Visa has reappointed all its incumbent corporate and product PR
agencies across Europe after an extensive repitch, but has cut its
Belgian, Dutch, Swedish and Turkish contracts from retainers to
After nearly three months, during which six agency networks were asked
to go through a series of hoops including detailed discussions and a
formal pitch, Visa chief operating officer Karel Plasman has now decided
not to make any extensive changes.
The decision follows the departure of European PR chief Sue Curtis days
after the agency review was launched (PR Week, 28 May). Her role is
being handled by external communications manager Stacy Torbit, until
Curtis is replaced.
Cohn and Wolfe will continue to co-ordinate Visa’s European agencies
from London, as well as hold its UK and Italian briefs. Other agencies
whose accounts are unchanged are: Burson-Marsteller in France and
Germany and Shandwick affiliate SAE de Relaciones Publicas in Spain.
Meanwhile, Image in Turkey, Bikker in the Netherlands, Belgian agency
Interel Marien and Sweden’s Rikta have seen the basis of their contracts
change from retainer to ad hoc projects.
The only new agency appointed is Ketchum, which is to handle a project
in the UK later this year. The details of the project are still under
Torbit said: ’The review was a purchasing-driven initiative. We’ve
looked at what agencies charge, so we have a closer handle on what we
She declined to comment on Visa’s overall PR budget but added that the
decision to reappoint incumbents had not been driven by Curtis’