Philips Taps New Omnicom Unit for Global PR

One Voice to Handle Core Product Divisions as Well as Corporate Communications

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NEW ORLEANS (AdAge.com) -- Concluding what may be the biggest PR pitch of the year, Philips Electronics has selected a newly formed multiagency team from Omnicom Group called One Voice that will work exclusively on the Philips account as its global agency of record.

The business had been handled by Publicis Groupe's MS&L Worldwide. Executives with knowledge of the review said the account will "easily be in the $10 million to $20 million range."

One Voice will be made up of numerous Omnicom units including its two biggest PR agencies, Fleishman-Hillard and Ketchum, as well as health-care specialists CPR Worldwide and the recently merged Kreab and Gavin Anderson to handle financial communications.

"After an extensive review, we have decided to partner with the Omnicom agency combination of Ketchum, Fleishman-Hillard, CPR Worldwide and Kreab and Gavin Anderson," a Philips spokesperson said via e-mail. "Together, they will serve the needs of Philips worldwide, commencing July 1. We have made this decision based on their demonstrated ability to meet the challenges of Philips and its three business sectors."

Those three sectors include health care, lighting and consumer lifestyle. In the health-care space Philips produces high-end professional diagnostic equipment such as magnetic resonance imaging machines and consumer devices such as the Heartstart Home Defibrillator line. Its lifestyle products range from TVs and shavers to cameras and computer accessories. And in the lighting space the company produces both professional and consumer lighting products.

The account will also include a large amount of corporate communications as the company, according to one Philips executive, has its sights set on becoming a leading example for corporate social responsibility.

"Philips's ambition is to be the leading health and well-being company in the world," a Philips executive told Ad Age in a phone interview. "To accomplish that, we need strong media, stakeholder and government communications. Media is going to be an important part of it but not the whole part of it. In addition to speaking with consumers were also interested in business influencers and the people who make key health-care decisions."

The Philips spokesperson said the decision in no way represented any displeasure with the work MS&L Worldwide and its other former agency, Text 100, did for it over the years.

"We have worked with MS&L and Text 100 as our aligned PR agencies for over five years," the spokesperson said. "And throughout this time we have made great strides and markedly changed as an organization. We thank both organizations for their great support and counsel through these years. In the period from March till July 1 all activities will transfer from MS&L and Text 100 to the new One Voice team."

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