NEW YORK: Deloitte & Touche is in the midst of an agency review that could culminate in a shift of the consulting giant's PR budget allocations.
The bulk of Deloitte's current PR budget goes to Ogilvy and Hill & Knowlton, according to Keith Lindenburg, the company's director of national PR. H&K's portion of the work - issue and reputation management - is not up for review, but Ogilvy's portion is, Lindenburg said.
Deloitte sent RFIs to about a dozen firms and expects to receive responses soon.
The company will then issue an RFP, and Lindenburg says a final decision is "a couple months out."
Lindenburg would not reveal what firms are pitching, but he said that Ogilvy and H&K are both participating in the review.
"We are evaluating current support and looking at any additional support that may be out there in the industry," he said.
The aim of the review is to ramp up Deloitte's internal and external PR operation to a new level of intensity.
"Becoming a much more strategic, proactive, and creative function" is the goal, Lindenburg said. "What we're trying to do ultimately is build eminence for the firm and our leadership team in the marketplace."
The review comes at a time when the "Big Four" accounting firms - Deloitte, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Ernst & Young - face more competition from smaller firms and a client base more closely scrutinizing their hefty post- Sarbanes- Oxley accounting expenditures.
In addition, regulators' harsh spotlight has been trained on the industry ever since the Enron debacle brought down Arthur Andersen, and it shows no signs of letting up. Just last week, KPMG was told that many of its partners could face criminal charges for selling illegal tax shelters in the 1990s.
Deloitte would not disclose the budget of the business up for review.