LONDON—Starbucks has brought in new consumer PR support in the UK and France, parting ways with Edelman in both markets.
In the UK, the coffee giant has handed consumer PR duties to 3 Monkeys and Cavendish Place, after a five-year relationship with Edelman. The move follows a competitive review of the assignment, in which Edelman defended its mandate.
3 Monkeys will oversee consumer and corporate campaigns, while Cavendish takes charge of stakeholder and public affairs activity. The assignment will be led by 3 Monkeys board director Anna Speight and Cavendish board director Gareth Morgan.
In France, meanwhile, the company has hiring Grayling. Edelman will continue to handle public affairs work for the company in France, a Starbucks spokesperson confirmed.
Edelman remains Starbucks' preferred PR partner worldwide, the spokesperson added. In EMEA, this includes a pan-regional hub role, along with local assignments in Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland.
The UK account shift comes as Starbucks seeks to rebuild its reputation in the UK, following criticism of its tax arrangements in the country. The company continues to work with RLM Finsbury for corporate PR support.
Earlier this year, furthermore, the company reported its first UK sales decline after 16 years of growth. Starbucks blamed "unprofitable stores", rather than any consumer backlash over its tax status.
France is one of several EMEA markets that has proved resistant to Starbucks' charms, although recent results have seen sales increase across the region.
“We’re excited to be working with a group of world class communications agencies as we grow our business in Europe,” added Simon Redfern, corporate affairs director for Starbucks EMEA.