June 28, 2008

Edelman Takes Over Lucrative HP Work

Clare O'Connor

Hewlett-Packard has pulled a lucrative EMEA account out of Porter Novelli and turned instead to Edelman.

The revised account, believed to be worth well into six figures, was handed to Edelman following a four-month pitch process. The business spans 70 countries and includes media and analyst relations for HP's imaging and printing products.

PRWeek revealed that Porter Novelli was set to lose its account last year (PRWeek, 6 December 2007).

Jean Wyllie, Porter Novelli's UK MD and president EMEA, said the agency had 'no agenda for making redundancies'. But she added that some employees may choose to transfer to Edelman under the TUPE employment law.

'My motivation is to look after the people that work here,' said Wyllie. 'We have no plans at this stage to put people off work.

'This is a transition stage,' she added. 'It is a tough economic climate and it is a no-brainer that there is a gap to fill. TUPE could come into play here. I am obliged to give people the opportunity to transfer; it's the law.'

Edelman will oversee the transition from a traditional PR programme to what HP calls 'influencer marketing', which involves greater emphasis on digital communications. Porter Novelli had been the 'central' agency on the account, responsible for overseeing EMEA work from its UK offices.

Hill & Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller were also incumbents; both worked on the account at a regional level in several countries. All three agencies continue to work with HP on other parts of the business.

Edelman, led by European tech MD Jonathan Hargreaves, will report to HP's influencer marketing director Sywert Schadenberg, based in the Netherlands.

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