Hill & Knowlton scoops new Toshiba PR account

Just a week after splitting with IT giant HP, Hill & Knowlton has won the PR account for Toshiba Computer Systems Division.

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By  Tim Addington Published  February 5, 2006

Just a week after splitting with IT giant HP, Hill & Knowlton has won the PR account for Toshiba Computer Systems Division. Toshiba has effectively been without a retained agency after it dumped Euro RSCG in August last year. The company is currently engaged in a battle with HP over notebook shipments to the Middle East, with preliminary fourth quarter results from international analysts IDC putting Toshiba ahead of HP in the region for the first time. It is understood that Toshiba received pitches from several Dubai-based agencies, including Asda’a, for the regional account. H&K would have been unable to take Toshiba’s business if it still had the HP busines because of conflicting interests. Ahmed Khalil, general manager for the Middle East and North Africa at Toshiba, said: “Our leading position in the mobile computer market calls for the best in communication. Hill & Knowlton has a strong track record in the region and its IT communications expertise will play a key role in further strengthening our position.” Dave Robinson, Hill & Knowlton’s CEO for the Middle East and North Africa region, added: “Toshiba has achieved its leadership position through constant innovation and its commitment to deliver the best solutions to customer needs. “We look forward to working with the Toshiba team in helping them build their business across the region.” H&K regional management will also be closely eyeing the outcome of a global PR review being carried out by its client Intel. The semiconductor manufacturer launched a marketing and PR review in September last year, leading the company to tweak its logo and ditch its “Intel Inside” slogan. Dania El Kadi, marketing communications manager at Intel, said a decision on Intel’s global PR strategy is expected to be made in the next two weeks. “As yet there is no announcement,” she said. “In the region there will be no changes until we know what is happening at the global level and, if there are any changes, if we can apply them in the region.” She confirmed that H&K was still Intel’s lead agency in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Microsoft has confirmed that incumbent PR agency Asda’a has retained the PR brief for its Gulf region. Bahaa Issa, corporate communications manager at Microsoft, said that under the terms of the new contract, Asda’a senior account manager Mark Sutton, who has been handling the account for more than a year, will now be based full time at Microsoft’s Internet City offices.

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