H&K, MWW edge out Ogilvy for Deloitte & Touche work

NEW YORK: Deloitte & Touche USA has selected Hill & Knowlton and MWW Group to handle two major areas of its PR work, wrapping up a months-long agency review.

NEW YORK: Deloitte & Touche USA has selected Hill & Knowlton and MWW Group to handle two major areas of its PR work, wrapping up a months-long agency review.

Ogilvy is the outgoing agency on the account.

Last June, Deloitte issued an RFI to 17 firms. Ten responded, including incumbent Ogilvy, and the company issued an RFP in mid-August.

While Ogilvy had been handling virtually all the US PR work for Deloitte (which encompasses several different companies), it was decided during the review to split the work into two sections: Executive communications, which promotes eminence and thought-leadership of Deloitte executives; and the industries and functions business, which includes strategic communications for its core audit, tax, financial services, and consulting businesses, and its work across a broad range of other industries.

"We issue a lot of reports out of our research group that are industry-related," explained Deloitte's director of national PR, Keith Lindenburg. "We're looking to drive industry and marketplace eminence."

The four finalist agencies in the review were Ogilvy, H&K, MWW, and Weber Shandwick. Lindenburg said that three agencies pitched for each part of the business, but would not reveal the specific breakdown.

In the end, Deloitte went with MWW for the executive communications portion, and H&K for the industries and functions work.

H&K also handles global issues management tasks for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Deloitte USA's parent company. That portion of the business was not part of the review. H&K's new account will be handled by a separate team, according to the firm.

The executive communications element is a newly created portion of Deloitte's PR plan. "It's a new effort, so therefore it's a new budget," Lindenburg said. "The fact that there was additional dollars allocated to this effort is a strong indication of the value of PR here at Deloitte."

MWW CEO Michael Kempner said the account will be led out of the agency's New Jersey and New York offices. He attributed the win to the strength of MWW's corporate reputation practice, an evaluation seconded by Lindenburg.

Judi Mackey, the director of H&K's US corporate and financial practice, said the agency was "a good cultural fit" with Deloitte, and said "the depth of industry expertise and the depth of functional expertise" helped them win the account.

Dana Fields Muldrow, VP of external relations at Ogilvy, said, "We understand and respect their decision."

The two new agencies will begin their work November 1.

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