IBM has named hi-tech PR consultancy AxiCom as its UK and European lead agency for the technology group division - which earns pounds 9bn in annual revenues.
AxiCom won the brief following a competitive pitch understood to have included incumbent Ogilvy PR Worldwide and Firefly.
The decision comes just weeks after IBM slashed its fee spend with Ogilvy in London, leaving the agency involved only in the financial management of IBM's agency roster across EMEA (PRWeek, 5 January).
On the technology group repitch, IBM technology group communications manager, Rupert Deighton, said: 'It's a case of horses for courses. We felt that AxiCom had got the kind of background we needed.'
He added: 'There's only one of me and I'm covering the whole of Europe.
'We needed a lead agency which was known and respected in the industry.'
AxiCom will work on a brief to handle all trade and technical PR in the UK and to co-ordinate IBM technology group's agency roster throughout Europe, which includes Vox Communications in Sweden and Marketing Team in Germany.
The account will be overseen by AxiCom managing director and founder Julian Tanner and account director Helen Ridgeway, who reports to Deighton.
IBM technology group, which employs over 40,000 staff worldwide, incorporates IBM's microelectronics division and the storage technology division.
AxiCom also handles UK PR for IBM's server group, global financing, wireless and internet and net generation divisions - all of which were won in separate pitches.