is designed
to assess the value an outside agency can bring,’ said Cobb.
Cobb, who joined Merrill Lynch from American Express in August last
year, will remain primary spokesperson, while Ketchum will support the
four-strong in-house team with strategic counsel, issues management and
Ketchum will represent the bank through its own network and affiliates
in each market. China and India will be key markets for campaigns.
Edited by David McCormack.