SAN JOSE, CA: Each summer, a top-tier technology company launches an agency search that whips the agency world into a frenzy. Two summers ago it was IBM. Last year it was Hewlett-Packard. And this summer, it's Cisco Systems.
Two months into the search, rumors are swirling that the RFP, originally for a US corporate AOR, has grown to encompass Canada and Latin America, and will also include business units.
Jerry Swerling, a Los Angeles-based PR management consultant who is advising Cisco during its search, brushed those rumors aside, but at the same time hinted that the search may have taken an unanticipated turn.
"Right now, we are doing an extensive internal audit of the company, as any company who undertakes such a search should do," said Swerling. "And as a result of that, the scope is evolving a bit." But Swerling declined to explain further.
However, Swerling did comment on the relentless calls from PR agencies seeking information and updates. "Everybody is calling, wanting to know what the time frame is," he said. "Right now, the most important thing for me to do is to focus on the needs of the client first."
Cisco did not return calls seeking comment.