FOSTER CITY, CA: Inktomi, a big-name Silicon Valley player in the
Internet infrastructure software arena, has handed its estimated dollars
300,000 to dollars 400,000 PR business to Fleishman-Hillard in San
Francisco, ending a four-year relationship with San Francisco-based
Fleishman triumphed in a competitive pitch that included bids from Blanc
& Otus and the Horn Group, both top-performing, San Francisco-based tech
specialist firms, said a source. Access, which wrapped up its
relationship with Inktomi at the end of last week, did not participate
in the review.
'After almost four years, and the growth and changes at Inktomi, we felt
it was time for a change,' explained Steve Diamond, director of
corporate communications for Inktomi. 'All the agencies were strong
contenders and this was a difficult choice, but Fleishman demonstrated
excellent strategic thinking along with providing the detail to prove
they can execute strongly on plans.'
For Fleishman's San Francisco office, Inktomi is just one of a handful
of new clients it has signed in the first quarter, adding more than
dollars 3 million to its total 2001 income. Other recent wins include
Avanade, a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft, and YY
Software. In addition, the office has picked up two as-yet-unnamed
clients - one in financial services and another in the litigation
The wins couldn't arrive at a better time for Fleishman, which recently
lost the multi-million-dollar Sony Playstation business to Hill &
Knowlton. And it is said that long-time Fleishman clients Pacific
Bell/SBC and Nortel Networks have trimmed back PR budgets in recent
days, with Intel and Yahoo! budgets also affected.
For Access, which lost the head of its b-to-b group to Fleishman earlier
this year, Inktomi's exodus is likely to be viewed as a major loss.
However, the agency still handles such high-profile accounts as Siebel
Systems, Intellispace and Autotrader.