FDoC retains Golin for global growth drive

LAKELAND, FL: The Florida Department of Citrus (FDoC) has rehired Golin/Harris International, and expanded its PR role to include international as well as US assignments.

LAKELAND, FL: The Florida Department of Citrus (FDoC) has rehired Golin/Harris International, and expanded its PR role to include international as well as US assignments.

Golin has been US agency of record for the department since 1996. Last year, it launched a new PR campaign reemphasizing the role of orange juice in breakfasts, said Patti Tobin, SVP and global account director for the FDoC at Golin.

The department plans to spend $7.3 million on PR in the 2002-2003 fiscal year, but not all of that will go to Golin in its new five-year pact with the department, said Eric Boomhower, domestic PR manager for the department.

Other firms considered were Fleishman-Hillard, Hill & Knowlton, Edelman, and Hope Beckham.

The FDoC hadn't used a PR agency internationally in the past, but "because we take a global approach to our marketing program, we felt we would be better served by a global agency," Boomhower said.

"We've positioned orange juice as an essential part of breakfast for the American family," Boomhower noted. Golin will take that message to international markets as well, concentrating on key targets in France, Canada, Japan, China, and Britain.

Golin has been using the tagline "The best start under the sun" in the US, and plans to modify that using local spokespeople in other countries.

More than 90% of Florida's oranges are turned into juice.

The agency has also put effort behind grapefruit. "Grapefruit's been under-promoted in the past," Tobin explained. Last year, the agency launched a grapefruit campaign aimed at women ages 21 to 40 with the tagline "Mind, Body, Spirit."

"We're trying to reposition grapefruit as more contemporary," Tobin added, "taking advantage of women's nutritional profile." Grapefruit contains vitamin C, folic acid, and potassium, all items that aid women's health.

Earlier this year, Golin also created a buzz campaign for grapefruit after the season finale of Sex and the City. That effort included the show's main characters drinking what were described as grapefruit martinis, Tobin said. The Golin campaign included bar promotions featuring the drink.

Golin will carry the women's health message for grapefruit to other countries as well.

Domestically, it will continue both its orange juice and grapefruit campaigns.

In addition, Golin will provide issues-management counsel and public affairs support for the department.

The citrus business accounts for $9 billion in economic activity in Florida every year, and employs more than 90,000 people in the state. The department is a state agency that promotes use of Florida citrus products.

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