American Express eyes consumer shops for roster expansion

American Express is on the lookout for an agency to strengthen the consumer element of its UK roster.

American Express: On the comms lookout
American Express: On the comms lookout

The company is in talks with a number of PR shops ahead of launching a more formal pitch process as it looks at bringing in "new thinking".

American Express UK vice-president for international public affairs Doug Smith said the hunt for a new PR addition came as the personal finance giant considered its communications plans for the coming year.

"It is a process we have gone through before,"  he said, "and we’ve always sought to work with a select small group of agencies and treat them as partners.  When we have a lot of different projects coming up we look at the agencies we have and consider if we need to bring in new thinking." 

The winning agency would join a roster which includes MHP, Ogilvy and Consolidated on retainer, and Cake and Talk PR on a project basis. 

Current areas of focus for American Express consumer comms include its Invites scheme, which gives users access to events including the London Film Festival and London Fashion Week. 

Another key area for the company would be "growing the digital offering, both from a business and PR perspective", added Smith. 

In January American Express reported a doubling in fourth quarter profit as consumer spending climbed, with a net income of $1.3bn.

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