Cafedirect in agency hunt to push corporate growth

Fair trade coffee and tea producer Cafedirect is on the hunt for a new PR agency after incumbent Honey (formerly Leadbetter PR) resigned the account it has held for nearly seven years.

Cafedirect will wait until September before inviting pitches from agencies.

They will be asked to demonstrate an ability to 'handle a music event one week, and a product launch the next,' said corporate communications manager Helen Ireland.

Ireland said the company needed to promote the message that it was growing as a successful business concern but was still committed to its fair trade ethos.

Honey co-founder Louise Leadbetter said the agency decided to resign the account in order to concentrate on building the profile and portfolio of the agency, which is still a relatively new brand.

Leadbetter said the Cafedirect account was 'enjoyable but full on' and required too much time to allow her to concentrate on establishing Honey.

'When we took the account, Cafedirect was known as an Oxfam charity brand' said Leadbetter. 'We've taken it to a position where it not only has corporate credibility and is regularly used as a commentator on fair trade practices, but is a stand-alone brand and a serious corporate entity.'

Cafedirect raised more than £5m last year when some 4,500 private investors bought shares through the ethical trading exchange, Ethex, and annual turnover jumped 27 per cent to £17.3m.

Recent campaigns run by Honey included 'Flight 5065' to raise awareness of global trade issues in Africa, in which singers Damon Albarn and Beth Orton joined actors, musicians and comedians to perform in each of the London Eye's 32 capsules.

The agency also promoted the Teadirect Decent Dance in London's Trafalgar Square, which claimed the Guinness World Record for staging the largest open-air tea dance. A total of 196 couples danced for five minutes accompanied by the Royal Opera House Dance Band.

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