Ketchum's London office to lead multi-agency Kremlin account

MOSCOW - The Kremlin has hired Ketchum to lead an Omnicom team in a multi-firm, multi-million dollar contract to promote Russia’s 2006 presidency of the G8.

Ketchum – as well as the other agencies – will provide assistance in promoting Russia's three chosen topics of the 2006 G8 term: energy security, global threat of infectious diseases, and improving education. The G8 summit will be held in St. Petersberg in July.

Ketchum will run the account from its London office. The agency maintains a Moscow office through affiliate Maslov, Sokur & Associates. Sister Omnicom agencies GPlus Europe, a European Union-specializing public affairs firm that sold a majority stake to Omnicom in March 2006, and Gavin Anderson, from its Japan office, will also work on the campaign. The contract is for nine months.

Jon Higgins, partner and CEO, Ketchum Europe, said one of the agency's foci will be expediting communications between the presidency team and the internal and international media. It will also advise the presidency team on media strategy around the summit.

Higgins declined to discuss strategy and did not discuss how Russia's current international woes would affect outreach.

"This is about bringing support to the Russian G8 summit and what the G8 is doing, which is of interest to all of the countries in the G8," and those who believe in the G8's leadership, Higgins said. "It's going to be very intense; we're very wide-eyed about that."

While London is leading the account, Higgins said that Ketchum's New York, Washington DC, Canada, and Germany offices would all play a role.

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