NEW YORK: Consulting giant PriceWaterhouseCoopers has handed a plum dollars 4 million-plus global branding account to Porter Novelli.
As reported earlier (PRWeek, May 31), PWC contacted 'just about all of the top 20 agencies' before whittling the list down to three names?PN, Hill & Knowlton, and Manning Selvage & Lee?for a final presentation.
MS&L was eliminated at that stage, and H&K and PN had to re-pitch, with PN finally landing the deal last week.
The newly created account is designed to consolidate the dollars 15.3 billion firm's higgledy-piggledy PR efforts for at least five of its practice areas, including audit and management consultancy.
PWC global PR head Peter Horowitz admitted that last year's merger with Coopers & Lybrand left the firm with 'dozens and dozens of PR firms, with a range of abilities. We decided we needed to integrate to get more from our PR.'
At present, PWC is using around 23 PR agencies in the US. Some will continue their work for the organization but Horowitz admitted others 'might' not be needed.
PN attributed its success in fending off a stiff challenge from H&K to the genuinely international makeup of its pitching team, which included players from the UK, Germany, and Australia as well as the US. The US team included Helen Ostrowski, head of PN's New York practice; Peter Hirsch, head of corporate PR; and Paul Vosloo, international director. PN's creative branding work for companies such as Gillette was also credited as a strong suit.
The agency will be expected to conceive and implement a strategy to differentiate itself from the other 'Big Five' consulting firms: Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche, Andersen Consulting, and KPMG.