K-C has hired Republic PR as its first retained agency to handle proactive corporate press office duties in the UK as it looks to build its reputation among retailers, investors and the general business community.
Brands such as Kleenex, Huggies, Andrex, Scottex, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Poise enjoy a high level of recognition, but K-C Europe corporate comms manager Camilla Wrey said products 'should not operate in isolation'.
Brands that are seen as part of a strong group enjoy a better position to negotiate in respect of issues such as in-store prominence, she argued.
'We need to help people understand the strength and breadth of the Kimberly-Clark name, which is not as well known as its brands,' said Wrey.
She said Republic, which handles consumer PR for Andrex, will be charged with promoting stories that demonstrate the company's ability to identify consumer needs, act as a responsible employer and good corporate citizen and lead the market in innovations such as supply-chain tracking.
Republic will also target corporate press to reach the business and investment communities and improve comms with European-based investors.
The appointment comes in an environment of consolidation among major FMCG companies.
Although 1.3 billion people use its products, K-C - which also competes with Johnson & Johnson - is about one quarter of the size of the enlarged Procter & Gamble.
Luther Pendragon continues to be retained for crisis communications.