NEWS: Edelman wins global role for Creditanstalt

Creditanstalt Bankverein, Austria’s second largest bank, has picked Edelman Public Relations to lead a global PR drive, netting the agency at least pounds 500,000 a year in fees.

Creditanstalt Bankverein, Austria’s second largest bank, has picked

Edelman Public Relations to lead a global PR drive, netting the agency

at least pounds 500,000 a year in fees.



The appointment follows a lengthy selection process which saw six PR

agencies - Edelman, Citigate, Dewe Rogerson, Charles Barker, Ludgate and

Ogilvy Adams and Rinehart - pitch in Vienna in March.



A final shoot out between Dewe Rogerson and Edelman was held in April

before a special committee of Creditanstalt’s commercial and investment

banking wings, which opted to hire Edelman last week.



Creditanstalt’s press spokesman Joachim Kuehnert declined to say which

agency had been chosen until the unsuccessful firms had been officially

notified. However, he did not deny industry rumours that Edelman had

clinched the account.



Working through a programme of media relations and events, Edelman will

aim to boost awareness of Creditanstalt’s commercial and investment

banking activities across key financial markets in the US, western

Europe and the emerging markets of the Far East. The bank is

particularly keen to promote its activities in central and eastern

Europe, where it plans to open 15 new branches by the year 2000.



Lucrative privatisation work is also possible. The Austrian government

has been trying to sell off its 70 per cent voting interest in the bank

for five years. A consortium led by EA-Generali, the Italian insurer’s

Austrian subsidiary, is expected to resume talks which were broken off

last year. Asian investors, including HSBC, are also thought to be

interested.



The public relations account will be headed from New York by Andrew

Dewar, Edelman Financial’s worldwide managing director, who moved across

from London last year to develop the agency’s financial PR business (PR

Week 24 November).



Dewar declined to comment on the Creditanstalt account until the agency

had received official confirmation of its appointment.



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