NEWS: Ruder Finn loses chunk of Microsoft PR

Ruder Finn has lost a pounds 300,000 slice of business from Microsoft Europe, less than ten months after the agency was hired on a wide ranging corporate and community affairs brief (PR Week, 22 September, 1995).

Ruder Finn has lost a pounds 300,000 slice of business from Microsoft

Europe, less than ten months after the agency was hired on a wide

ranging corporate and community affairs brief (PR Week, 22 September,

1995).



Working through its Paris office and reporting to Microsoft’s European

corporate affairs manager, Maria Eitel, Ruder Finn provided media

relations support for the company’s lobbying activities in Brussels,

community affairs initiatives, including the planned Road Ahead

Foundation in Germany - a pet project of Microsoft chairman Bill Gates -

and IT industry issues such as piracy and Internet security.



The work, handled by a team of five, accounted for more than three-

quarters of Ruder Finn’s total fees from Microsoft. The agency continues

to promote Microsoft software to the European retail market. That

tranche of the account, which is managed from London, is worth around

pounds 100,000.



Lee Tomkins, Ruder Finn’s managing director of Europe, expressed

disappointment at the loss of the business but stressed that the parting

had been amicable. ‘It was all done by agreement,’ she said.



However, sources suggest that the agency encountered difficulties over

the direction of Microsoft’s communications policy. It remains unclear

if Microsoft intends to replace Ruder Finn. Corporate affairs manager

Delphine Reyre was unavailable for comment.



Feature, p10



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