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
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.