NEWS: Novell invites bids for UK and Euro PR

Novell, the network software company, has put up its pounds 300,000 fee UK PR account for review and is trawling the market for a pan-European agency.

Novell, the network software company, has put up its pounds 300,000 fee

UK PR account for review and is trawling the market for a pan-European

agency.



The review has been prompted by Novell’s managing director Tom Shuster,

who joined the firm last year. Shuster has called for a review of all

Novell’s external suppliers, including public relations, and is keen to

combat growing competition from arch rival Microsoft.



A Plus has held Novell’s UK PR business for seven years, managing a mix

of corporate communications and hi-tech product promotion. As well as

the incumbent, an array of agencies includingProfile PR, Firefly,

Charles Barker, Hill and Knowlton, Shandwick and Burson-Marsteller are

all believed to have been approached by the company. The pitching

process began last week.



Novell marketing manager Tina Cowley attempted to downplay the

significance of the review, although she acknowledged that the company

wanted to boost its corporate profile. She said: ‘I’ve asked A Plus to

present plans and ideas for the technical as well as the corporate

side. It’s a review of their performance but not a market comparison.’



Cowley added that Jackie Boxall, Novell’s European manager for market

relations, was also looking to hire a pan-European PR agency to co-

ordinate the work of its local PR firms across Europe. The company

previously used Fleishman-Hillard for ad hoc assignments but that

relationship lapsed last summer after Fleishman-Hillard won work from

Microsoft (PR Week, 12 July).



Formed in 1983, Novell holds a 63 per cent share of the global network

operating systems market. Last month it unveiled an aggressive marketing

plan for its Internet and intranet products to counter competition from

Microsoft.



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