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HP Slashes Corporate PR Agency Roster

Asia Pacific, EMEA, Global, North America

Arun Sudhaman 18 Nov 2011

PALO ALTO--Hewlett-Packard (HP) has slashed its multi-million dollar corporate PR agency roster.

It is understood that the HP move means the loss of accounts for its international corporate PR incumbents: Bite Communications and Weber Shandwick.

The dramatic decision follows a tumultuous period at HP, which has seen the exit of CEO Leo Apotheker and corporate communications chief Bill Wohl. New CEO Meg Whitman recently promoted company veteran Lynn Anderson to oversee corporate communications at the technology giant.

An HP spokesperson confirmed that “HP has consolidated the number of agencies the company works with”, but declined to provide further comment.

Bite and Weber Shandwick were appointed handle HP’s global corporate duties outside of North America in early 2010. Weber Shandwick was handed the larger component of the account, overseeing issues and crisis management, worth around $3m. Bite, meanwhile, was tasked with corporate and sustainability, worth around $1m.

In North America, corporate communications has been handled by Abernathy MacGregor, which will continue to service the business.

It is understood that HP will now tap Burson-Marsteller - which already handles its technology solutions group (TSG) product business - for corporate PR support.

A Weber Shandwick spokesperson confirmed that it was no longer handling international HP work. Representatives from Bite and Burson-Marsteller declined to comment.

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