Pitcher and Piano, the upmarket bar chain and scourge of real ale drinkers, has hired Leamington-based Vital to handle public relations.
There was no pitch for the work, but Vital has worked on sister-brand Varsity, a chain of student pubs, as well as handling ad-hoc work for the chain.
The agency will now handle Pitcher and Piano's 33 outlets, which are owned by the Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries, following its takeover of Marston's.
The bars are mainly based in London but there are also several flagship bars in other cities, including Newcastle and Bristol. Account executive Rachel MacDonald said she thought there would be different strategies for the bars based in London, to those outside the capital.
'There will be a focus on raising the profile of the brand, as well as individual bars,' she said. Meetings are being planned with individual bar managers, to get ideas for development.
'It's about letting individual managers' flair come through,' said MacDonald, 'and getting the best out of both sides.'
Managing director Jeremy Eaton heads the account, reporting to Caroline Latty, head of strategy and development. No one has had the specific task of handling PR for the chain in the past.
Pitcher and Piano considers itself the originator of the upmarket bar chain, which has replaced traditional pubs in many UK cities.
However, as this market has become more crowded with similar offerings, such as All Bar One and Bar 38, it will need to raise its profile to maintain its position as the choice of style-conscious young people.