Fresh off Oprah success, Vigilante hires PR firm

NEW YORK: MGP & Associates PR has become the PR agency of record for Vigilante, the urban advertising and marketing agency that was integral in GM's decision to give Oprah Winfrey's audience members a free car. Terms were not disclosed.

NEW YORK: MGP & Associates PR has become the PR agency of record for Vigilante, the urban advertising and marketing agency that was integral in GM's decision to give Oprah Winfrey's audience members a free car. Terms were not disclosed.

Mike Paul, president of MGP, said the majority of the firm's clients come from referrals and that Vigilante CEO Larry Woodard is a personal friend of his.

Paul will be leading the account, which will include a small team.

GM, which gave each audience member at Winfrey's first show of the 2004 season, on September 13, a Pontiac G6, is a client of Vigilante, as are Heineken and Western Union.

Paul said the agency's hiring is coincidental to the Oprah giveaway, which is only one of the things he wants to highlight about Vigilante. One of the most important messages MGP needs to pursue, Paul said, is dispelling the community of what they think "urban marketing" means.

"There are some people in the business that think urban means black; urban means urban," Paul said. "Creative urban ideas that have their origin from cities are influencing all types of populations."

He said urban ideas may derive from the city, but are also popular with youth in the suburbs.

Paul hopes to make available Vigilante's executives to the consumer media as experts in urban marketing.

"Trade will still be a big part [of outreach], but I want them to have an opportunity to educate prospect clients and consumers about what urban marketing is," he said.

Outside of media outreach, Paul will be looking to place Vigilante executives on panels and have them hold education seminars.

Vigilante is a Publicis Group SA company.

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