SINGAPORE--MasterCard has opted to retain Weber Shandwick in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa amid a global review of its relationship with the firm.

The credit card company made the decision last week, following the first competitive review of Weber Shandwick's Asia-Pacific MasterCard mandate in more than 12 years. MasterCard is one of Weber Shandwick’s largest accounts in Asia-Pacific, once local market remits are included.

The result comes as the agency's status as MasterCard global AOR undergoes a testing re-examination.

In October, Weber Shandwick lost its US assignment, after the company consolidated PR duties with Ketchum. The firm is also defending its hold on the business in the UK and European markets.

MasterCard Asia-Pacific VP of communications Georgette Tan told the Holmes Report that the company viewed a "cross-section" of agencies from around the region before deciding to remain with Weber Shandwick.

Weber Shandwick's performance in the pitch, she said, was a "pleasant surprise", thanks to a strong understanding of payment industry issues in the region and "passion."

She also dismissed the notion that there was any internal pressure to shift the business. "There was recognition that each region has different requirements," said Tan. "It really boils down to the best agency to fit the needs of the region."

Tan also noted social media would play a bigger role in the assignment. "The landscape is such that it will be a lot more intense."