Is LG set to look for a new PR agency, After Hill & Knowlton Strategies “Screws Up” Yet Again?
Currently LG PR in Australia is delivered by Hill and Knowlton Strategies one of the world’s biggest PR Companies, they currently operate under the banner of LG One, now questions are being asked as to how many “screw ups” they have to make before they get axed.
According to sources the agency is now facing the possibility of being sacked in Australia by the big Korean Company due to constant problems on the local account.
“There has been several screw ups which is surprising for an agency who is supposed to be the biggest in the world” said one former LG senior manager.
The problem is that the appointment of H&K which is part of the WPPP group of agencies was an International alignment which local management appear to have no power to change.
Last year LG dumped their inhouse PR Manager Philip Anderson and HKS now has responsibility for LG PR in Australia.
In recent months the agency has missed out key publications when syndicating information on appliances and one occasion failed to invite key CE media to an event for the launch of the LG V7 smartphone.
Ironically the event which was managed by H&K was organised for late on a Friday afternoon which from a PR prospective is one of the worst times to run such an event.
Earlier this year Penelope Holloway, Practice Director and head of Consumer at WPP owned PR Company Hill + Knowlton Strategies quit, she was responsible for day to day management of the LG account.
This week Madeline Hemsley a senior Account Manager on the LG account admitted that the agency had “missed out” key journalists when distributing a press release last week about an all new “Black” LG range of French Door Fridges, this included key lifestyle and appliance magazines.
When ChannelNews questioned the sloppy PR, she wrote in an email response “Apologies for any confusion here, a couple of our key contacts did not get the release”. SmartHouse, Plug and ChannelNews were just some of the media Companies that Hill & Knowlton forgot.
This year the LG One team has gone through several key PR staff a move former staff have told ChannelNews that this affected the ability to manage business for accounts such as LG.
In the past they have also failed to follow up with media to see why they had not responded to a so-called invite, if they had management would have discovered that their databases were so poor that the invitation had not been sent in the first place.
Christos Tzortzis, Account Manager, LG-One Australia said after the G7 stuff up earlier this year “We were under resourced and the event was rushed, it was a last-minute thing”.
When it was pointed out that LG was a major global Company who was struggling to get traction in the smartphone market he said” We only had limited resources and limited product to show media or conduct one on one reviews. We are still getting around to some media”.
When he was asked why LGOne did not adopt the same strategy as arch rival Samsung who place an embargo on a release with all relevant journalists briefed prior to the embargo date he said, “Thanks for the PR lesson”.