McAfee puts Red on alert as part of global review

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA: Computer security firm McAfee is reviewing its ­global account, a move that will set alarm-bells ringing at principal incumbent The Red Consultancy.

McAfee V-P of worldwide corporate and executive comms, Siobhan MacDermott, said the review was in the preliminary stages and the aim was to reduce the number of retained agencies it uses – currently 35.

Red was appointed as global strategic adviser to McAfee in November 2005. It opened an office in San Francisco soon afterwards, which leads the US part of the account (PRWeek, 11 Nov 2005). Red also runs an EMEA account for McAfee from London.

MacDermott confirmed that Red would be invited to take part in the pitch. Red was unavailable for comment.

‘I anticipate we will end up with more than a single global agency, but we’re looking at economies of scale, as well as better integration worldwide,’ said MacDermott.

She added that McAfee plans to achieve better global integration by deploying a single PR strategy across all of the ­territories in which it does business.

McAfee has retained Octopus Public Relations as its UK B2B agency since last year (PRWeek, 13 Jan 2006). It was hired after Bite Communications resigned the brief to work for rival Sym­antec (PRWeek, 21 Oct 2005). MacDermott said this relationship would be unaffected by the global pitch.

Last month, McAfee unveiled Total Protection for Enterprise 2.0. The update adds protection from phishing to the Advanced edition and improved anti-virus, anti-spyware, and network access control features.

McAfee, founded in 1989,  changed its name from Network Associates in 2004 when it sold its network software division.

It retained Porter Novelli in the seven years prior to hiring Red.

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