PAGE ONE: Dell brings in comms chief to manage PR overhaul

Dell has taken on a new comms chief as it prepares to remodel its entire PR strategy, replacing hundreds of marcoms agencies with just one supplier.

The computing giant has appointed August.One founder, and former Hill & Knowlton corporate comms MD, Stuart Handley as director of comms EMEA.

He will oversee the development of Dell's controversial Da Vinci project, in which the work of 860 global marcoms agencies will be consolidated under one roof, overseen byWPP.

Handley will be involved in recruiting an MD for the UK arm of the Da Vinci agency, which is worth more than £2bn for WPP. Da Vinci is expected to be running next month, and will employ 1,000 marcoms staff worldwide.

The tech PR veteran said his experience of ‘starting agencies from scratch' would help in his new role. Most recently, Handley ran his own consultancy, Purple Rabbit, although he took six months out to launch the now-defunct online lottery Monday (PRWeek, 7 April 2006).

Handley added that he had already received enquiries from rival companies, which see the Da Vinci model as an appealing alternative to the traditional agency roster.

‘This is pretty radical,' he said. ‘Other large companies may follow suit, as it is a new approach to an agency/client relationship.'

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