Top 5 global computer company Electronic Data Systems has ended its search for a PR firm, handing the huge fee account to Ogilvy PR Worldwide.
Said by both client and agency to be worth 'in the hundreds of thousands of pounds,' the work was awarded this week after a four-way pitch. Firefly Communications were defeated in the final run-off, and Nelson Bostock and Luther Pendragon are both understood to have pitched.
Although Luther - a corporate and public affairs shop - may be thought an unusual candidate for a technology account, it found its way on to the pitch list through work it has done for WorldCom. EDS's UK and Ireland PR head, Charlotte Steel, joined from WorldCom last October.
The incumbent agency, Citigate Technology, whose contract ran out last week, declined to repitch.
Ogilvy has been handed a year-long contract, reporting to Steel and Catherine Greenwood, the company's marketing, communications and government affairs director who joined from BT's international PR office shortly after Steel (PRWeek, 24 November 2000).
Ogilvy's account will be led by Simon Quarendon, a director and head of the agency's technology practice.
It is a major coup for the agency and replaces much of the IBM fee that was slashed last month (PRWeek, 5 January.) The brief for his five-strong team is threefold - speaker opportunities, media relations and analyst relations. Quarendon said: 'EDS is a brand that needs to regain its rightful share of voice.'
Matthew Trimming, the head of government affairs Greenwood recruited from Sainsbury's, has shelved plans to hire a public affairs agency in 2001.