PR's possibilities for e-business in DTi assessment

PricewaterhouseCoopers has been hired by the Department of Trade

and Industry (DTi) to assess the threats and opportunities the PR sector

faces from e-commerce.

The world's largest professional services firm is surveying 100 PR and

marketing services agencies and liaising with the professional


In a letter sent to agencies, the head of policy and resources at the

DTi's consumer goods and services directorate, Martin Gilligan, said the

department wanted to understand 'the current capabilities of PR

businesses in relation to e-commerce. For example, use of e-mail,

websites, extranet and intranet.'

The PwC team, led by directors Nick Jones and Mark Ambler, has divided

marcoms into four: ads, direct marketing, PR and market research - and

is compiling a report on each area.

Marcoms is one of 26 sectors assessed as part of a plan by the Cabinet

Office's performance and innovation unit to make Britain 'the best place

in the world for e-commerce by 2002'.

PR firms selected will be asked what they think are the major barriers

to a successful e-commerce policy and what they think government can do

to advance e-commerce in the UK.

The project will report this summer and will involve PwC making policy

recommendations to the Government on how to improve the environment for


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