Exclusive: Swedish defence giant Saab awards major public affairs and corporate comms account

Swedish defence and security-technology company Saab AB has appointed Cicero/AMO and its Havas stablemate Maitland to deliver a wide-ranging integrated brief, spanning public affairs and corporate comms.

Saab AB is known for the Gripen (griffin) a lightweight, multi-purpose fighter aircraft
Saab AB is known for the Gripen (griffin) a lightweight, multi-purpose fighter aircraft

The brief was previously held by Hanover. The account is thought to be worth a six-figure sum annually.

Cicero/AMO will provide senior counsel and public affairs expertise, while corporate specialist Maitland will cover the strategic comms element of the brief.

Saab is a longstanding partner in the UK Government’s defence and security strategy.

It is best known for the Gripen fighter jet, conventional missile systems, and surveillance equipment, as well as civilian aircraft.

Saab’s UK supply chain involves 1,000 companies across the country, including direct contractors and other small businesses.

The account will be led by John Rowland, managing director at Cicero/AMO.

He said: “Saab is an iconic name, known for its disruptive designs and cutting-edge technologies with both civil and defence applications. This is a landmark win… demonstrating our combined strength and depth across communications disciplines and industry sectors.”

Defence review

The Government’s Integrated Security and Defence Review, announced last month, called for a range of measures to adapt to a new era of electronic and cyber warfare, as well as a reduction in some conventional forces.

Alongside the review, the Government launched its Defence and Security Industrial Strategy, which it said would mean “industry, government and academia working ever closer together to drive research, enhance investment and promote innovation”, and which promised reform of defence procurement to “incentivise innovation and productivity”.

Nicolas Clark, vice-president and head of UK corporate affairs at Saab, said the UK was a key market and that the company had helped keep the country safe for more than 40 years.

He added: “Cicero/AMO has been tasked by Saab UK to help build its profile as a long-standing partner to UK defence and civilian authorities in the context of the Integrated Security and Defence Review and the Defence Industrial Strategy. We were impressed by their energy and enthusiasm for the brief and look forward to working with them to reach our strategic audiences.”

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