Red put on alert as Braun reviews UK PR strategy

Electrical appliance brand Braun has put its UK PR account, currently managed by The Red Consultancy, up for grabs.

The Gillette-owned German manufacturer has sounded out agencies with a view to holding a pitch within weeks. Braun business unit director Georg Mueller-Hof confirmed: 'We are reviewing agencies at the moment.'

Mueller-Hof declined to comment on fees, but added: 'This is normal procedure for us. We are absolutely happy with Red's work but we don't want to be complacent - it is just a healthy thing to review.'

Red was hired three and a half years ago on fees reportedly in the region of £750,000 (PRWeek, 22 March 2002).

Red declined to comment on the fees for the contract now being contested.

Red works across Braun products for male hair removal (shaving), female hair removal (epilation and shaving), kitchens (food preparation, juicers, and kettles) and hair (straighteners, stylers and hairdryers).

The agency provides a proactive press office function and has a brief to take the brand onto the lifestyle and news pages.

Recent PR campaigns have involved promoting the cruZer3 youth shaver, which launched last year and is being plugged via an association with so-called free-sports such as surfing.

Mueller-Hof said he expected a decision before the end of the year on whether to continue with Red or appoint a new agency.

A brief is understood to have been sent to agencies in mid-August, with first pitches likely in late September.

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