Magazine article Marketing

Agency of the Year: Public Relations Agency of the Year - Best of the Rest

Magazine article Marketing

Agency of the Year: Public Relations Agency of the Year - Best of the Rest

Article excerpt

While 2004 undoubtedly saw some big business change hands, no single agency took all the spoils. In October alone, Freud Communications won a contract from PepsiCo UK covering the Walkers Crisps, Tropicana and Quaker brands, while Munro & Forster poached the lion's share of Kellogg's UK PR from incumbent Hill & Knowlton.

An added difficulty in selecting the Public Relations Agency of the Year was that the final quarter of 2004 saw several key PR accounts put out for pitch, including Heinz, Mercedes-Benz, BSkyB and British Airways - none of which had been decided as Marketing went to print.

Despite this, there were some strong contenders for the title, including Frank PR, which put in an impressive performance in the consumer arena. It is predicting fee income of pounds 1.47m this year, a hike of 32% on 2003.

The agency added the Extreme Sports Channel, Channel 4, Mount Gay Rum and diamonds.co.uk to its client list in the past 12 months.

In April it sealed a deal to license its award-winning UK Nicktoons TV Family campaign. This saw a cartoon inspired by a real-life family aired on the childrens' channel in territories including Scandinavia, Australia, Spain and Holland.

And only last month, it launched a fashion division, headed by Peter Matthews, former director of UK operations for ethical clothing manufacturer American Apparel.

Further creative work over the past year included a catwalk show for London Fashion Week, repositioning the Ellesse sports brand through a partnership with fashion designer Eley Kishomoto.

With consumer education a major theme in the financial services sector, Lansons Communications successfully launched a cross-industry fund-raising programme for the Personal Financial Education Group and a new educational qualification from the Institute of Financial Services.

The agency also helped the Post Office roll out its financial services offering, while work on uSwitch.com led to a 300% increase in the number of consumers who use the independent advisory service to change gas, electricity and home phone supplier.

In the healthcare arena, Virgo Health, set up by former Shire Health and Cohn & Wolfe Healthcare managing directors Sarah Matthew and Angie Wiles in July 2003, prospered. …

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