Hoover taps first full-time PR shop

NORTH CANTON, OH: Wanting to spruce up its somewhat faded image, famed vacuum manufacturer Hoover has taken on its first-ever PR agency of record.

NORTH CANTON, OH: Wanting to spruce up its somewhat faded image, famed vacuum manufacturer Hoover has taken on its first-ever PR agency of record.

NORTH CANTON, OH: Wanting to spruce up its somewhat faded image,

famed vacuum manufacturer Hoover has taken on its first-ever PR agency

of record.



The company tapped Chicago-based Wheatley Blair for a wide range of PR

projects last week, and has already started to plan its first

comprehensive national PR campaign in some time.



The Hoover/Wheatley Blair relationship had its genesis in some project

work done by the firm during the 1999 International Housewares Show in

Chicago. According to Hoover director of Internet marketing

communications Fred Gold (who oversees the company’s PR efforts), the

arrangement is likely to be a lengthy one. ’We want to form a strong

relationship with the agencies that do work for us,’ he said.



Agency principal Robert Wheatley said his firm’s first task will be to

launch a national consumer education campaign about proper floor

care.



The effort, he said, will employ outside experts to discuss how proper

carpet care can eliminate parasites and other causes of allergies and

asthma.



The PR campaign will also discuss the benefits of washing (rather than

just vacuuming) carpets, and hopefully aid sales of Hoover extractors -

high-powered carpet cleaning tools owned by only 15% of US

households.



Wheatley said that restoring Hoover to its position as ’a

knowledge-broker on the subject of floor care’ is also essential. ’It

plays right back to the core equity of the Hoover brand name.’



While Wheatley and Gold declined to say how much Hoover will be spending

on PR, Wheatley noted the company is his 30-person firm’s largest

client.



Wheatley Blair also does work for First Alert and Turtle Wax.



Hoover is still the leader of the dollars 4 billion US vacuum-cleaner

market, and is also the leading seller of extractors. In order to

maintain this market position, the company will also increase ad

spending and unveil a new slogan (’Deep down, you want a Hoover’).



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