Virus firm AVG hires MS&L as global AOR

NEW YORK: AVG Technologies, an anti-virus software company, hired MS&L as its global AOR after a six-way competitive pitch.

NEW YORK: AVG Technologies, an anti-virus software company, hired MS&L as its global AOR after a six-way competitive pitch. The company will also work with Capital MS&L in London and is determining how it can use other agencies within MS&L Group and Publicis, such as Kekst & Co.

Siobhan MacDermott, SVP of investor relations, corporate communications, and policy for Amsterdam-based AVG Technologies, said the account will be traditional PR, brand building, and "working on elevating discussion around AVG in the news, both in social and online media, as well as traditional media." Capital MS&L will work on investor relations and financial communications.

AVG reached out to several agencies that had worked with individual employees or the company in the past. MacDermott, who previously worked in MS&L's San Francisco office, said the company also worked with the agency on project work in the past.

Six agencies went through a pitching process, and AVG then chose MS&L. MacDermott declined to name the other agencies involved, but called them "all the big guys and usual suspects." The account is worth low six figures, she added.

"In general, we selected [MS&L] because they had a global network and a few of us had worked with them in the past," MacDermott said. The agency's New York office will primarily lead the account, and David Chamberlin, SVP and director of issues and crisis, will serve as the global AVG account director.

AVG previously worked with technology firm Rocket Science, and MacDermott said the company had simply outgrown the smaller technology firm and was looking for a more global presence.

"One of the areas we're really looking to target is the consumer PR space. It's an area we haven't really engaged with," MacDermott said, noting the company had worked more with the technology media. "We're also looking to grow our presence in the business and financial media as well."

Mark Addison, chief scientist of Rocket Science, confirmed the agency was global AOR for AVG until May 31, calling it "a good run." The agency, he added, helped increase media coverage, social media presence, and visibility of the company's executives during its tenure. Rocket Science also signed on with Avira, another anti-virus company, as its global AOR, as of June 1.

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