OVERLAND PARK, KS: The Bluetooth Special Interest Group, a trade association that promotes wireless technology, has dropped Porter Novelli as its US agency of record because the two account leads recently left the agency to start their own PR company.
Account manager Starr Million and account supervisor Kari Hernandez left Porter Novelli's Austin, TX office to launch Ink PR, which will now service the Bluetooth account.
Eric Schneider, Bluetooth's marketing manager, said that while it was a tough decision, the group decided to go with Ink PR because "we really wanted continuity with the account." Bluetooth continues to work with Porter Novelli in Europe and Asia.
Schneider also said there was a provision in Bluetooth's contract with Porter Novelli stating that if the account team changed significantly, the contract would become null and void.
Schneider explained that he wanted such a clause in the contract because when Bluetooth worked with its previous US agency, there were personnel changes to the account team that he felt affected the work.
While Bluetooth eventually changed from that firm to Porter Novelli in March 2003 because the organization wanted more of a consumer focus to its PR, Schneider said account team changes were enough of a concern that he wanted a clause in the contract.
As for the newly formed Ink PR, the agency will focus predominantly, but not exclusively, on technology clients.
"We worked for a great agency, but we wanted something the agency couldn't give us - ownership and the ability to make our own decisions on the clients we work with, the employees we take on, how fast we grow, and when and where we work," said Million.