Gateway rumored to be ending Weber relationship

SAN DIEGO: Is the 18-month Gateway/Weber Group relationship about to end?

SAN DIEGO: Is the 18-month Gateway/Weber Group relationship about to end?

SAN DIEGO: Is the 18-month Gateway/Weber Group relationship about

to end?



According to several sources, the PC powerhouse is in the market for a

new PR agency. Despite these reports - which include Edelman president

and CEO Richard Edelman confirming that his firm has been contacted by

Gateway - the company is denying the rumors.



’They’re not true,’ said Gateway VP of corporate communications Brad

Shaw. ’We’re very happy with Weber.’ When confronted with the Edelman

report, Shaw didn’t deny it. ’Always, as in any business, you want to

keep your options open well into the future,’ he explained.



Edelman, which represented Gateway before they were dropped for Weber,

is not a likely landing place for the business should it become

available.



The agency represents Apple, which would pose a major conflict of

interest.



Weber Group president and CEO Marijean Lauzier chalked up the rumors to

the fact that Gateway has been looking for additional agency support for

their worldwide business. The company handed its Asian business to

Ogilvy PR in Hong Kong in early July - which makes sense, given that

Ogilvy has 17 offices in the Asia/Pacific region to Weber’s one. And

last April, Gateway chose to work with Paragon Communications in

London.



’Some clients prefer a single- source agency and some prefer a mix of

agencies,’ said Lauzier. ’It’s nothing more than that.’



If Gateway is indeed looking for a new US agency, they may have

difficulty finding a top firm whose existing accounts don’t conflict

with the Gateway business. Shandwick represents Compaq,

Fleishman-Hillard has Dell and Brodeur Porter Novelli works for IBM.



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