WS wins MessageLabs Europe job

Anti-computer virus company MessageLabs has hired Weber Shandwick to handle PR across Europe and parted company with EMEA PR manager Ilke Kaufmann.

Kaufmann, who co-ordinated the pitch (PRWeek, 8 July), is believed to have left last month following a disagreement with US-based MessageLabs corporate communications director Shelley Driscoll.

Driscoll declined to comment on the circumstances of Kaufmann's exit, but confirmed that WS had replaced MessageLabs' UK agency of five-years, HBL Media.

'Following a long and extensive review process, we felt that WS had both the UK and European capability to help us take MessageLabs to the next level,' Driscoll said. 'The IT security market is intensely competitive; we need to compete with larger security vendors, on a business and European level. Weber Shandwick has both the geographical presence and the business pedigree we felt necessary to help us achieve our goals.'

Kaufmann did not return PRWeek's calls. Driscoll said WS would report to her until a replacement is found.

Six agencies, including WS and HBL, are believed to have pitched for the account.

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