AkzoNobel, whose brands include Dulux, Cuprinol and Polycell, has charged Tetra with handling a wide-ranging corporate affairs brief in the UK.
The agency won the account, estimated to be worth a mid-six-figure annual fee, via a competitive pitch against a list of agencies thought to include incumbent Grayling, Open Road, MHP and Edelman.
Many of the company's brands have achieved high levels of recognition in the UK - last week, Dulux featured in the top ten UK 'superbrands', ahead of Marks & Spencer, Hilton and Guinness.
However, it is understood that the company, which acquired ICI for £8bn in 2008, feels its corporate profile is weaker, and has tasked Tetra with boosting the parent company brand.
AkzoNobel's UK country director, Guy Williams, said: 'Tetra's appointment to support us on a corporate programme is part of our passion for explaining our AkzoNobel business in the UK.'
Tetra, established in 2007 by James O'Keefe and Lee Petar, has traditionally focused on public affairs and government work, but plans to build dedicated corporate and digital practices to service clients such as AkzoNobel.
The yet-to-be branded corporate practice will be led by Jamie Lyons, the former deputy political editor of the News of the World, whom the agency hired in October. Ellie Gellard, a former digital comms adviser to Ed Balls, will head the agency's digital offering.
Tetra's expansion into the corporate affairs space mirrors that of Portland, Open Road and Hanover. Last month, Blue Rubicon launched Thirty Six Strategy, a political campaigning arm targeting corporate brands.
Meanwhile, City PR and corporate powerhouses are looking to expand their public affairs presence. FTI Consulting was in talks to buy Portland last year, while Maitland absorbed Euro RSCG Apex to form Maitland Political.