ATC lends PR aid to Eight O'Clock ad drive

MONTVALE, NJ: Eight O'Clock Coffee is working with Alan Taylor Communications (ATC), New York, on a PR effort designed to garner widespread attention for the first ad campaign in the brand's 145-year history.

MONTVALE, NJ: Eight O'Clock Coffee is working with Alan Taylor Communications (ATC), New York, on a PR effort designed to garner widespread attention for the first ad campaign in the brand's 145-year history.

Owned by A&P Supermarkets until last November, the brand is now owned by a privately held company, The Eight O'Clock Coffee Company.

The new company hired ATC in September through personal referrals and without a formal RFP. The firm has put five people on the account, said Mark Beal, managing partner.

PR efforts are emphasizing "new energy, new excitement" at Eight O'Clock, Beal said.

ATC began its PR push by giving USA Today an exclusive October 11 about the new ad campaign and then extending media relations efforts to broadcast outlets nationally and in key eastern US markets, Beal noted.

Last week, ATC also began making Eight O'Clock spokeswoman Diana Taurasi, a WNBA star who is in one of the new TV commercials, available for interviews through an SMT. The agency expects to use a whistling champ featured in another Eight O'Clock spot for future media appearances as well.

Eight O'Clock is the third largest coffee brand sold in US supermarkets and retail outlets. Once available only in whole-bean varieties, its ground coffee offerings debuted in July 2003.

Its strongest markets are east of the Mississippi, so PR efforts will concentrate on media outreach there, Beal said.

ATC works with a variety of food and beverage clients, such as General Mills and spirits maker Diageo.

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