INTERNATIONAL: Edelman and incumbents pitch for Irish Vodafone PR

IRELAND: Mobile phone giant Vodafone is pitching its entire PR business for Ireland, covering communications across the board.

The firm - which rebranded from Eir-cell last month - has compiled a shortlist of three agencies to pitch for the business, which encompasses public affairs, consumer PR, corporate comms and sponsorship.

Dublin-based incumbents Bill O'Herlihy and Gallagher & Kelly PR are vying for the business, alongside Edelman PR Worldwide.

Bill O'Herlihy has worked with the firm formerly known as Eir-cell for around five years in various capacities, most recently handling public affairs and consumer PR.

Two-year incumbent Gallagher formerly managed the firm's corporate and sponsorship communications.

The shortlist has been whittled down from an original list of six, which included Slattery PR, Wilson Hartnell PR and Drury Communications.

Vodafone Ireland director of communications Tara Delaney said the review is not as a result of the rebrand.

'We have been using two agencies in the past and they were out of contract, so the pitch is just in the normal course of business,' said Delaney.

She added the decision to pitch was not a sign Vodafone was consolidating PR: 'We have said agencies can pitch for all of the business, but that wasn't because we wanted to consolidate the business.'

Delaney is hoping to make a decision by the end of April. It is understood the pitch is being managed by search and selection firm Agency Insight.

Eir-cell's rebrand, which went ahead on 22 February, has had no effect on the in-house communications team of ten PROs, added Delaney.

For the five months prior to the rebrand, Eir-cell functioned as Eir-cell/Vodafone.

Vodafone recently hired Harvard PR to handle its six-figure fee B2B communications business after a two-month long, four-way pitch (PRWeek, 25 January). Harvard replaced incumbent Brodeur Worldwide.

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