In a bid to reduce costs and streamline its spin doctored message, IBM has put its software business division's PR accounts out to tender, Tabloid has learned.
With a decision expected this week, rumour has it that IBM is looking to combine the PR needs of its Lotus, Tivoli and DB2/WebSphere businesses into one PR agency. Currently, international heavyweight Hill and Knowlton handles IBM's DB2/WebSphere products, trivia kings Recognition PR handles the Lotus business, while local hero Howorth PR looks after Tivoli.
Most industry pundits regard the three-horse race as too close to call, with all three contenders priced at even money.
Despite scoring the cash cow of IT PR gigs, some claim the winner stands to lose as much it gains. Not only will it have to deal with the bureaucratic beast that is IBM, the lucky agency will have to sew a silk purse out of sow's ear when it comes to preventing IBM's image turning from Big Blue, to Big Brother.