Global telecoms giant Marconi's decision to hire its first global
PR agency stands to benefit Hill & Knowlton to the tune of at least
The agency bagged the work after a pitch stretching back to late last
year. The later stages are thought to have involved both
Burson-Marsteller and Weber Shandwick Worldwide.
Marconi's account is understood to be similar in size to rival Nortel's
brief for Fleishman-Hillard, at about pounds 7m. It will see H&K working
for the company in the 100 countries in which it serves customers.
The decision to hire one agency where previously there were dozens was
taken by chief marketing officer Jeffrey Brooks and V-P media relations
It was based on changes to Marconi over the last two years. The former
GEC subsidiary is now a standalone company which made sales of more than
pounds 6bn last year. It has sold all its defence arms to BAE Systems
and is listed on the London and Nasdaq stock exchanges.
Marconi has divided itself into three divisions: Networks, which sells
telecoms equipment to land-based telecoms firms; Wireless, which sells
equipment to mobile operators; and Enterprise, which covers anything
Marconi sells to organisations which do not have a government
The two-year account for H&K aims to communicate the changes globally.
It is led by president Paul Taaffe and UK board director Sally