INTERNATIONAL: Firebrand lands Philips semi-conductor job

HONG KONG: Dutch electronics giant Philips has appointed Firebrand

Communications as the first PR agency in Asia to handle a regional

account for its semi-conductor division.

Philips is beefing up its marketing as Asia becomes its largest market

for semi-conductors.

The pounds 176,000 retainer went to Firebrand, a subsidiary of tech

agency Euan Barty Associates (EBA), after a four-way pitch, which

included Citigate Dewe Rogerson and Newell Public Relations.

'Asia-Pacific is becoming an important market for Philips. It's our

biggest region for sales, accounting for about 40 per cent of sales

worldwide,' said Philips semi-conductor PR manager Robyn Kao, who is

based in Taiwan.

'We were looking for creativity and solid IT experience as well as the

capability to deliver this across the region,' she said.

EBA originally declined to pitch because of conflicts with its client On

Semiconductor, but handled the issue through offering sister firm


The account will be managed through affiliates in most markets - in

Taiwan through ERA Public Relations, recent Fleishman-Hillard

acquisition IT Korea, and through Brodeur's regional office in


In March, Philips handed its first retainer for consumer PR to Weber

Shandwick Worldwide for its range of TVs, DVD players and hi-fis in

Malaysia (PRWeek, 30 March). Philips dropped all other agencies in its

consumer arm as a result.

The firm is planning to launch a range of computer products and DVD

players in Malaysia later this year. A Philips-sponsored extreme sports

event is also scheduled for South-East Asia, for which the company's

in-house PR teams will handle sponsors.

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