BEIJING: Rockwell International, the troubled US-owned aviation
electronics and automation group, is reviewing its PR in greater
The account covers China, Taiwan and Hong Kong and has been held by
Ketchum for the past five years. The brief involves media relations and
Rockwell’s Asian operation is based in Beijing, but the agency will
report directly to Helen Phillips, the company’s vice-president for
business, communications and advertising, who is based at its California
The review follows a global restructuring of the company which began in
October 1997 and has been followed by profit warnings and, most
recently, a pounds 159 million loss reported for Rockwell’s
semi-conductor business during the fourth quarter of last year.
Pitches for the account were held this week. Ketchum is competing
against three other agencies including Hill and Knowlton and Ogilvy PR
Chris Liu, who is the account director handling Rockwell at Ketchum in
Hong Kong, said: ’Rockwell has restructured the whole corporation to
focus its resources on growth sectors. The challenge now is how to
position and define the new, slimmed-down version.’
’It’s a good business and a very strategic client, as it is very well
respected and the leader in its field,’ he added.
Ketchum had run media relations and corporate communications for all the
company’s four divisions.
But Rockwell spun off its semi-conductor business last December
following a global slowdown in that sector. It had spun off its
automotive division 18 months earlier.
The company has retained its avionics electronics and industrial
automation divisions. Rockwell also has a growing electronic commerce