Consumer public relations with strong focus on food
The food public relations business has changed considerably since Counsel was founded back in 1969, when most clients were pitching recipe stories. Today, the focus is more likely to be on nutrition and health issues, and Counsel has a wealth of relevant experience: managing director Nigel Dickie brings a PhD in nutrition and more than 20 years of experience in the food industry and he can draw on the additional expertise of Yvette Murphy (a former features editor of The Grocer and food business editor of the Financial Times) and Colin Harding (another former journalist who leads several of the firm’s corporate and business-to-business accounts).
Major clients include Heinz, PepsiCo, Sodexho, British Chicken Marketing and Océ, and new business over the past 12 months came from Sun Chemical, Britvic Soft Drinks, Leatherhead Food International and the Blackcurrant Foundation, which retained Counsel for its launch and to spearhead an effort to reposition blackcurrants, previously “the forgotten fruit.” The firm focused on the health benefits of blackcurrants, driving both media coverage and sales. Another highlight of the past year was the launching of the Good Food Every Day programme for Heinz, communicating significant recipe enhancements and salt reduction in many Heinz products.
Overall growth was just under 20 percent, and the firm ended 2004 with revenues of around £1.7 million, ranking among the top 60 PR firms in the U.K. according to PR Week. As part of Lord Chadlington’s Huntsworth Group, Counsel can also partner with several strong U.K. and international sister companies as necessary.