McCormick Consolidates PR With Weber Shandwick Amid Expansion
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Holmes Report

McCormick Consolidates PR With Weber Shandwick Amid Expansion

Spice major McCormick & Company has consolidated PR duties with Weber Shandwick following a review that began 18 months ago.

Arun Sudhaman

SPARKS,MD--Spice major McCormick & Company has consolidated global PR duties with Weber Shandwick following a review that began 18 months ago.

The review, revealed by the Holmes Report in July last year, covered the company's consumer and corporate PR accounts, which were split between two agencies. Weber Shandwick had held consumer duties since 2007, with corporate PR serviced by Ketchum.

After a stop-start process, the company has opted to consolidate with Weber Shandwick, as it attempts to boost international growth.

The firm's existing consumer PR mandate is understood to be worth more than $2m. Corporate PR duties, meanwhile, have reached as much as $1m in the past, said sources, although this has declined in recent months.

"Having partnered with Weber Shandwick since 2007 on our consumer PR programs, we have been impressed with the caliber of thinking and results they have consistently delivered," said McCormick VP of corporate branding and communications Lori Robinson.

Robinson, who took on her current role as part of a comms department reshuffle in 2010, added that the consolidation would aim to "activate one powerful enterprise brand voice" for the company. 

Weber Shandwick will provide global support for the McCormick corporate brand, focusing on executive engagement, thought leadership and media relations. The firm will also continue to service the company's US consumer brand portfolio, which includes the McCormick masterbrand, Zatarain’s, Lawry’s, and Grill Mates. 

A company that has delivered a solid performance during the financial downturn, McCormick is hoping that emerging market investment will boost its growth. It is aiming to double the proportion of total sales that are generated by these markets to 20 percent in 2015, and has embarked on an acquisition drive to back this effort, buying spice companies in India, Poland and - most recently - China, where it has inked a $141m deal for Wuhan Asia-Pacific condiments.

Weber Shandwick global corporate practice chair Micho Spring added that the firm will assist McCormick's attempts to position itself as a "flavor leader" rather than a spice company.

Other McCormick brands inlcude Old Bay Seasoning, Ducros, Schwartz and Schilling. The company also operates food service and industrial flavor units.

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