INTERNATIONAL: EC seeks new agency for Tacis fund account

BRUSSELS: The European Commission is tendering a pounds 1.2 million fee account to handle communications for the Tacis fund, through which it provides technical assistance to former Soviet states.

BRUSSELS: The European Commission is tendering a pounds 1.2 million

fee account to handle communications for the Tacis fund, through which

it provides technical assistance to former Soviet states.



Ogilvy PR Worldwide holds the account, which it won from the Rowland

Company in 1997. Rowland was the first agency to hold the account, after

it was awarded in 1994.



Ogilvy was initially appointed for a maximum three-year period, with a

built-in review every 12 months. But after two years of managing the

account, it has decided not to repitch.



The agency’s government communications group director, Nicholas Lunt,

said: ’It has been a very heavy account to manage administratively. The

overheads have imposed a weight of work on us which effectively

outweighs the financial and professional value we can gain from the

account.’



Lunt estimates that the agency has worked with over 30 contractors

during the last year on the project. It has committed 16 staff to the

account, who it now wants to develop by giving them an opportunity to

work for other clients.



The Tacis brief involves supervising an information office, providing

external and internal communications, media relations to explain Tacis’

work in the former Soviet states, providing an internet information

service and strategic communications advice.



Ogilvy has also provided environmental communications support to Tacis

for the last three years, pushing environmental issues onto political

and media agendas in the region. The contract, with a budget of pounds 2

million, expires in November, when the brief is likely to be

revised.



- Ogilvy has beaten Hill and Knowlton and incumbent Ketchum to handle

corporate PR and media relations for electronic controls and

communications firm Rockwell in Asia (PR Week, 19 March).



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