PURCHASE, NEW YORK--MasterCard has shifted US PR duties to Ketchum following a competitive review.

The move sees Ketchum take over from the company's existing incumbents: Weber Shandwick, Taylor, APCO and Cohn & Wolfe.

Executives familiar with the situation confirmed the decision, noting that MasterCard had chosen to consolidate its activities with one agency.

For Weber Shandwick, the move comes as the firm defends its hold on MasterCard's global PR business in Asia-Pacific and Europe.

MasterCard called the review earlier this year, sending the brief out to as many as nine agencies, including the incumbents. The company's PR business in the US is estimated at around US$2m.

MasterCard senior business leader Seth Eisen confirmed the development. "Ketchum will be working with the MasterCard corporate and US markets communications teams following the recent review of corporate communications agencies," he told the Holmes Report.