AMSTERDAM: Royal Philips Electronics is in the midst of a global PR consolidation, and has selected MS&L and The Hoffman Agency as global AORs. Philips will continue to work with other firms in individual countries.
MS&L will oversee corporate, business, and consumer-focused PR, while Hoffman will handle tech PR. Both accounts are extensions of previous relationships the firms had with Philips. The only agency that will not continue its global relationship is Brodeur Worldwide, which handled Philips corporate PR for nearly four years.
"Philips has been a great client for many years, and it continues to be a client in Asia-Pacific," said Brodeur SVP Jan Lawlor. "Philips' decision to consolidate corporate with products was a practical one because of the way its divisions now interact with corporate. It made sense for them operationally. Brodeur's US Philips team has already been deployed on other clients."
Pieter Schaffels, VP and communications management head at Philips, said the company was not unhappy with Brodeur's work, but that the decision to shift the corporate work was strictly a business decision.
"We want to align our agencies," said Schaffels. "We are working on a 'One Philips' strategy that will best be supported by a one-voice communications plan. We were looking for an integrated approach to business and corporate PR, as well as internal and external PR."
The search's next stage will see Philips review the PR firms it uses in individual countries.
MS&L will oversee corporate PR and global strategy, as well as three of Philips' five business units including consumer, domestic appliances, and medical systems. MS&L chairman and CEO Lou Capozzi said the firm has been working with Philips for four years in numerous areas, including consumer electronics.
"This is the first time we've had this broader global mandate," said Capozzi. "We're in a really strong position to help, as we've worked for so many business divisions before."
The Hoffman Agency, which has mostly worked on Philips' semiconductor business, will see its work expand to other tech units. "We will focus on some thought-leadership initiatives for them in the tech industry," said agency president Lou Hoffman.