It is understood that at least three agencies pitched to a management team at the complex, with the aim of landing an account aimed at re-enforcing the centre’s profile with the national and regional press.
Managers at the four-year-old complex, including marketing manager Alan Jones, plan to iron out details of the final contract next week.
Bluewater formerly used Rycroft Communications, although that agency effectively ceased to work with the company around six months ago.
In recent months, PR for the complex has been handled by Rachael Nolan, who has been on secondment from Rycroft to Bluewater for three years. It is understood that Nolan will transfer in-house full-time when the agency hire is sealed.
Bluewater has also previously been promoted by Cohn & Wolfe, which was hired for a PR campaign to promote the complex’s opening in March 1999.
A substantial proportion of that work involved liaison with community groups over issues such as the impact of the project on the environment and local businesses.
In March this year, Bluewater – which contains more than 300 shops and restaurants – was named Retail Destination of the Year 2003 by readers of trade title Retail Week.
It is understood that the complex’s relationship with financial PR agency Financial Dynamics is not affected by the consumer PR review.