Eastman Kodak appoints Ketchum for Olympics PR

Eastman Kodak has appointed Ketchum London to handle PR across the EMEA region around its sponsorship of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

The account, estimated to be worth around £250,000, is for internal communications, B2B and consumer PR to raise awareness of the photographic giant's association with the event.

The project was awarded to Ketchum - which already works for the firm on its corporate and consumer imaging group as well as a range of products and services - without a competitive pitch.

Kodak PR director Brian Bottomley said: 'Ketchum had the credentials in terms of their sports marketing group, so we gave them the business.'

Ketchum director Steve Martin, who leads an eight-strong team on the account, said that one of the areas the campaign will focus on will be Kodak's long association with the Olympics, which dates back to the first modern Olympics in 1896.

Ketchum has signed up former British Olympic star Sebastian Coe as a Kodak ambassador, Martin said.

The agency will be relying upon affiliates in some countries for Olympics work, but will be sending its own team to Greece for the duration of the Games - which will run from 13 to 29 August.

Eastman Kodak's shares ended 2002 as the top performer in the Dow Jones, after having suffered the year before as the widespread adoption of digital cameras threatened its market share in photography.

The company's sponsorship of the Olympics will form part of its battle to win back market share in the face of competition from digital competitors.

- Meanwhile, it emerged this week that Ketchum's PR account for MG Rover had been placed under review as the British car-marker overhauls its entire creative and marcoms roster.

MG Rover head of communications Greg Allport confirmed that Ketchum - which handles 'dealer PR' on annual fees understood to be worth around £100,000 - had been placed on notice, saying a repitch was possible in the future.

However, Allport stressed that plans for future dealer PR work were as yet undecided, saying that it could be handled by the in-house team, which already handles the bulk of MG Rover's PR work. Ketchum has been retained by MG Rover for more than four years.

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