Public affairs: Agencies prepare to fight it out for Asda account

Bell Pottinger Public Affairs will have to fight to hold on to one of its flagship accounts, after it emerged that Asda is to hold a competitive pitch for its public affairs business.

The Wal-Mart-owned supermarket chain had been due to speak to agencies this week, but will now hold the pitch on 28 February.

It is tendering for an agency to provide intelligence gathering, analysis of issues and monitoring of Westminster and Whitehall. Lobbying firms were only put on alert last week.

Major agencies including Fishburn Hedges, Fleishman-Hillard, Lexington and FD-LLM are not expected to pitch owing to client conflicts.

Bell Pottinger Public Affairs chief executive David Sowells confirmed the agency had been invited to repitch. He said: 'I hope we can continue to support Asda's objectives and build on the past two-and-a-half years.'

Bell Pottinger recently won a separate account with Asda's property PR division (PRWeek, 25 January).

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