APCO and C&W will provide reputation and issues management services and social media services, according to Harvey Greisman, SVP and group executive of communications at Mastercard Worldwide. C&W had previously been working with Mastercard on social media matters. This is the first time Mastercard will work with APCO.
Greisman would not disclose the number of firms that pitched for the account, who participated in the pitch, or its monetary value. The RFP was issued about two months ago, he continued, and work began between three and four weeks ago.
“One of the reasons why those two agencies were successful was because they demonstrated experience in this type of project in the past and insights into the subject matter,” he said.
According to Greisman, the new hires will not impact existing relationships with Weber Shandwick, which does media relations and corporate communications work for the company in a number of regions, or Taylor, which does event and sports promotion work.
Credit card companies, like other financial service organizations, have come under intense scrutiny from the federal government as it works to find the path out of the current economic recession. Last week, President Obama proposed creating the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which could further regulate credit cards, as well as other parts of the financial services industry.
Greisman would not go into detail about the nature of the new project APCO and C&W are working on, but said it is one that, “We've communicated about in a low-key manner, but now we think it's is time to raise its visibility.”
“Certainly the external environment has influenced our decision to develop this project,” said Greisman when asked if issues being reported in the news were related to the project APCO and C&W are working on. “We believe that one of the most important attributes that we need to be associated with is that of being a trustworthy company, and we think that this project and many other activities that we're engaging in will certainly increase trust in us and hopefully in the industry as well."