PeopleSoft stages a pitch for post-acquisition brief

PeopleSoft, the world’s second largest maker of business software, is staging a pitch for PR advice. The move follows the completion in September of its acquisition of rival software company JD Edwards.

PeopleSoft marketing director Alastair McGill confirmed that the company would be drawing up a shortlist of five or six agencies this week with a view to appointing one firm by February to advise on PR for the UK and Ireland.

Following PeopleSoft’s £1.03bn acquisition, JD Edwards has ceased to exist as a separate entity, and the company’s PR accounts in the UK have been brought together for a single pitch through an undisclosed search-and-selection firm.

PeopleSoft has retained Insight Marketing & Communications as its UK and Irish PR adviser for the past ten years, while JD Edwards has had a similar relationship with Golin/Harris for the past seven years.

Insight confirmed that it would be pitching for the new business, but Golin/Harris has declined to take part in the contest. McGill said that the account would be focused mainly on handling PR around the firms’ respective software products, which are used by more than 4,000 of the world’s largest companies.

‘After the acquisition of JD Edwards we have almost twice the number of products and have gone to an external agency to help us identify the right agencies to invite to pitch,’ said McGill.

Although the winning firm’s responsibilities will be primarily concerned with B2B PR, McGill confirmed that a small part of the role would be concerned with managing press coverage of Oracle’s £4.3bn hostile bid for PeopleSoft.

Last Monday, the European Commission said that it would be carrying out a four-month investigation into Oracle’s proposed bid for PeopleSoft, which, if successful, would leave only SAP, currently the world’s largest business software maker, and Oracle as the key players in the corporate applications software market.

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