Starbucks Coffee Company has turned to Ketchum Life for its UK consumer PR.
The decision comes after the coffee bar chain completed a reassessment of its PR needs late last year, which saw the end of its four-year relationship with Gabrielle Shaw Communications (PRWeek, 8 December 2000).
Specific details were not available on the nature of the brief, due to concerns over rival chains, but it is understood the move is related to Starbuck's planned European expansion.
'In light of our evolving business needs, and following a strategic review of our public relations requirements, we have appointed Ketchum Life,' said Starbucks marketing director Helen Benedict.
No formal pitch process took place, although Starbucks is believed to have talked to a number of consumer agencies.
Ketchum associate director Neil Honor and director Serena De Morgan will head the account alongside Ketchum Life managing director Jane Boardman. They report to Benedict, working with her four-strong marketing team.
Starbucks entered the UK market in 1998 when it bought the Seattle Coffee Company chain for pounds 50m.