Campari hires new Edelman subsidiary as it consolidates PR roster

Spirits company Campari America has selected Edible, the new food and beverage-focused subsidiary of DJE Holdings, to handle PR for several brands grouped together as part of a multi-phase agency consolidation.

SAN FRANCISCO: Spirits company Campari America has selected Edible, the new food and beverage-focused subsidiary of DJE Holdings, to handle PR for several brands grouped together as part of a multi-phase agency consolidation.

Earlier this year, Campari told PRWeek that the brand was conducting several reviews, grouping "like-minded brands" together to reduce the number of firms on its PR agency roster.

The first review, which was awarded to Edible, included Wild Turkey Bourbon, Wild Turkey Spiced Bourbon, American Honey, Appleton Estate Rum, and Wray & Nephew Rum in the US market, said Dave Karraker, Campari's director of PR and events for North America.

He added that Edible will lead the account out of its San Francisco and New York offices, with "Campari America serving as the cornerstone spirits client in Edible’s roster."

Edible, a separate legal entity within DJE Holdings focused entirely on the food, beverage, and spirits sector, launched in January, said Julianna Richter, US COO of Edelman, who oversees the firm's Western region.

She added that the concept of Edible had been in discussion since last fall when Edelman saw numerous food and beverage companies seeking deeper concentration on the sector, as well as "varied expertise across different areas, whether that was corporate reputation or nutrition and science or creative and strategy."

Kathy Krenger, who previously ran Krispr, the Edelman conflict shop created for its client Kellogg, was named MD of Edible because of her experience in the food and beverage space, said Richter.

Krispr is still in operation, now led by Kevin Sakhrani, previously EVP and deputy GM of DJE Holdings’ BioScience Communications.

Edible, located in separate sections of Edelman’s Los Angeles and San Francisco offices, has 10 full-time staffers, most of whom came from within the DJE network, while a few were hired for the specialty. Richter said as the subsidiary continues to add clients, more employees will be brought on.

Campari, the specialty firm’s first client, selected Edible because of its "in-depth consumer knowledge, on-target brand strategies, and broad resources," explained Karraker.

Specific details on the contract were not disclosed.

Wild Turkey has worked with Catalyst, while Skyy Spirits, including the X-Rated Fusion and Midori Melon liqueurs, has collaborated with Alison Brod. The company brought on Deussen Global Communications in 2012 to work with Frangelico.

For the next phase of the consolidation, Campari is reviewing Skyy Vodka and Espolon Tequila, as well as the recently acquired 40 Creek Canadian Whiskey and Bulldog Gin brands.

"With nearly 50 spirits brands in our portfolio, it is important for us to find efficiencies and build economies of scale by consolidating our business with an agency with extensive beverage experience," Karraker said.

Campari America, headquartered in San Francisco, is the US arm of Milan-based Gruppo Campari, which was founded in 1860.

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