London 2012 poised to run global review

London/Paris: London 2012, the body set up to bring the Olympic Games to the UK capital, is planning to draft in PR agency support as it bids to bolster global backing for its bid.

Communications and public affairs director Mike Lee said he was ‘reviewing the possibility of [PR] support on the international front’ as London 2012 seeks to win backing from the 125 International Olympic Committee (IOC) members who will decide which city will host the games.

The IOC will draw up a shortlist in May from the nine applicant cities, with a final decision set to be announced in July next year.

Lee said there ‘may be a role’ for a PR agency to handle international work prior to May, but added there would be ‘more scope’ afterwards. ‘Our plans are not finalised,’ he said.

Lee, who took up his role full-time this week, having joined from European football’s governing body UEFA (PRWeek, 3 October 2003), said he ‘did not envisage any ongoing domestic PR support at this stage’.

London 2012 has formerly used Brunswick and Capital PR, but the two staff at the latter who worked on the account have joined the bid’s in-house PR team.

It is understood that Brunswick continues to advise London 2012 on an ad hoc basis, helping Lee’s team to shore up business backing.

If London 2012 was to draft in international agency support, it would be following the lead of one of its rivals, Paris, which has issued a tender for ‘one or more’ PR agencies to handle international PR.

Paris 2012 chief executive Philippe Baudillon said in a statement: ‘We want to internationalise our bid. It is a pre-emptive move so we can be better prepared for the subsequent phases of the bid process if Paris makes the shortlist in May.’

The other applicant cities are New York, Madrid, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul, Havana and Leipzig.

Meanwhile, Uefa has appointed William Gaillard to replace Lee as director of comms and public affairs.

Gaillard joins in March from his position as director of corporate comms for the International Air Transport Association.

Gaillard has previously worked for the UN Drug Control Programme.

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