In late April, Feld entertainment, the company behind the Ringling Bros. and the Barnum & Bailey Circus, issued a national PR RFP, with a budget of $30,000 per month.
This week, the company put a halt to the RFP process and decided to pull PR in house. Hill & Knowlton was the incumbent agency.
Feld VP of corporate communications Stephen Payne said the change has nothing to do with PETA, who issued a statement in mid-May telling PR firms to stay away from the bidding process. In the statement, PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said the company, “is a public relations nightmare waiting to happen,” due to alleged animal abuse.
“We received a very positive response from over two dozen firms and were in the process of whittling that down when we took a hard look at all the proposals and a hard look at our staff internally, and came to conclusion that we could do most of what we were looking for in house,” Payne told PRNewser in a phone interview today.
Payne did say a lot of the ideas in the proposals “were great,” and that the company may occasionally consult with firms down the road. However, he also said, “We’re not going to issue another RFP.”