PepsiCo reviewing firms for multiyear corporate campaign

NEW YORK: PepsiCo is reviewing PR agencies to work on a global, multimillion-dollar corporate reputation campaign. A number of the company's existing agencies are competing for the business.

NEW YORK: PepsiCo is reviewing PR agencies to work on a global, multimillion-dollar corporate reputation campaign. A number of the company's existing agencies are competing for the business.

Julie Hamp, SVP of corporate communications at PepsiCo, said that although one agency team will be the AOR for this initiative, others will likely be tapped for support.

Two industry sources that declined to be named said the colossal campaign is down to PR powerhouses Edelman and Hill & Knowlton. Other contenders include Porter Novelli, Fleishman-Hillard, the Abernathy MacGregor Group, the Brunswick Group, and Omnicom's Luntz, Maslansky in conjunction with the Reputation Institute, according to Hamp. H&K has teamed with fellow WPP firm, Penn, Schoen & Berland for the pitch, she added.

The bid for the multiyear campaign up for grabs will highlight PepsiCo's recent move toward healthier food and beverage offerings. The initiative will also promote its environmental sustainability efforts and cultural diversity within the company, Hamp said. This message will be taken to multiple stakeholders like consumers, NGOs, health influencers, government opinion leaders, prospective employees, and the general media.

Pepsi's challenge is its long association with soft drinks and junk foods at a time when consumer eating habits are trending towards healthy options. Hamp said this campaign is about calling attention to the way PepsiCo has evolved with this trend.

“It's time for people to know PepsiCo as a company,” Hamp said.

For instance, Hamp said, the company has made an effort to eliminate transfats, reduced salt intake in some of its snacks, and uses natural sweetener in some of its beverages. PepsiCo is also looking to promote its chief scientific officer, considered the only food and beverage company to have a medical doctor in this role.

“Quite frankly, we have an amazing platform to tell our story,” Hamp noted. “And we're looking for an agency partner to help us do that.”

Because this is a new effort, none of the bidding agencies are considered incumbents. While PepsiCo does not have a corporate AOR, it does work with a number of agencies on various aspects of its business, she noted. The brief is not expected to impact PepsiCo's existing relationships with Abernathy, Ogilvy, Weber Shandwick, H&K, Ketchum, Edelman, and Fleishman.

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