Cafedirect takes on 'virtual' shop

Cafedirect, the fair-trade tea and coffee supplier, has appointed a

so-called virtual agency - Leadbetter PR - to run a campaign celebrating

the brand's tenth anniversary.



The agency will launch products, run birthday activity PR and seek to

reposition the brand in a way that focuses on the quality of the product

and the fact that it is fairly-traded.



The work is being done by Leadbetter PR - the agency run by Louise

Leadbetter from Wales with a group of freelance colleagues across the

country. The agency will organise event sponsorships to back up the

communication of the revamped brand message.



Leadbetter said: 'Fairtrade doesn't yet have the highest levels of

awareness so that's important, but we are focusing more on the quality.

There is an analogy with wine - there are single source coffees, for

example.'



Leadbetter said the company needed to promote the fact that paying a

'fair-trade price' enabled them to get better coffee as well as to

support the growers.



The agency previously worked for Cafedirect when it existed as a real PR

agency before being acquired by Consolidated Communications.



Leadbetter left the larger agency a year ago and has now reinvented her

agency on a virtual model, winning Cafedirect after a pitch against

incumbent firm Mulcaster Public Relations.



The agency works on the basis of video conferencing and an intranet.



Leadbetter said the advantage of the virtual model was in a lower cost

for clients as there are no distractions associated with what she

claimed were non-core activities, such as training.



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