Vauxhall Motors has withdrawn its public affairs account from Hill
and Knowlton and handed the wide-ranging brief to GPC.
The agency won the work, which is understood to carry a six-figure fee,
after a competitive pitch last week including H&K, PPS and Fishburn
H&K will continue to work on a range of consumer projects for Vauxhall
but GPC becomes the car firm’s only retained lobbying agency.
The account will be handled by Chris O’Keefe, head of the agency’s
transport practice, corporate policy director James Gurling and the
recently-recruited Julie Minns, who will lead the work on local
The agency will report to Vauxhall director of public affairs Andy
Andersz and government affairs manager Katherine Bennett, who worked at
H&K with Gurling until two years ago.
The GPC brief covers government relations, monitoring and advice on
corporate social responsibility. It will target national, regional and
local government decision-makers.
Gurling said key issues facing Vauxhall were developments in transport
policy, and various aspects of environmental standards. More immediate
issues, such as proposed road pricing charges for central London, will
also be handled, although Vauxhall is not thought to have agreed a
policy stance on this issue yet.
Bennett, based in Vauxhall’s office in Luton, said in addition to issues
management, GPC would also be acting as ’the company’s arms and legs in
- GPC has hired Ross DeGeer, a director in its Ontario practice as a
vice-chairman. DeGeer, a former managing director of Burson-Marsteller
in Canada, will report to European CEO Julia Harrison. DeGeer will focus
on strategic aspects of GPC’s mergers and acquisitions workload.