MHP pair pocket public affairs accounts with TSB and ATOS
James Gurling and Jamie Lyons have been getting stuck into pitch battles.
MHP Communications has triumphed in four major pitch battles after installing Jamie Lyons and James Gurling as joint heads of public affairs.
PAN understands that MHP recently picked up an account with Southern Water following a competitive pitch. There was no incumbent on the account.
Also this year, MHP has picked up TSB bank and IT services firm ATOS. Both retained accounts were secured after competitive pitches and both clients previously used Lyons’ old agency Bell Pottinger. ATOS also briefly used FTI Consulting after Bell Pottinger’s collapse last year.
The three account wins come after Lyons and Gurling fought off tough competition to hang on to one of the agency’s key public affairs clients, telecommunications giant Huawei, in a pitch at the end of 2017. MHP is understood to have seen off fierce competition from rivals Teneo Blue Rubicon and Edelman to keep to big-money account with Huawei.
MHP sources confirmed all four account wins. The Engine Group-owned agency brought in former lobby journalist and Bell Pottinger partner Lyons in October 2017 to boost its public affairs offer. He was immediately made joint head of public affairs with seasoned Liberal Democrat operator Gurling.
A MHP spokesperson said at the time that the appointments were part of a drive by CEO Alex Bigg to "better define MHP’s offering and strengthen its position in the market" and that "they reflect his ambition for the agency".