Global pitch hots up as Kodak ditches WSW

LONDON - Kodak is close to announcing the winner of its global consumer imaging PR pitch as three agencies battle it out for the multi-million pound account.

The group has confirmed three consultancies are in the running for the worldwide remit, but refused to comment on the agencies involved, except to say they all have international capabilities and operations in the UK and Europe.

The pitch -- which is being staged in the US -- comes after Kodak's decision to ditch 12-year incumbent Weber Shandwick Worldwide.

Kodak vice-president of PR for the worldwide division Charlie Smith said in recent months the company found there were some 'differing business and strategic needs'.

It is understood that despite spending six months trying

to resolve their differences, Kodak and WSW could not find common ground and decided to separate as a result.

While Smith would not reveal a budget for the account, his division -- which includes film, digital, photography, videotapes and cameras -- contributes half of the company's £9.7bn revenues.

The brief includes international consumer technology PR work, including strategic PR in the UK and Europe.

Smith said: 'We have some important agency assignments in Europe and the PR managers of our digital and consumer unit are participating in the pitch process.'

On the type of consultancy Kodak wanted for the work, he said: 'An agency that has strength in reaching the mass market consumer audience in the technology and lifestyle market and a strong B2B element to support our business function.'

The review will not affect local PR agencies working for Kodak, including Republic in the UK.

WSW global chief strategy officer Scott Meyer said: 'Our first focus is making certain that Kodak is well-served during the transition.

He added: 'We're optimistic about replacing the business. We've done it in the past.'

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