Gucci, the world’s third largest fashion business, last week hired
Ketchum across Europe to advise on its internal communications.
The move follows Gucci’s acquisition in November of Sanofi Beaute,
French fashion house Yves-Saint Laurent’s parent company. The
Amsterdam-based firm now has 2,000 employees around the world.
Central to the tie-up was design director Tom Ford, the public face of
Gucci. Ford will play a key role in transforming perceptions of Y-SL,
whose takeover by Gucci is one issue likely to feature in employee
Gucci has used Ketchum in Italy since 1993, and Gucci corporate affairs
director Tomaso Galli is a former Ketchum board director.
’We will provide advice on how Gucci communicates with its employees,
although what those communications consist of, we don’t know yet,’ said
deputy chief executive Richard Aldwinckle.
The appointment coincides with the launch of Ketchum’s employee
communications practice in Europe under the Ketchum Sheppard brand.
Ketchum bought Sheppard Associates in the US last January, and has used
the brand name for its employee communications practice in the States
Ketchum Sheppard is headed by Chrysa Czerniak, but will work in Europe
within Ketchum’s corporate practice group under Aldwinckle. The new
venture will have a dedicated workforce of only four, drawing on staff
from Ketchum across Europe when necessary.
The internal changes brought about by Gucci’s acquisition of Sanofi will
provide work drawing on Aldwinckle and Ketchum Sheppard’s expertise in
change management. Aldwinckle said: ’This extends our corporate
capability in London, which already includes crisis and issues
management and corporate citizenship.’
Ketchum Sheppard’s nine US offices are joined by bases in London, Hong
Kong, Paris, Milan and Madrid.
Other European clients for the new division include Carlsberg-Tetley - a
long-term Ketchum client for employee communications, corporate and
consumer PR - and BP Amoco, which has until now been a client of
Sheppard Associates in the US and has now extended its links with