Abbey National hires Brunswick for financial PR

Abbey National has hired Brunswick as its retained financial and corporate PR agency on annual fees of almost pounds 250,000.

Abbey National has hired Brunswick as its retained financial and

corporate PR agency on annual fees of almost pounds 250,000.



Corporate affairs director Thomas Coops, appointed just last month (PR

Week, 31 March) made the decision last week after a pitch process which

included Financial Dynamics.



The brief covers corporate and financial PR support, together with

investor relations advice and some work aimed at defending the Abbey

from hostile takeovers. The bank originally hired Citigate Dewe Rogerson

late last year for this project, although the link with Citigate came to

an end last month. Brunswick’s account team will be led by senior

partner Susan Gilchrist.



Coops told PR Week he had decided to bring in a full-time retained

agency to give ’across the board’ advice on ’how to do things

differently’. It is understood this will include work on new media

initiatives and a full review of the company’s 50-strong in-house

corporate affairs function.



Coops stressed: ’This is not an exclusive agreement with Brunswick. I

believe in having a large squad of agencies to choose from for specific

projects, including many we have worked with before.’ Individual

businesses within the group use agencies for product and consumer

PR.



Abbey National, a former building society which voted to demutualise in

1989 and is now a top five UK bank, made pre-tax profits of almost two

billion pounds in 1999.



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