US consumer giant Kimberly-Clark gets help after green attacks

Consumer products firm Kimberly-Clark has selected Burson-Marsteller as its first pan-European corporate agency of record, following a competitive review.

Kleenex: Kimberly-Clark brand
Kleenex: Kimberly-Clark brand

B-M takes charge of a brief estimated in the high six- figures, and will aim to manage the American company's corporate reputation across the region.

In recent years, Kimberly-Clark has faced intense scrutiny from Greenpeace over its environmental record. The company's mostly paper-based product range includes tissue brands Kleenex and Andrex, alongside Huggies nappies and Kotex feminine hygiene products.

Earlier this year, Kimberly-Clark announced a major new sustainability policy, after four years of pressure from Greenpeace's 'Kleercut' campaign.

Kimberly Clark EMEA head of corporate comms Camilla Wrey confirmed issue management would form part of B-M's brief, but noted the Greenpeace campaign was not a defining factor in the selection.

'There is recognition that Europe is a complex geography where issues need to be handled carefully,' said Wrey. 'It is important to work with a strong agency with capability in that area.'

The account will be headed by B-M head of corporate, issues and technology Chris Cartwright, out of the agency's London office. 'It will involve managing Kimberly-Clark's reputation with business media and stakeholder groups, such as NGOs and special interest groups,' said Cartwright. 'There will be a lot of similar types of issues that might arise, and that will be part of our remit.'

Kimberly Clark EMEA confirmed the company would continue to work with Mandate, which handles consumer PR for Andrex and Kleenex.

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