AMD reshuffles Ministry of Propaganda

There is some serious reshuffling going on with AMD’s marketing and media relations. It has allegedly sacked off a decades-long relationship with its cronies at comms agency Bite and is planning a switch from the trusted Text100.

It seems AMD’s agency operations in the US have been handed to PR giant Edelman, with a release arriving this morning about its FX-brand rumblings at E3. “Gaming evolved,” it says. PR evolved too?

Remember, the primary function of agency PR is trumped-up administration. Edelman is the world’s first PR company, founded by a man with allegedly questionable intrigue in Germany’s propaganda from World War Two. Here’s an Edelman rebuttal to a Der Spiegel article on the matter. 

In-house PR is mainly about crisis management and building relationships rather than burying stories and twirling a knife behind one’s back. Unsurprising revelations from top industry sources in top industry companies tell us they hate their agencies and the desire they hold to do all their work for them. The jumped-up faux-espionage, manipulation and plotting is too much of a headache.

As a journalist it can be hard to remember that public relations professionals are not your friend. It should be an industry requirement to have a loop of The Thick Of It’s top spinner Malcolm Tucker swearing, on loop for at least an hour, before any briefings.

Our attitude to them is as a dog to a lamp post. The many blogs of firms gargantuan to microscopic putting forth examinations on positive spin and cultivated relationships would have you think otherwise.

Here’s a carefully considered briefing document from Intel’s PR department in 2001. Sentences have probably been shuffled since but we assure you the general message is the same.  

Bite must have been chewing on AMD’s toes enough for it to consider a brand refresh all round.

As lead brand suit Nigel Dessau recently revealed, branding is going to be a top agenda for the quiet AMD as it rolls out Fusion. We guess it thought Edelman was better suited to shout from the rooftops.

Meanwhile, Text100’s website reads: “You’ll also see many well established global brands in our client list: IBM, American Express, Lenovo, Cisco and AMD.” As with bottles of beer on the wall, you can knock off AMD in the very near future.

Text100 is to Bite as IBM is to EMC. We wonder who will get the UK account, long story short, it’s not Text100. There is a conference call later for some kind of marketing announcement.