BOSTON Visa International has selected WPP's Burson-Marsteller as its lead public relations agency, according to the shop.
Five-year incumbent GCI Group did not participate in the review, which was conducted without a consultant. Sources estimated the annual budget at $1 million.
Burson-Marsteller's London office will head up the account, assisted by the PR practice's New York and San Francisco locations.
The agency's primary duty will be worldwide PR strategy for the credit card giant, said Cheryl Heinonen, director of global corporate relations at the Foster City, Calif.-based client, at the start of the review.
Visa International's advertising agency is BBDO in New York. In 2002, the company spent $299 million on ads and $242 million through the first 10 months of 2003, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.