The firm took the decision to separate its European and UK PR work in October last year when August.One Communications was handed the UK remit, while the Weber Shandwick subsidiary continued to co-ordinate European PR (PRWeek, 12 December 2001).
European head of PR Hernan Daguerre said the decision to fold the work into one agency was taken for strategic rather than cost-cutting reasons: 'With the changes to the market and the economic slowdown, we felt changes were needed. Economies of scale meant integrating the work into one agency at least had to be looked at.'
Daguerre added that the move had initially been prompted by a desire to employ a dedicated UK team for the brand in an agency 'not as huge as Shandwick'.
But he added that the work of the Weber Shandwick division had influenced the decision to re-award the work: 'It will more easily allow the European team to gain local-level experience, and vice-versa,' he said.
The extended brief, which commences at the start of June, will see the agency earn annual fees of £200,000.
Miller/Shandwick will now handle consumer and trade PR for the site. An agency spokesperson admitted that it originally lost the UK work because it 'failed to listen and respond to the changing needs of the UK business.'
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