MOSCOW: Gazprom Export, the Russian state-controlled exporter of natural gas, has hired Gavin Anderson & Co. to provide support for financial and corporate communications, as well as public affairs.
Aiding the firm are fellow Omnicom affiliates GPlus in Brussels, Belgium, and Ketchum in the US. Gavin Anderson global CEO Richard Constant said his firm was selected after a multi-round competition that included at least three or four other unnamed firms. He declined to discuss the terms of the deal, except to say its value was "substantial."
"Given Gazprom's position in its own industry and as a world player, they're cognizant that they had to tell their story to people that matter," Constant said.
Gavin Anderson's US subsidiary is serving as a subcontractor for the work, for which it will receive $100,000 per month to provide financial media relations support in the US intended to "improve understanding of Gazprom's basic business strategies" and "strengthen the trust of investors in Gazprom," according to a Justice Department filing.
Ketchum, which previously provided media relations support for Russia's G8 presidency, is aiding the firm in the US. Under a subcontract valued at $247,500 per month, Ketchum will provide media relations support and media monitoring, including setting up interviews with Gazprom representatives and developing messaging points for interviews and press releases.
The Russian Federation owns approximately 50.01% of Gazprom, the world's largest natural gas company, and has faced criticism for various business practices perceived as monopolistic, including a threatened move earlier this year to cut off supplies to Belarus over a billing dispute.
Gazprom in January was reportedly in negotiations to hire a coalition consisting of PBN, Hill & Knowlton, and Penn, Schoen & Berland under a three-year, $11 million contract, but the firms' work ended in March, according to H&K.