NEWS: MS&L aims to restore confidence in Olivetti

Manning Selvage and Lee has been called in to provide pan-European crisis communication support to the personal computers division of beleaguered Italian company Olivetti.

Manning Selvage and Lee has been called in to provide pan-European

crisis communication support to the personal computers division of

beleaguered Italian company Olivetti.



MS&L’s London office was called in by Olivetti PC on 4 September, the

day after the resignations of chairman Carlo De Benedetti and finance

director Renzo Francesconi sparked a freefall in the company’s share

price.



Jackie Elliot, MS&L managing director, and head of technology Serafina

Espie are heading the agency team. Elliot declined to reveal the fees to

PR Week but such assignments normally have an hourly rate of between

pounds 150 and pounds 300 per consultant.



MS&L’s recruitment came shortly after the agency had held discussions

with Olivetti PC’s board about a three-month pan-European communications

programme. Those discussions, which have been put on hold during the

current crisis, were a spin off from Olivetti’s links with MS&L’s

sister company, ad agency D’Arcy Masius Benton and Bowles.



The Olivetti board resignations, which capped months of board-room

wrangling over strategy, followed the publication of interim results

showing operating losses of pounds 34.3 million. A criminal

investigation has since been launched into allegations that the interim

statement obscured even greater losses.



The PC division, which has enlisted MS&L’s help, is seen as a

contributor to Olivetti’s current troubles.



Despite holding more than three per cent of the European market and

recent successes with a new pocket-book range, the company has seemed

unable to compete effectively in the computer hardware market. Olivetti

has now said it no longer considers the PC business to be a strategic

activity.



Olivetti PC already retains UK-based agencies Text 100 and Vital PR in

the UK.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in