FOSTER CITY, CA: Visa International has selected Burson-Marsteller as its corporate AOR after spending five years with GCI Group, which declined to participate in the RFP.
Visa managed the search internally, without the help of a search consultant. Both Visa and Grant declined to comment on the size of the account, though PRWeek has learned it is approximately $800,000.
Burson's London office will lead the account, with help from its New York and San Francisco offices, as well as other outposts as needed. Starting in January, Burson will focus on corporate activities such as global corporate-reputation management, stakeholder relations, crisis communications, emerging technologies, and global sponsorships and partnerships. Gavin Grant, deputy chairman of Burson in London, said 2004 would be a major year for Visa, with CEO Malcolm Williamson planning to step down in March, and the company's sponsorship of the Athens Summer Olympics and the Paralympic Games.
Prior to winning the account, Burson had been working with Visa International on reputation issues since the spring, said Grant.