IBM Set to Axe Over Forty PR Shops Worldwide

01 August 2001

Pursuing the current vogue for global consolidation, IBM has announced the imminent excision of some fifty public relations agencies from its roster in favor of three or less shops.

According to company spoke Edward Barbini, the move is “a major strategic shift” designed to align the surviving agencies “with our three core business areas: products, solutions and technology”.

He continued: “We're moving from a more decentralized structure to fewer relationships that are much more in tune with IBM's strategy.”

The review will be completed by September but Barbini refused to be drawn as to the likely losers or winners. He confirmed only that IBM’s three largest PR practitioners are currently Bcom3's Manning, Selvage & Lee; TSI Communications, owned by Interpublic; and Omnicom's Brodeur Worldwide.

Insiders say that a number of large non-roster shops are also contesting the glittering prize.

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