NEWS: PR review could signal corporate change for Rank

Three top City agencies are waiting to hear this week which has clinched an estimated pounds 100,000 financial PR account from leisure group Rank Organisation.

Three top City agencies are waiting to hear this week which has clinched

an estimated pounds 100,000 financial PR account from leisure group

Rank Organisation.



The company, which runs the Butlins holiday group, bingo clubs, Pinewood

film studios and the Hard Rock Cafe chain, recently launched a review of

its corporate and financial PR. Dewe Rogerson, Lowe Bell Financial and

incumbent Shandwick Consultants were invited to pitch on Wednesday.



Shandwick has held the account since 1990, with a brief covering press

relations, investor relations and contacts with leisure industry

analysts. The agency is also believed to have been handed a public

affairs brief several weeks ago, although it is not clear whether this

is also part of the present review process.



The PR review comes at a critical time for Rank. Chief executive Michael

Gifford is due to step down next month and will be replaced by English

China Clays’ chief executive Andrew Teare, who is rumoured to favour a

fashionable demerger of the group’s diverse interests.



Rank Precision Industries has already been earmarked for sale, while the

Hard Rock Cafe could be spun off into a separate listed company.



The company is also concerned to raise its overall profile. Despite

owning a portfolio of recognised brand names, the Rank group as a whole

remains largely unknown as a corporate entity.



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