AmEx Shifts International PR Duties To Ogilvy PR
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AmEx Shifts International PR Duties To Ogilvy PR

American Express has called on Ogilvy PR to support international brand PR activity, after ending its previous relationship with Nelson Bostock.

Arun Sudhaman

LONDON--American Express has called on Ogilvy PR to support international brand PR activity, after ending its previous relationship with Nelson Bostock.

The company assigned the £500K account to Nelson Bostock consumer arm Fever two years ago, but it is understood that the contract ended earlier this year.

Amex’s appointment of Ogilvy PR will raise few eyebrows; the credit card giant is one of ad agency Ogilvy & Mather’s biggest global clients, with a considerable proportion of the business serviced in London. The decision suggests that, in Europe, the PR arm may finally be benefiting from the relationships of its powerful parent agency.

According to sources familiar with the situation, Ogilvy PR’s international footprint proved a decisive factor in its selection, following a review in late 2011.

Nelson Bostock’s assignment focused on Amex’s global 'Realize the Potential' branding initiative, which was created by Ogilvy & Mather and runs across the company’s non-US markets. In terms of public relations, this translated into the multi-market ‘Room for Thought’ campaign, a mentorship programme that encouraged people to expand their creative potential in such areas as music and fashion.

American Express also used ‘Realise the Potential’ as the basis for ‘Hidden Talent’, a UK branded-content TV series that attempts to help viewers uncover their hidden abilities.

It is unclear whether Ogilvy PR’s mandate will focus on the branding platform, which launched in 2009 as a significant departure from Amex’s typical celebrity endorsement marketing strategy. One source said that Amex may opt to concentrate its efforts on customer acquisition instead. The agency will oversee international consumer PR coordination, led by its London office.

American Express did not respond to request for comment, while Ogilvy PR declined to comment.

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