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