RIO DE JANEIRO: Hill & Knowlton has confirmed its selection to handle the global PR business of semi-national Brazilian energy giant Petrobras, following a competitive review that included three other agencies.


The WPP-owned agency has been charged with assisting the world’s fourth-largest energy company’s as it expands its international oil operations. In recent years, Petrobras has discovered a string of deep-sea “mega-fields”.


It is understood that Hill & Knowlton secured the brief, worth more than $1 million, after a pitch that also included CDN/Fleishman-Hillard, InPress Porter-Novelli and Publicom.


Three more agencies are believed to have received invitations to take part but declined: Burson-Marsteller, Ketchum Estrategia and Maquina.


Hill & Knowlton global chief marketing officer Tony Burgess-Webb told the Holmes Report that the new account indicates the increasing global aspirations of Brazilian companies.


“It’s another indication of the emergence of Brazilian companies on the world stage,” said Burgess-Webb, who is based in London. “There is a demand from Brazilian companies to help them take their message to a wider audience.”


Hill & Knowlton also works with Brazilian mining company Vale.