IBM has picked Weber Shandwick as global lead agency for the estimated $15M account following a competitive pitch that kicked off earlier this year with the arrival of chief communications officer Ray Day from Ford Motor.
Ketchum and Text100 had the IBM business since 2001 following a review of 50 firms. Text100 opted to bow out of Day's review, while Ketchum participated.
Weber Shandwick will lead a "blended team" of agency talent and IBM staffers overseeing the newsroom, content, events, analytics and stakeholder relations.
A trio of shops will support the Interpublic Group unit.
SKDKnickerbocker, which is owned by Mark Penn's Stagwell Group, will work on US strategy and narrative; Spectrum Science will focus on Watson Health and thought leadership, and Ryan Seacrest's Civic Entertainment Group will deal with influencer and citizen initiatives.
Eighteen firms responded to IBM's RFP. Nine made presentations to be part of Day's effort to create a "fresh start" for Big Blue
IBM's long-time PR chief Jon Iwata retired last year after a 34-year run.