Consumer electronics company Archos has handed its UK PR account to Harvard PR, following an eight-way agency shoot-out.
Archos is best known for producing portable entertainment devices, some of which compete with Apple's iPhone and other digital media players. It has charged Harvard with redefining its appeal beyond the tech media into lifestyle, entertainment and business. Harvard, part of Bell Pottinger, takes over from Focus PR.
Archos picked Harvard following a competitive pitch that included eight agencies at its outset. The win comes as Harvard restructures its management team and attempts to integrate more closely with its parent company Bell Pottinger Group.
'We have a different brief and needed a different approach to PR that would engage us with a much wider audience,' said Archos UK marketing manager Matthew Knight. 'Harvard demonstrated that it could make the Archos brand famous as a lifestyle choice, as well as a technical choice.'
Harvard MD Lee Brooke said the agency would play close attention to the brand's gadget review programme, but would also broaden its outlook to a more mainstream audience.
He added that social media, where Archos has a relatively small presence, would play a key role in its upcoming campaigns.
Harvard is also leaving its Middlesex base to locate itself within Bell Pottinger's offices in central London. Brooke pointed out that the agency would seek more leads from Bell Pottinger.
As reported last week, Lewis PR director of media Will Sturgeon has been appointed to head strategy and planning. Meanwhile, deputy MD Ben Maynard and board director Charlotte West are leaving.