Weber Shandwick Worldwide's (WSW) broadcast and interactive
division has won a media relations brief from Independent
In common with most of Fleet Street, The Independent and Independent on
Sunday plan to make the upcoming general election the focus of special
coverage. Their parent company has therefore hired WSW to capitalise on
that coverage across broadcast and online media.
Fees are not yet finalised, though the contract is initially for the two
months leading up to the expected 3 May election. If WSW is successful,
it is likely to win further project work from the company.
The agency won a three-way pitch against Fishburn Hedges and Edelman PR
Worldwide. The firms pitched to the company's marketing director Trish
Wadley and Jan Thompson, managing editor of both titles.
Specific tasks to feature in the programme include getting broadcasters
to take a greater interest in the views of key Independent editorial
staff, including daily editor Simon Kelner and IoS editor Janet
An early example of the work the agency has in mind was given last
weekend when WSW attempted to boost the coverage of the IoS's front page
lead, concerning the victims of the 1989 Marchioness river boat
The WSW account team is led by director and former Sky News producer
Gavin Houlgate and is overseen by division CEO Tessa Curtis. They have
put together a proposal to exploit a series of Independent-sponsored
public discussion forums in the run-up to the election on issues such as
the environment, transport and the arts.
The broadcast and inter-active team has been joined by Richard Gilbert.
He joined from GCI London, where he established the agency's digital
practice. He is a former director in Burson-Marsteller's corporate and
WSW has also hired Dagmar Schluter, former Medialink media relations
head. The two hires boost staff numbers at the division to 18.