BEIJING--HP has shifted China consumer PR duties for its Personal Systems Group (PSG), worth an estimated $1.5m, to Edelman in favour of incumbent firm Burson-Marsteller.
The decision amounts to an effective consolidation; Edelman already handles HP’s PSG unit in North America and EMEA, along with regional Asia-Pacific duties in Singapore. Burson-Marsteller regional CEO Bob Pickard confirmed the development.
HP PSG includes PCs, in which it is the global market leader, and handheld and digital devices. In China, however, HP lags domestic giant Lenovo and key rival Dell. Its market share in the country, according to research house IDC, is 9.3 percent, compared to a global market share of 20 percent.
Last year, furthermore, the company was forced to apologise for its failure to address a faulty graphics issue fast enough. An IDC analyst observed that HP lost half of its China market share in one quarter, and forecast that reputation issues would linger.
In a bid to drive growth, HP last month announced that PSG head Todd Bradley will also lead China-specific initiatives.
An HP China spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by the Holmes Report, while Edelman Asia-Pacific CEO David Brain referred calls to HP.
In recent years, Edelman has steadily grown its share of HP’s PR activity across the globe. In addition to consolidating PSG duties in North America and EMEA, the firm also handles India consumer duties for the unit. An HP India spokesperson confirmed that the India PSG account is split between Edelman and Burson-Marsteller, with the latter agency entrusted with commercial customers.
Edelman also oversees the company’s EMEA Imaging and Printing Group account, which is retained elsewhere in the world by Porter-Novelli. Other HP agencies include Weber Shandwick and Bite, which share global corporate duties, and Burson-Marsteller, which handles the Technology Solutions Group.