AUSTIN, TX: GCI Group has captured Dell Computer's hotly contested
Americas PR review.
The contract, worth more than $2 million annually, makes GCI
agency of record in the US, Canada, and Latin America. Weber Shandwick
Worldwide was believed to be GCI's closest competition.
"This is a very significant win for us," said GCI president and CEO Bob
Feldman. PR work for Dell will run the gamut from corporate positioning
and support to marketing strategy. Feldman added, "Dell dominates the
desktop with its PCs, and has built a remarkably successful business,
providing built-to-order, low-priced PCs. Now it wants to move further
up the food chain at the enterprise level."
The account puts another feather in the cap of GCI's new Austin
The Dell team will be led by Jeff Hunt, who joined Read-Poland as CEO
several months before it was acquired in April by GCI. Working closely
with Hunt will be tech practice leader Diane Gleason in Boulder, CO, and
Don Bartholomew, SVP of GCI Read-Poland's tech practice in Dallas.
GCI will draw on resources from offices in Boulder, Dallas, San
Francisco, NYC, Chicago, and Toronto, but Hunt expects much of the work
to migrate to Austin, where Dell is based.
"Dell is all about efficiency, and we need to put in place a
communications approach that is equally efficient," Hunt said. PR work
for Dell will reflect the company's "made-to-order" business model, he
Mexico City and Sao Paolo, Brazil, will serve as Latin America hubs.
GCI will use its own employees in the region and team up with affiliate
agencies including Gaspar & Associates in Brazil, which already does
some work for Dell.
The appointment was made by Barry French, communications director for
Dell's newly organized Americas business.
Also in the running were New York's Shepardson Stern & Kaminsky (SS&K)
and California-based Walt & Company Communications, both of which have
been doing project work for Dell. Waggener-Edstrom partnered with SS&K
on its pitch. Incumbent agency of record Fleishman-Hillard decided not
to pursue a new contract.