BET Holdings selects FH to handle its dollars 250k account

WASHINGTON, DC: African-American entertainment behemoth BET Holdings has selected Fleishman-Hillard as its first-ever agency of record.

WASHINGTON, DC: African-American entertainment behemoth BET Holdings has selected Fleishman-Hillard as its first-ever agency of record.

WASHINGTON, DC: African-American entertainment behemoth BET

Holdings has selected Fleishman-Hillard as its first-ever agency of

record.



BET VP of corporate communications Michael Lewellen said the account

will be managed out of Fleishman’s St. Louis office under the

supervision of SVP and senior partner Martha Mitchell. Mitchell is the

agency’s highest-ranking black executive.



Until Fleishman’s hiring, BET handled its PR in-house and hired agencies

and consultants when needed. But Lewellen said company expansion

necessitated a full-time agency of record.



’As we have evolved, the PR needs became more sophisticated and

multi-faceted,’ he explained. ’We need more resources to commit to

projects, and we want to develop consistency in messages and look.’



About a dozen agencies, some minority-owned, vied for the one-year

contract, which is worth about dollars 250,000. Lewellen emphasized that

this sum does not represent BET’s total PR budget and that the figure

includes fees and expenses. Some PR functions will continue to be

handled by BET’s eight-person staff.



Lewellen said Fleishman’s worldwide network and experience with

brand-related accounts tipped the scales in its favor. That the account

team will be ’led by an African-American’ also contributed to the

decision, Lewellen added.



Fleishman will play no role in BET chairman Bob Johnson’s bid to start a

new airline, DC Air. The airline is a personal business of Johnson’s and

is not associated with BET Holdings. However, the upstart airline has

hired a public affairs firm, though Lewellen declined to identify it due

to the sensitivity of the approval process.



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