Weber Shandwick lands multi-million dollar international HP account

Technology giant HP has handed Weber Shandwick a massive account to handle its corporate communications across EMEA, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Canada.

Comms rethink: tech firm HP
Comms rethink: tech firm HP

It is believed the EMEA brief is worth $2m alone, while Asia Pacific is thought to be worth $1m. Weber Shandwick's London office will act as the lead agency.

Burson-Marsteller was previously retained for HP's corporate comms in Asia Pacific, while EMEA corporate work was handled by Hill & Knowlton.

Weber Shandwick landed the account after a keenly fought pitch. The brief includes issues and reputation management and crisis comms.

One priority for HP during the pitch process was believed to be the ability to anticipate a crisis. In December, the company was embarrassed by a viral campaign in which it was claimed that Hewlett Packard webcams are racist because their face-tracking software does not work on black faces.

HP VP, global corporate communications David Shane said: ‘Weber Shandwick is the right agency partner for this important assignment. Their scale, talent and depth of experience in issues management will serve HP well as we expand corporate programs in EMEA, APJ and Latin America.'

Director, HP corporate media relations Christina Schneider is being relocated to London to handle the newly-created role of director of international corporate communications, reporting to Shane.
The client relationship leader will be the joint head of Weber Shandwick's London corporate practice Rod Clayton who will be overseen by UK and Europe CEO Colin Byrne. Clayton will be supported by associate director Jonathon Brayshaw in Europe. Abernathy McGregor Public Relations will continue to handle corporate comms in the US.

In addition, Bite has been appointed to handle comms for HP's innovative technologies in EMEA and Latin America, which is an extension of the existing work they do in the US.

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