SUNNYVALE, CA: Yahoo has selected an integrated team from Porter Novelli and Voce Communications as its consumer AOR after a competitive review.
The two agencies pitched together for the business, which has a six-figure monthly retainer, confirmed Jaime Le, director of consumer communications for Yahoo. Incumbent GolinHarris did not repitch for the business.
The new team will begin work on January 4 and will help Yahoo distribute its stories through various channels, including social media, Web properties, and traditional media. The scope of work will also include consumer work around Yahoo's sponsorships.
Eric Brown, SVP of global communications for Yahoo, worked with Voce during his previous role leading communications at NetApp. Le said Brown's previous relationship with Voce helped the agency get into the RFP process, but not with the ultimate decision. She added that Voce will act more as a coordinating agency, while PN will be the consumer arm.
“I'm running a really unique team because I need a consumer communications agency that can really dive deep into entertainment, finance, news, and sport,” Le said. “And then know how to leverage search syndication data across all of those properties.”
She commended the team that PN assembled because it includes senior-level strategists, as well as former CNN and Wall Street Journal reporters.
“We are a media company and my team does PR around our content,” Le noted. “To have seasoned journalists who know to package this content into a news story was really appealing.”
Rich Cline, president of Voce Communications, said the agency opted for the partnership to combine Voce's experience with consumer tech and PN's traditional consumer capabilities.
Cline said Voce will service the account from Silicon Valley and work primarily with PN's New York office. Representatives at Porter Novelli were not immediately available for comment.
Fred Cook, CEO of GolinHarris, told PRWeek he declined to repitch the business because, "We had worked with them for a couple of years and I think we just felt like it was time to move on.”
He said the loss of Yahoo as a client would not cause any layoffs at the firm, because, "We have lots of other accounts that we can transfer the Yahoo people to.”
OutCast Communications also netted some consumer projects, in addition to retaining its role as Yahoo's product, science, and technology AOR. The project work will mostly be related to Yahoo's rebranding efforts that the agency helped to launch in October.
Yahoo has also issued a b-to-b RFP that is expected to be decided by the end of the week, it previously told PRWeek. Peppercom, the incumbent for the b-to-b work did not repitch the business. Last week, Yahoo also selected Evolve 24 as its metrics agency.Updated December 16, 2009, 1:22pm