BT jettisons Trimedia in overhaul of CSR strategy

BT has insisted that corporate responsibility remains a top priority after it took the drastic action of dropping its only dedicated CSR agency this week.

BT: will spend ‘significantly less’ on agencies
BT: will spend ‘significantly less’ on agencies

The telecoms giant has cast aside Trimedia as part of a wide-ranging overhaul of its PR agency roster. It has slashed the number of agencies it uses from around a dozen to just four in an attempt to save money.

BT group director of comms Peter Morgan said all CSR ­activity would now be handled by the company’s in-house team, but refused to be drawn on whether BT would be spending less on CSR.

‘BT is one of Britain’s largest investors in CSR and we rem­ain at least as committed, if not more, to our CSR work,’ said Morgan.

The PR overhaul comes after a two month ‘root and branch’ review of comms spend, which PRWeek rev­ealed was under way earlier this year (PRWeek, 18 March).

At the time, Morgan denied the review was a direct res­ponse to worsening financial conditions, but said: ‘It is linked to making sure we del­iver better value to our shareholders.’

Fishburn Hedges and Kazoo will remain on the roster. BT is also switching from previously retained agency Octane to sister agency Lewis. Porter Novelli is the only new agency added to the roster.

The roster will cover 95 per cent of PR activity. The rem­aining PR activity will be moved in-house and will be handled by BT’s newsroom.

BT hit the headlines last month when it announced it would cut 15,000 jobs this year. Morgan said BT was under immense media scrutiny, adding: ‘We are certain the changes to the roster will improve the quality of coverage we get while spending significantly less on external PR.’

The decision to move the company’s CSR work in-house follows a brace of recent CSR agency launches (see below).


CSR: Recent news

27 May The Engine Group and Ogilvy & Mather both launch CSR consultancies

15 May Coca-Cola calls in Exposure to promote its recycling campaign

25 February The Association of Model Agents  brings in the Glasshouse Partnership to position it as responsible around London Fashion Week

14 January McDonald’s calls in Futerra to promote environmental behavioural change among employees

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