McAfee seeks new agency

Santa Clara, CA: Computer anti-virus software maker McAfee is conducting a search for a new PR agency in order to better integrate its global branding, the company said. Its incumbent AOR, Red Consultancy, will defend the account.

Santa Clara, CA: Computer anti-virus software maker McAfee is conducting a search for a new PR agency in order to better integrate its global branding, the company said. Its incumbent AOR, Red Consultancy, will defend the account.

The review is in its very preliminary stages, said Siobhan MacDermott, McAfee's VP of world- wide corporate and executive communications. The company will select a firm by the end of this month at the latest, she added.

McAfee wants to optimize its worldwide PR spend through achieving better global integration and leveraging its PR programs across all geographies in which it does business, MacDermott said.

"I anticipate we will end up with more than a single global agency, but we're looking at economies of scale, as well as better integration worldwide," she explained.

MacDermott has been with McAfee for 18 months. She replaced Jennifer Keavney, who left the company in June 2005 after eight years.

Before hiring Red in fall 2005, McAfee had worked with Porter Novelli for seven years. The move to split was mutual, said Rhonda Shantz, PN's tech practice leader and MD of its Bay Area offices.

Last month, McAfee unveiled Total Protection for Enterprise 2.0, the latest version of its security products for business users. The update adds protection from phishing - the process of falsifying your identity in order to gather sensitive information on-line - to the Advanced edition and offers improved antivirus, antispyware, and network access control features.

McAfee, which has 3,200 employees, was founded in 1989. It changed its name from Network Associates in 2004 when it sold its network software division. It competes with businesses such as Symantec and Microsoft.

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