SINGAPORE—Microsoft is rethinking its regional Asia-Pacific PR assignment, with Weber Shandwick expected to relinquish its hold on the business.
Weber Shandwick has overseen the regional remit since 2010, although the firm's assignment has contracted in scope since then, to focusing on corporate and citizenship PR.
However, with a significant global restructuring plan underway at Microsoft, it is understood that the Asia-Pacific assignment is to be consolidated with one agency in order to drive greater efficiency.
Accordingly, Singapore PR firm In.Fom, is expected to benefit. The agency has grown its remit with Microsoft beyond the local Singapore brief, which it won in 2011, to include regional commercial and consumer duties since last year.
The decision does not affect Microsoft's local market budgets in Asia-Pacific, which are typically bigger than the regional HQ brief. In China, for example, Weber Shandwick's Microsoft business has grown significantly over the past year.
Microsoft Asia senior communications director Andrew Pickup confirmed that "as part of annual communications resource planning, the Microsoft Asia Pacific communications team has recently completed a review of its regional HQ PR agency partners," but declined to provide further details at this point.
Weber Shandwick remains one of Microsoft's global roster agencies, with the business housed under its Creation brand. Other key Microsoft PR partners include Waggener Edstrom and Edelman.
Weber Shandwick representatives declined to comment on this story, as did Infom.Asia.